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Sorry About Dresden

Cat's Cradle, March 4, 2006

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Not having played a show in over a year, Sorry About Dresden showed traces of rust: A certain hesitance occasionally clouded the structural pivots of their nervy pop-punk/indie rock hybrid. But the assembled faithful weren't there for polished presentation: It was Dresden's explosive energy that drew them in, an energy that roiled all the more evidently for the technical slippage in the music.

Gleeful applause met the first few notes of each song. Fans shouted along uproariously during the a capella breakdown of "Deadship, Darkship," a ragged chorus of "in your eyes" hurled to the ceiling. Eric Roehrig's sandpapery yet melodic croak struck a counterpoint to Matt Oberst's smoother intonation on "Butterflies."

Many video games feature a maneuver called the "double jump," wherein your pixilated hero can leap off the apogee of an initial jump as if it were a solid platform. SAD bassist Matt Tomich is the only person I know who can do this in real life.

Last week, the Independent alluded to rumors that this would be Sorry About Dresden's final show. I guess there's not much difference between a kiss goodbye and a kiss hello, because it was actually a triumphant return. According to drummer James Hepler, Dresden came out of semi-retirement simply because they wanted to play with the Wedding Present, an important formative influence and because Tomich is preparing to move abroad for a new job. While nothing's written in stone, Hepler says the band hopes to record an EP in the imminent future, an EP which--given the excited and respectably-sized crowd Dresden managed to draw on a UNC-Duke basketball night--should find plenty of grateful ears.

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