Saturday 21st January 2006 – MxPx and The Starting Line w/ The Matches and I Am The Avalanche at Portsmouth Pyramids Centre

For a while the ‘versus’ billing of co-headline tours was quite a thing. I have no idea why, there wasn’t any competition about it. It was a vehicle to allow bands of a similar level, perhaps with a slightly different audience to pull their collective crowd together and comfortably fill larger venues than they might individually. 

Unfortunately this meant rather than this show being at The Wedgewood Rooms it was at Portsmouth Pyramids Centre. Unless I’m mistaken this was my first time here. It got better over the years, but at this point the sound was awful.

This was also my first time seeing MxPx. They didn’t achieve the same level of popularity as some of their peers here in the UK, despite having a big fanbase in the US. Because of this, I was late getting into them. It took the SideOneDummy release Panic to finally catch my attention. The label had good distribution here in 2006 and the album was more easily accessible than previous MxPx releases had been.

The band were just shy of 15 years into their career at this stage and smashed out their headline slot like seasoned pros. The Starting Line didn’t fare quite as well, their more complicated set up drowned in the venue’s naff sound. They sounded much better the previous year at the Wedge.

If we saw I Am The Avalanche, I can’t remember it. I’m also fairly confident we missed The Matches, although I do recall seeing frontman Sean Harris walking around the venue in his top hat. This memory is confirmed by Sam, who was also somewhere in the crowd. Earlier this week she dug out her own ticket from the show, signed by Sean and Justin San Souci (bassist). The Matches would go on to become her favourite band.

At this show I bought two MxPx window stickers, which, perhaps much to my parent’s dismay, I stuck on my bedroom window at the front of our house, where they stayed for many years to come.

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