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JMax Productions
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Schizophonics, Still Animals, DJ Thirst n Howl
Tue September 03, 2024 8:00 pm PDT (Doors: 7:00 pm)
Midtown , Bend, 51 Greenwood Ave , 97701, OR, US (map)
All Ages
$28.00 Tickets
Tickets available locally at Smith Rock Records & Higher Elevation Smokers Gallery

QUINCEAÑERA! Twenty years after Me First and the Gimme
Gimmes ruined Johnny's Bar Mitzvah, punk rock's premier cover band is back to
wreak havoc on another important coming-of-age ceremony. This time, as the
album title reveals, it was a Quinceañera. Nobody attending had ever heard
of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes before, and nobody knew what to expect.
"It was really tense for me going out to no applause—and to people actually
walking away when we were playing," says frontman Spike Slawson. "A
Quinceañera is a very celebrated and important event, not just in a young girl's
life, but in the whole families. Mom and Dad were great, but it took the uncles a
little while to warm up to me and our off-color jokes, though I think eventually
they got it. Our process is to cast the line out and bring people to the point of—
and beyond—outward expressions of displeasure like booing, and then
hopefully reel them back in by the end of the set."

Does that kind of make Me First and the Gimme Gimmes—especially on this
record—the Andy Kaufman of punk rock? Possibly. But you don't have to be in
on the joke to enjoy this album. Nor do you have to be a sadist (but it wouldn't
hurt) to enjoy the one person politely clapping after Slawson introduces
"Changes" at the beginning of the first of the band's two sets. "This is a Black
Sabbath song," he says. "If you know it, feel free to sing along." Nobody does.
But he interpolates birthday girl, Madison's, name into the song, and as the
band speeds things up a little later, you can feel that heavy, early tension
dissipate a very tiny bit. When he speaks to her at the start of "Dancing Queen,"
things loosen up a little bit more—though you could still cut the air with a
cumpleaños cake-sized knife—and there are even a few cheers after the band
sings "Happy Birthday." The turning point, however, has to be the wonderfully
SNAFU'd cover of Olivia Rodrigo's "Good 4 U", which is a work of art in and of
itself, regardless of context. And while it might not have gotten the exact same
reception the popstar herself gets in arenas; it's still followed by enthusiastic
screams. What's more, as it's wont to do, the band even manages to include a
nod to a punk classic at the start, in the shape of "Ever Fallen In Love."

"We just thought it was too perfect," remembers Slawson. "Nobody in the place
knew who the Buzzcocks were or cared what the intro was or anything, so it
was kind of lost on them, but that moment in the set I think was when the
crowd was finally fully on our side. We had them eating out of the palm of our
hands at that point, which was a good feeling because it was touch and go until
then. But with that song we finally played something from this millennium."