Gym Class Heroes
Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
October 24, 2008
When Travis McCoy, the frontman for live band hip hop group Gym Class Heroes, asked the audience “How many of you people only know us as that band who sings the song about Cupid?” I was proud to NOT be one of the fans screaming and raising their hand high in the air. I can honestly say I have been a fan of Gym Class Heroes since June 2006, when I first saw them perform on the Vans Warped Tour outside of Charleston, South Carolina. There were maybe 10-15 kids standing around contemplating whether they should stay and watch or head home after a long, hot day at the Warped Tour. Gym Class got stuck with a time slot near the end of the day, so I couldn’t blame kids for being exhausted and wanting to drive home and go to sleep (and be in an air-conditioned house!). However, my friend Jennie and I wanted to stay until the VERY end and see as many bands perform as possible. It was the first Warped Tour for both of us and we felt like we had to soak up the entire experience that day. We grabbed a seat on a picnic bench next to the GCH’s stage, sat down, relaxed, and watched the foursome from upstate New York try to rile up a crowd of kids who were ready to pass out for the next 12 hours.
More photos of the band members from the show after the jump…
Since that show was almost two and a half years ago, I have made sure to attend every Gym Class Heroes show in Chicago and have yet to miss one since! A week or so ago I got to see the guys open for The Roots – the only remaining black live band hip hop group made up of all original members. British rapper/r&b singer Estelle opened for GCH and proceeded to join them on stage for the song “Guilty As Charged” from the group’s latest album The Quilt. Estelle is the featured artist on the album’s master of the song, and getting to see her perform it live with Gym Class Heroes was such a treat. “Guilty As Charged” is probably my favorite song on the band’s new album. Another crowd favorite that Gym Class saved for the end is the new “Cookie Jar” feat. Even though the band is barely getting any radio airplay with this track-the first single off The Quilt-most people in the crowd were quite familiar with the song from seeing the music video on MTV and MTV2. It’s obvious why this is the album’s first single-it’s super catchy-but for some reason radio stations in Chicago like B96 and 103.5 KISS have not added the track to their program. However, they play The Dream’s music, so I don’t see what is taking so long! Radio still plays “Cupid’s Chokehold,” but man oh man am I sick and tired of that song or what?!
My favorite song from Gym Class Heroes is off their sophomore album As Cruel As School Children: “Clothes Off!” The band also saved this fan fav for the end of their set, which has become a staple of their live show. I never have to worry that they won’t play it, because if I wait patiently, sure enough GCH will save the best for last and get the audience singing along with Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy on the chorus “We have to take our clothes off! We have to party all night! We have to take our clothes off! To have a good time!” With The Quilt, we get to hear the guitarist Disashi sing lead vocals on a couple of the songs he wrote such as “Live A Little” and “No Place To Run.” If you listen to these two tracks back to back, it is crystal clear that Disashi wrote both and sings lead on both. No offense to him or anything, but they sound almost exactly the same; almost as if one is a continuation or part 2 of the first. Take a listen and judge for yourself. Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT complaining. First of all, Disashi is a great songwriter. Second of all, he can sing on pitch and carry a melody. And lastly, I think it’s pretty cool that Travis McCoy lets another dude in his band take over as the frontman for a couple of tunes and steps back from the spotlight.
Click on thumbnails of Gym Class Heroes to enlarge photos: