Midtown - 11.15.01

Interviewed by
Midtown - 11.15.01This interview was conducted by Jason Tate.

READ THIS FIRST: Okay, this is the interview that AbsolutePunk.net did with Midtown, last november (2001). I am not releasing this interview on my website to start a revolution. I am not releasing this interview on my website so people will bash the band, the record label, or anyone. The interview is NOT the opinions of anyone at absolutepunk.net - and is released with the grace of both the band, and DriveThru Records. If either parties decide after viewing the whole transcript that they no longer want to have this online, they both know how to reach me.

Remember one thing -- this website is about MUSIC, not highschool drama, tabloid articles, or gossip. The main thing is that you check out Midtown's music -- cause you know it fricking tears it up. So with out further adieu -- here is the Midtown Interview:

[And for the love of all, ignore my typo's, misspellings, etc. This thing is over 16 pages in Word, and over 54 minutes on tape. O, and don't go ripping this off and posting it anywhere else -- a simple link to AP.net will work just fine.]

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Jason: Okay, so lets start by talking a little about the new album, how's the recording going?

Gabe: It's almost finished.

Tyler: We're mixing the album right now ...

Gabe: Well, we're not.

Tyler: Well, ya .. there has been this problem. We have now had our music go through four different studios. Apparently the music is just so good, and so powerful, that the studios can't handle it, and all the things in the studio like just break.

[All Laughing]

Tyler: And actually, so, it's been a little more difficult then we thought it was going to be, but ahh .. that's why we can't go, cause for some reason when our music and us are there in the same room ...

Jason: It's gonna blow it up ..


Tyler: Yea .. so we've been told to stay away at a distance for the sake of the studio, and our music.

Gabe: Yeah, but it is actually good vacation time, 'cause, you know, as far as I'm concerned we already finished the album, and now it's up to Mark [Mark Trombino - the producer] to make it great.

Jason: So, how did it come out ..

[Gabe bumps the microphone over for the first time.. says, 'opps']

Tyler: It came out amazing, I cannot, I can't even begin...

[Gabe bumps the microphone over again and says, "o, I'm sorry, do I keep doing that?"]

Tyler: Yah, what the fuck you doing?


Gabe: yah, I don't ..

{Tyler drops his water bottle to purposefully knock over the microphone again .. "opps"]

[All Laughing]

Jason: I'm holding this damn thing.

[I pick up the microphone]

Tyler: Okay, good plan.

Gabe: I don't know if you guys know about what we were talking about before we starting recording. We were all a little anxious and nervous about it just because we had been touring for like two years straight and we didn't really get a chance to work out all the songs we were gonna record and stuff, ya know? We only had like two weeks to really teach eachother the songs we had been writing and like go over them, and we didn't get to work out the kinks as a band, but we came here and spent like three weeks on the songs with Mark and stuff, and like everyday we worked really hard and the songs came out great. And it's weird ..

Tyler: Except one song.

Gabe: Ya, which we might be redoing.

Tyler: The problem we are having now is that it's all done, but we think it might sound a little different in this one part..

Gabe: No .. very much differently cause, like, the verses are faster and we don't want them to be.

Tyler: Well, yah - but we don't like need to go in depth.

Gabe: We could.

Tyler: What is wrong with you! What are you wasting his time for. The boy is wearing shorts and we're out in the cold!!

Gabe: But, no seriously people are going to get the album, and then read this interview and be like, "ooo... that's what they are talking about." There is this song called, "____" that we did the verses fast in, and we totally don't like it at all. and ...

Tyler: Totally sounds lame ..

Gabe: Yah, sounds really lame. So, unfortunately this is one of the things of being rushed we really didn't get to do demos, and uhm, and when we came out here we were like, "we really want to do demos" and Mark's like, "o, no we don't really need to do demos, whatever," but now whose laughing, huh?

Gabe: Actually, Mark's not laughing either, he's too pissed off ..

Tyler: But the thing is that you have your whole life to worry about songs, until you make a record. You can write songs for, you know, forever. Then like suddenly you make a record, you go on tour, and that time, that luxury of time is just not there anymore to write songs. So it's weird -- and we were like, I hope the second album doesn't ....

Gabe [sarcastic]: What are you talking about? The first album.. no wait .. the second album, and your whole life, then you go on tour and you have your whole life...

Tyler: Shut the fuck up..


Tyler: You know what it is guys, honestly, it's that I'm a person with such a high intellegence that I feel there are certain things that I don't need to explain to everybody because they should just get them the way that I do.

Gabe: It's not really your intellegence, it's your telepahy.

[More Laughter]

Tyler: Okay, check this out ... [points to head.. and stares at me]

[Short Pause]

Tyler: Okay, did you get that?

Jason: O woah, yah


Jason: That's going to transcribe really well ...

Tyler: O here we go.. [points to head and stares at the microphone]

Tyler: Now, you know when you make your first record you have forever to write it, until you make that first one. Then you make your second record, and before that you're on tour, and you're busy .. so you only have, like, a couple weeks.

Gabe: That's why so many bands fucking slump on their second album.

Tyler: Second album is, like, this big thing because the bands either don't have the time to write songs or they don't relate to people anymore and they make all these songs all about ..

Gabe: Touring ..

Tyler .. touring, that no body can understand, or like ..

Gabe: Rap guys write about that sort of stuff..

Tyler: Yah, Yah, cause it's different, cause people don't look and rap guys and be like, "ya, you know, I'm sitting in my house in Oregon, and I'm dumping crystal on the floor because I got all this cash, and all these bitchs, and hoes, and cars, and planes," and they are not looking at it like "I can relate," -- you know DMX and I, totally alike dude.

Gabe: Hey dude, DMX is ..

Tyler: Whatever

Gabe: No dude, DMX is like.

Tyler: Whatever, no whatever dude.. I don't wanna talk about it..


Tyler: Okay, like Jay-Z ..

Gabe: Jay-Z, there we go.. there we go.

Tyler: You know with our type of music you have to stay pretty real ..

Gabe: ... but even Jay-Z keeps it pretty real, you know?

Tyler: What do you mean? What are you talking about? Keeps it real with you?

Jason: [I am trying not to laugh hysterically at this point]

Gabe: You know he has this one song about how he like grew up being a drug dealer and stuff ..

Tyler: Right, which we can all relate to.

[All Laughing]

Tyler: You know technically my real name is not .. is not Tyler, it's TiZo.

Jason: Haha, ya.. I gotcha.

Jason: Okay, so how is working with Mark? We kinda already went over this, but ..

Gabe: [smiling] He's a ******...

Tyler: Nah... Mark's cool, Mark is great.


Jason: [looking at Gabe] Hahaa, how do you really feel?

[More Laughter]

Tyler: We would have liked more personal time with Mark, you know .. to explore those avenues.. and there is nothing wrong with some exporation, I don't think.

Gabe: But, ya .. it was cool working with Mark.

Tyler: It was like, what we expected .. and the album came out better than we expected.

Jason: Awesome.

Tyler: You know, he got us to perform to make the songs the way they came out. And I'm real happy with it.

Gabe: He did our first album too .. and when we did our first album we did the whole thing: mixing, recording .. like 21 days. You know? And we really didn't get the chance to really work with him fully and he took a chance on us he really wanted to develop us, and it was cool that he did that, so now it's like the payoff of that investment, you know? We worked with him and spent three months he got to have a lot of input into the stuff .. and we think ... I would have liked for him to have more input then he did .. but, you know he did have a lot of input.

Tyler: Yah, either way the album turned out amazing, so we were just really happy about that.

Jason: That's awesome. So, is it going to be released on MCA? That has sort of been debated by a lot of different people...

Gabe: Yes.

Jason: Are you guys excited about that?

Tyler: Yah, o yah.

Gabe: Yah, we are excited we don't have to do another record on drivethru.

Jason: Hahah.. o shit, you guys don't like drivethru .. or what?

Gabe and Tyler: Hate drivethru.

Jason: O .. geezus .. never knew this.

Gabe: We like a lot of the bands on drivethru, and, like, alot of our friends used to work at drive thru .. and ..

Tyler: It's just this weird thing when people, like, lie to you and cheat you ...

Gabe: and steal from you .. and like don't give you royalty statements after being on the label for two years..

Tyler: You know, it's okay, it's okay .. when we started this band we were like, "hey, we want to make our label ... rich ..."

Gabe: Haha, Yah -- and we did it ... good job dude!

{Gabe & Tyler high five each other]

Tyler: .. and I'm not only going to buy them a new house, I'm going to buy them a huuuuge new house ..

Gabe: .. a mansion, a huge mansion.

Tyler: a mansion!


Gabe: .. wait, and didn't we say we were going to buy them SUVs?

Tyler: well .. first I said let's get them one SUV ... one luxury SUV .. like .. a Lexus.

Gabe: Why just one?

Tyler: But why just one? Why just one when there is that brand new BMW that they just NEED.


Gabe: WE need to get them that, WE need to get them that one ..

[Loud Laughing]

Jason: Way to go guys .. haha, proud of ya.

Tyler: And you know what? I have FOUR dollars in my wallet right now. But you know what? I don't care because Richard's bed is worth 15 GRAND ...

Gabe: YA! And, that's totally cool with me! ..his BED in his house: 15 thousand dollars.

[More Laughing]

Gabe: So, so .. that's why we don't like Drive Thru, that and for many other reasons .. like, let me just give you an example .. what we're saying is true, ya know? It's just that they didn't do a very good job as a label, they are really interested in making money, and making themselves look good, and stuff you know?

Jason: Yah .. hmmm ..

Gabe: And it's like their not really interested in their bands, and if a band of their's isn't doing that well .. you know, they have bands that don't do that well .. and then they don't invest anything into those bands ..

Tyler: They're like .. the bastard children, you know?

Jason: Yah

Gabe: .. and they will be so psyched about a band, like when the Benjimins were coming out .. they were all psyched about it, and it was all, "benjimins, benjimins, benjimins, .." then they didn't do well, and they just dropped them.

Jason: Yah, and then now they ended up breaking up ..

Tyler: Yah, they're done.

Gabe: It's Richard and Stefanie.

Tyler: .. and it's not even the bands that aren't selling. Even the bands that ARE selling, we go out and tour nonstop ..

Gabe: We had personal problems with them too. They just had some personal vendetta against us or something.

Tyler: It was like .. "you guys said something mean to someone," or "Gabe gave a dirty look to our cat so we're not gonna fucking ...

Gabe: It's crazy


Tyler [continueing]: .. we're taking the CDs out of stores, there will be no ads .. nothing. I swear to God.

Gabe: And for two years we had to pretend to like kiss their ass, and do interviews and be like, "ooo, we love drivethru - it's like a big family, it's great. Richard and Stefanie are great they care about the kids," they don't care about SHIT .. except their money, and their fucking house.

Tyler: MCA's our saving grace.

Gabe: Yah, that's why it feels so good to be on MCA. If we had to do another record on drivethru .. I would have shot myself in the face.

Tyler: Gabe and I actually had this whole thing planned out .. we were going to shoot each other in the face.

[All Laughing]

Gabe: Yah, and do it in their house so we can get their 30 thousand dollar carpet d irty.

Tyler: I shoot him in the face first, and then he shoots me .. or something like that.

Gabe: So.. heh, when is this going to be coming out?

Jason: Uhmm.. the interview?

Gabe: Yah.

Jason: uhmm.. the next few days? I dunno. Whenever I can type the whole thing typed up.

Gabe: Let's wait until like ... January.

Jason: January, okay.. heh.

Gabe: We're talking all this shit about drivethru .. might as well get our paper's signed with MCA first.

Jason: Hahah .. okay, January it is.

Gabe: .. but that is why it feels so good to just be able to really tell, like, what is really up.. and well, it's coming out, dude .. the dashboard (confessional) shit, you know.

Tyler: Yah! Once somebody opened their mouth about it .. everyone knows.

Jason: Yah, you and Chris are pretty close right? I saw some picture of you two together...

Gabe: Dude, we TOLD Chris not to sign with that label.

Jason: O really?

Gabe: Yah, like .. we totally denied it. When Rich and Stefanie asked about it I was all, "no we would never do that.." But dude, we told him ..

Tyler: Ha! Gabe is a liar.


Gabe: The thing about Richard and Stefanie is that in the beginning .. they like seem so nice, and they seem like they really care, and I have never met people who are so deceptive in my life. And Chris was totally fooled.

Tyler: The same way WE were fooled.

Gabe: We were fooled.

Tyler: Yah, we were fooled for a looong time.

Gabe: But, luckly Chris saw it quickly enough. I was telling him, "listen Chris they seem really nice, you don't wanna do it they are gonna end up screwing you over." -- and he was like, "no they seem really great, blah blah blah," -- and he eventually just saw what it really was. He was out here for like a week to spend time with them, see what they were like, and how their business was run, and how they treat their workers .. like shit. You can ask anyone that works there how they treat them, it's crazy.

Tyler: They don't even pay them. That's why they have such a high turnover rate. It's really uncomfortable for a band that's out working so hard and giving their whole lives for something to have, like, a new person every week who doesn't know anything about what they're supposed to be doing at the office … and how are we supposed to expect them to know instantly: you can't.

Gabe: I know a lot of kids are going be all, "o fuck, you signed to a major label .."

Jason: Yeah, so what do you think about that?

Gabe: Honestly dude, I know a lot of bands that are on independent labels, making themselves an honest living off of it, because the labels work with them, and that's cool because they are independent.

Tyler: Yeah, and I would of liked to keep on that track, you know? It would've been my first choice. But .. we had no choice.

Gabe: We had no choice. It was MCA or DriveThru .. and we would not be a band right now if we had to stay on DriveThru.

Tyler: Yeah, and in addition .. in addition to this all - the people at MCA, they are awesome. Like seriously, they are so awesome. I grew up thinking like, major label = enemy, that we were going to go in there and there would be all these people in suits and ties going, "okay you shave your head, you grow a mustache, you do whatever .. this is your new band name, this is your new sound," you know?

[At this time an ex-intern at DriveThru records walks by and Gabe and Tyler introduce me to her .. and we all start talking. She wishes to remain anonymous, and asks for us not to record, or post any thing she says. So we are abiding by her wishes. So her comments will be omitted from the following section. (Even though Gabe really wanted us to use some of her quotes to show how she felt about the label)]

Gabe: So, well .. here, I want to give you another example. You know how last year we got in a really bad van accident?

Jason: Right.

Gabe: And we had like no money, and all that .. and we asked for help, you know? To help pay our van lease .. and our van lease was like, 500 dollars a month or something, and we were like, "so guys .. could you please help us out?" and they give us the run around .. you know, like, "uhmm.. well we can't right now."

Gabe: And as you just heard they spent $5,000 at the Disney store.

Jason: Wow.

Gabe: If you have all that money, and you're not going to give it to your bands .. at least give it to charity or something. You know?

Tyler: Yeah, you could do something so much better with it then buying toys to keep for yourselves.

Jason: Haha.. yeah, okay so where were we on this list .. [glances at list]

Gabe: So, wait.. yeah - what I was saying about our van and stuff. When we asked for some help with it and bills and everything, and they are all, "we have nooo money guys, Richard and I did not get a salary this year, - we have NO money." And we are thinking, yeah, is that how you pay for your fucking mansion, and your new Lexus and shit? What the fuck, you know?

Tyler: The push it off like they have this terrible deal, and they give all the money to the bands, well - it's not true. They take advantage of bands, and the truth is coming out, you know?

Gabe: Yeah, soon as people see the truth - they are going to be buried. People don't respect people who don't have integrity - and try to rip people off, and who try to pull the fucking wool over your eyes, you know?

Jason: Yeah, wow. Well, I have no idea where we are right now, I lost totally control over my list!


Jason: O screw it, I'm picking one at random: Are you guys going to be the next big thing?

Gabe: No.

Tyler: No.

[More Laughter]

Tyler: The next big thing has to be something that is completely original, you know?

Jason: O, so you don't think you guys are original, and different?

Gabe: Well, we do are own thing.

Tyler: Yah, I mean we are not like anyone else, I can't think of any other bands that sound exactly like us.

Gabe: [Looking at me] Do you think we are going to be the next big thing?

Jason: Hah, uh.. - hmm, you know .. I really don't know. Yea, that would be awesome I would love to see it - but …

Tyler: Well, you know what is the next big thing? Is it the next band that sells a lot of records? If so, then dude .. finally going to have good music on the radio.

Gabe: And you know a lot of bands out there, Dashboard, Blink, New Found Glory - they are out there being themselves and doing what they have always done. And that's fucking awesome. They are really thankful, and grateful, and really down to earth.

Tyler: You know there are so many bands that we know about, and you know about, and it is because we sort of got to see a subculture form right in front of us - and I really think it would be awesome if people saw the New Found Glory video and saw them wearing The Movielife shirts, and Midtown shirts - and be thinking, "those must be cool bands too," and check us out.

Gabe: And you know I think people are ready for some music with substance. Right now, all it is, is candy. MTV really has two markets - the teenybopper ear candy, and rap. But the rap to day, I fucking hate it - a lot of it just isn't real, and just fake. When I was eleven I was really in to Public Enemy …

[All Laughing]

Gabe: No seriously, cause I thought it was real .. and I was really into that. Now rap is about money, and cash, and bling bling.


Gabe: And I think that right now we are going to have a rock backlash. I really think that we are going to be a part of something .. but, not the next big thing.

Gabe: The main thing is .. that music is made to be heard, and we want our music out there .. we want people to hear our music. There would be no point in making it otherwise.

Jason: So, I just gotta ask Gabe, I heard you actually tried out for Saves the Day, way back in the day .. long time ago, is this true?

Gabe: Hahaha, ya, ya .. that is true .. where did you find that out? Hahah!

Jason: So, what do you mean, "tried out for?"

Gabe: Right sorta when we were starting Midtown and shit, I was a freshman in college .. and haha, this is a really funny story actually - so, I was a huge fan of Saves the Day, I loved them .. loved them since they were playing shows in basements - and when I saw them play, that was exactly where I wanted to go as a band .. and that was just amazing. So, then my old band was breaking up and shit .. and I was just starting to talk to Tyler, and to Rob .. and they were both in other bands, and we weren't sure if we were going to do Midtown .. and then I heard that, I think it was Justin, was leaving the band .. and that night I went to see Elliot in New York City, and Bryan from Saves the Day was there - and so, I went up to him and was like, "this may be a weird question .. but are you in Saves the Day?" and he is all, "uh.. ya." -- so, ya I found out that Justin was leaving, so I went over to Chris' house to try out. And, well - I play bass, and I don't even do that very well, but they needed a guitar player .. and I tried out on guitar .. and they were all, "uh.. well you're not that good, you need some practice." But, I told him I played bass and all, and Chris said they were actually thinking of getting a new bass player .. but, well the got .. what's his name ..

Jason: Eben.

Gabe: Yah, that guy is fucking insane, amazing.

Gabe: So, dude .. where did you hear about that?

Jason: Uh, I really don't remember - read it somewhere, just remembered it. So, did you guys watch the episode of the Real World where Gabe makes an appearance?

Gabe: Well, that was all fucked up - to start with they totally fucking lied about everything that happened! It's just drama.

Tyler: Haha, yah, this story is good!

Gabe: So, I had known this girl for a while .. and then I found out she was going to be on Real World, and I emailed her .. and I was all, "you know .. I just want to be friends - I have a girlfriend, in case they ask you anything .." -- and she is all, "ooo, well I kinda already told them I had a crush on you." --- and ya, they just cut things up all over the place to create this drama that was never really there.

Tyler: And then the LIMO!!!

Gabe: HAHAHA, yah, they showed them come to our show .. and after words they are all talking, and she goes, "they took me home in their LIMO!!"


Tyler: Yah, and not only did we not have a limo at that show ..

Gabe: I don't think I have ever been in a limo in my life!

[All Laughing]

Gabe: So, ya .. it was messed up how it was edited, but funny… and I was thinking, "I wasn't going to prom or anything, what the heck?" - and even websites were saying, "got into Midtown's liiimmmoo!"


Gabe: It was fucking cool we were on the show though!

Tyler: Yah, people recognize us from the show .. they are like, Oooo .. you're the asshole from the Real World?! I point at him .. [points at Gabe] no, that would be him!


Jason: So, can you walk me through the whole song writing process?

Tyler: Well it seems like the whole thing is just like we have an outline .. and someone has an idea, and then we mix that with other ideas - and it just comes together.
Jason: Thank you guys, I just wanna say thank you for doing the interview with me…

Gabe: Are you kidding me? That's not the end ..

Tyler: There is no way we answered all those questions ..

[Gabe reaches over and snatches the paper with the questions on it out of my hands]


Gabe: Hah, see I knew there were more..

Jason: Hahahaha.. uhm okay, just interview yourselves then!


Gabe: [Scans the list] Uhmm.. "Are we straightedge?" [Looks at me] Are YOU straightedge?

Jason: Uh, uhm.. no not really.

Gabe: [Looks at my roommate] Are you straightedge?

Nick [The roommate]: Uh, no.

Gabe: I used to be straightedge; I never had a drink of alcohol until I was 19. But now, I think I have learned about moderation .. and it all can be done in moderation.

Gabe: [Looks at list of questions again] "Girls or music?"

[Gabe and Tyler look at each other]

Gabe and Tyler: [Simultaneously] Music.


Tyler: Well, duh .. obviously music .. if I woulda chose girls, we wouldn't have this band.

Gabe: It's like we all had girlfriends when we started touring .. and none of us have girlfriends now.

Gabe: I do think girls are important though ..

Tyler: When they're not craaazy..

[The rest of the band members are across the street, and they start waving at us. It looks like they are telling Gabe and Tyler to get over there .. for soundcheck .. ]

Gabe: What are they doing?

Tyler: Hmm.. I dunno. [Waves back]

Gabe: Think it is soundcheck time?

Tyler: I dunno, maybe?

Gabe: Well, walk over there with us, you can come take some pictures of soundcheck, and I will answer the rest of these.

[Gabe grabs tape recorder, starts walking with the interview questions, and answering them himself]

Gabe: "What bands should people check out?" This fucking amazing band from Pennsylvania, called Days Away .. they are awesome.

Jason: Hey man, just want to say thank you again for doing the interview, it was awesome, can't wait for the new album to come out .. I'll see you soon.

Gabe: No man, thank you, and enjoy the show.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
07:37 AM on 08/02/07
tm decomposer
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tm decomposer's Avatar
You caught my heart.
08:38 AM on 08/02/07
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jantelis's Avatar
Um. Days Away shout out at the end was sweet!
09:57 AM on 08/02/07
Adrian Villagomez
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Adrian Villagomez's Avatar
Blast from the past.
01:25 PM on 08/02/07
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thatwasamoment's Avatar
Reading the part about cutting ties with DTR and Dashboard not singing with them is a total blast from the past. And RIP to The Benjamins.
12:35 AM on 08/03/07
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PickGuard's Avatar
Wow. Awesome interview, regardless of when it was done. I think I'm going to listen to FWYK now.
12:37 AM on 08/03/07
black&blue or gold?
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ishotthepilot's Avatar

03:12 PM on 08/03/07
Registered User
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RyanHall's Avatar
lol, i love the days away shout out
05:30 PM on 08/03/07
Bury Your Head
it aint easy being brown
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Bury Your Head's Avatar
Good god fuck dtr and fuck carter the cat .
I miss midtown. I wanna see this episode of the real world tho!!! Is it on you tube?
08:09 PM on 08/03/07
What's up with Swarley?
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BigMouthStrikes's Avatar
Can'tbelieve how candid they were about Drive-Thru, i always thought Gabe seemed like a bit of a talker but wow.. haha Great interview though.
08:12 AM on 08/04/07
I'm old now.
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shes.a.ghost's Avatar
What season of the Real World were they on? I would love to see that clip.
08:29 PM on 08/04/07
Don't start no shit wont be no shit
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krishasaheadake's Avatar
Jason, what show/tour was this? and were you caught off guard with their venting?
12:23 PM on 08/05/07
bippity boppity
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Praetor's Avatar
Haha, that's so cool.
06:54 PM on 08/05/07
Registered User
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CWeezer2's Avatar
midtown never really went away from most fan's minds or anything, but they seem especially missed as of late.
11:56 AM on 08/06/07
The Full Effect
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FalloutGuy's Avatar
I'm hoping by next year....Midtown will be rocking again.

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