The last time I saw them, they were following up their major-label debut with a record that people didn't buy, and I remember the slamdancing at that show being incredibly fun, though my indie rock compadre at the time hated it and stood in the back with his arms folded as I let myself go in the waves of bodies in front of the stage. The pit was full of other amiable kids straddling the lines between punk and pre-Garden-State alt-rock, and I left feeling awesome and he left being cranky that night, complaining that it was "too heavy" and "too punk." We ended up leaving early because he drove, so I got to hear "How Near How Far" for the first time live this time. I forgot how much noisier and energetic this songs were live, stripped of the production, calling to mind the more incendiary early shows that got them signed.
By the last song, we'd discovered how to recalibrate our bodies to move like they once did, as the band came out onto the floor with us and we left sweaty and satisfied by a band that almost tasted the bigtime and now is touring and thirsty again.