Last Night: Face To Face @ HOB, Anaheim

Last Night: Face To Face at the House of Blues, Anaheim on November 8, 2008

Better Than: hearing "Disconnected" on KROQ.

Download: "I'm Trying" music video from []

Is Face to Face really back? A staple of the punk rock scene, Face To Face put out one of the first albums on the influential Fat Wreck Chords label. I originally thought their appearance at the Bamboozle Left festival in Irvine earlier this year was a one time event, but Face To Face has lined up an assortment of shows that hints at a full scale reemergence.

Franki Doll and the Broken Toys overcame some minor technical difficulties to get the crowd going early. Dressed in a piece of fabric that barely qualifies as a miniskirt, Franki Doll stirred up the testosterone in the room as she sang on top of the both bars and confronted various members in the audience. Sonically they landed somewhere between the punk ferocity of Distillers and the vocals of Joan Jett. They covered the '80s classic "Kids In America" with the help of a youngster that was brave enough to go on stage.

I remember seeing Rufio quite awhile back at the Chain Reaction when they opened up for Hot Rod Circuit. Rufio had a good local following with their pop punk tunes that sat between New Found Glory and No Use For A Name. Their latest release was back in 2005 and they sporadically get together to play shows. Rufio managed to put together a solid set that closed with some chants of Rufio by their faithful fans at the front of the stage.

Trever Keith (Vocals/Guitars) used his Gibson Les Paul to spear his Top Hat Amplifier for a swirl of feedback before diving into the slashing chords of "Walk The Walk". It didn't take long for the fans to go crazy as the crowd surfing broke out early. "Bill of Goods" had everyone singing along as Scott Shiflett (Bass) nailed the notes on his bass.

"You Lied" starts off as a mid tempo song before blasting into overdrive with a fury of power chords as Chad Yaro (Guitars) and Scott came in with the backing vocal harmonies. "Ordinary", "I Won't Lie Down" and "What's In A Name" were a trifecta of songs from their criminally overlooked self-titled album.

I still cringe when I hear "Disconnected" on KROQ, but this is due to the fact that Face To Face has so many other good songs. I remember from prior shows that Trever spoke quite a bit in between songs but he admitted he was speechless when the crowd sang the lyrics of "Disconnected" back to him. Trever had an astonished look on his face.

Face To Face also went back to their first album Don't Turn Away for another crowd sing along during "Pastel". It was barely past an hour as they winded down their set with "Shoot The Moon" and a blazing version of "Complicated". "Bikeage" and "1,000 X" were suitable encore songs as Trever thanked the crowd for coming out. Judging the reaction by the fans on this particular night, I think Face To Face would be foolish not to come back.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I am a big fan Viva Death which is a side project featuring members of Face to Face and their use of baritone guitars.

Random Detail: Scott Shiflett's brother is Chris who plays guitar in some band called the Foo Fighters.

By The Way: Face To Face will play the House of Blues Anaheim again on November 14th in case you missed out.


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