Garred O’Donnell (above) and Planes Mistaken for Stars wished the crowd goodbye in the usual way Saturday night. Photos by Reverb contributor Doug Beam.
After a lengthy farewell trek across Europe and North America was cancelled due to a variety of problems, Planes Mistaken for Stars had to pack a heck of a lot of goodbyes into its final show for fans in its adoptive hometown of Denver. It probably had a lot of frustrations to get off its collective chest, too. Fortunately for everyone involved, those two ends dovetailed nicely as the band bowed out with one last burst of sweat, tinnitus and raw power at the Marquis Theater on Saturday night.
Since relocating from Peoria, Ill. to the Mile High City in 1999, Planes Mistaken for Stars wasn’t just a staple of Denver’s punk and hardcore scene, but the bedrock upon which it was built, and a parade of tattooed, pierced and indomitable punk-rock types filled the Marquis to give their hometown heroes the send-off of which the ruins of its farewell tours deprived it. And for all the air of finality that settled on the club minutes before PMFS took stage, the band and the audience were both determined to make the night a raucous send-off rather than a somber living funeral.
Planes obliged, packing in all the energy of a tour’s worth of goodbyes into a single night. Amid the sweat, flailing long hair and its brow-beating hybrid of metal riffs and post-hardcore control, Planes Mistaken for Stars gave an example of the intensity and the drive that turned platters like 2006’s “Mercy” with its songs like “One F**ked Pony” and “Little Death,” into hearing-damaging mainstays of twentysomething punk-rock rebellion.
Founding bassist Aaron Wise, who didn’t make the move from Illinois with the band, even flew into town for the show, took to the stage with a borrowed bass and held down the low end on a handful of early-years tracks that were, surprisingly, as tight as if he’d been routinely practicing with the band for the past eight years.
Of course, the night couldn’t go off completely without a hitch, and, after merely a handful of songs, front man Garred O’Donnell was forced to retreat off stage for about 20 minutes. The rest of the band remained on stage and jammed aimlessly, announcing “health issues” putting the night on hold. O’Donnell recovered. Enough for the band to play a set that was nearly two hours long — a hardcore endurance marathon that, frankly, was a little longer than the band’s brand of music could sustain itself.
But after such long tenure in Denver and such a disappointing collapse of its farewell tour, indulging the band one last time was the least its hometown crew could do, right?
Read more from contributor Matt Schild at Aversion.com.
See more of contributor Doug Beam’s photography.