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Hot Water Music, La Dispute at Ace of Spades

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If you didn’t make it out to Ace of Spades last night to catch the Hot Water Music tour, you missed some great performances.

Critically acclaimed group The Menzingers kicked off the night right with a set of rough, blue-collar punk.

Vocalist Greg Barnett mentioned that it was the band’s first time in Sacramento. Mission accomplished on making a good first impression.

After finishing a set that included fierce songs like "Nice Things" and "Irish Goodbyes," the crowd hoped to hear more, chanting "One more song!" which doesn’t happen very often with supporting bands that no one cares about.

All signs (my past experience) pointed to second support act La Dispute putting on a passionate, entertaining show, and that’s what happened.

Starting out in fine fashion with "The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit," the set also included songs "Harder Harmonies," "Andria," and "New Storms for Older Lovers," which vocalist Jordan Dreyer dedicated to headliners Hot Water Music.

The songs played like confessional diary entries; spoken and shouted-word lyrics accompanied by minor-chord harmonies. The crowd would finish some of Dreyer’s lines by shouting out lyrics which added another visceral element to the show.

Dreyer mentioned playing a "pizza place" in Sacramento before, recalling a 2010 show at Luigi’s Slice and Fun Garden with Touché Amoré, Loma Prieta and A Lot Like Birds.

The band ended with the excellent "King Park," which draws you in and paints a picture of a drive-by shooting and its aftermath in intense detail.

Unfortunately, La Dispute didn’t allow any photography, so my overall experience was soured a bit. You’ll just have to use your imagination to get a visual. 

Headliners Hot Water Music wrapped up the night with a set of raw, butt-kicking organic rock.

The Gainesville, Fla., band has a catalog eight albums deep going back to 1995, and they dipped into a little bit of everything.

Their set included the songs "Remedy," "Mainline," "Trusty Chords," "Giver," "State of Grace" and "Paper Thin."

The band came back on stage for an encore of "True Believers," a Bouncing Souls cover, and "Turnstile," from 1997’s "Fuel for the Hate Game."

Check the Ace of Spades website for information on upcoming shows.

The Menzingers
Hot Water Music
Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music

Photos by Steven Chea.

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