With four frenzied rock bands, Epitaph tour graces Oregon.

From The Daily Barometer:

It's a rare, yet beautiful occurrence to see a tour come to town with more than one good act.

Epitaph Tour 2005 throws Matchbook Romance, Motion City Soundtrack, From First to Last and The Matches up on one stage for only $12.

One of the most anticipated artists for this tour is definitely The Matches and I got to talk to The Matches' guitarist/vocalist, Jon Devoto, while their van was pulled over at a truck stop somewhere in the Midwest.

How did such a great tour come to be? Devoto said that Epitaph put the whole thing together, but all the Epitaph bands have a great time just hanging out with each other on the road.

No doubt The Matches are familiar with life on tour. Personally, his favorite tour would definitely have been the shows in Japan with Zebrahead. Every show was sold out, the crowds were massive, and they got a glimpse of what it's like to be treated like rock 'n' roll royalty.

When you think of The Matches, it's hard not to wonder about their album title, E.Von Dahl Killed the Locals. Before becoming The Matches, the guys called themselves The Locals, until they realized that there already was a Chicago based band called The Locals who had trademarked the name. Yvonne Doll, vocalist/guitarist for The Locals, threatened to sue the boys over the band name dispute.

It's hard to believe a band with such massive melodies and powerful anthems is so young. All of the guys are 22 except Jon, who's only 19. While being confined to the van on tour, he's been listening to Rancid, Elvis Costello, and the new Green Day album, which we both decided is extremely amazing. His advice to Corvallis rockers is the same as the rest of 'em -- play every show!

Oh yeah, and to stay in school.


So who are all these bands you ask? How did they all end up together on Epitaph Records? Let's break it down, shall we?


The Matches

Hometown: Oakland, Calif.

Formed: 1997

Gimme a Break: Disappointed by the lack of under-21 venues in the Bay Area, the guys formed a Web casting warehouse called "iMusicast" and launched the show L3: Live, Loud & Local. They rounded up fans leaving concerts, student unions, dorms, high schools and fast food joints. By performing such brief acoustic attack sets in the days before the L3 gigs, word spread and the shows started selling out -- even without any advertising or publicity. The Matches released their self-financed debut in February 2003 which led to tours with Reel Big Fish, Lit and Zebrahead. The group walked away from other major labels' offers and hopped on the Epitaph bandwagon.

Album: E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals

Must Listen-to Tracks: "Sick Little Suicide," "Dog-Eared Paged" and "Chain Me Free"


Matchbook Romance

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Formed: 1997

Gimme a Break: Being the self-proclaimed poor-musician computer geeks that they are, they put their online savvy-ness to use, promoting the band back in the day by bombarding punk Web sites, mailing lists, guestbooks and message boards.

Epitaph bigwig Brett Gurewitz, who had read rave reviews about the band on PunkNews.org, downloaded their track, "Ex Marks the Spot." He flew the band from NY to LA and before long the boys scored a contract, a kick- ass EP West for Wishing, a summer-long stint on Warped Tour and European tour with The Ataris.

Album: Stories and Alibis

Must Listen-to Tracks: "The Greatest Fall (Of All Time)," "Tiger Lily" and "Promise."


Motion City Soundtrack

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

Formed: 1999

Gimme a Break: The band decided to spend their own money and take their music to Lawrence, Kan., putting it in the talented hands of Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, The Anniversary), who polished it up into their album, I Am The Movie.

After recording I Am The Movie, the band returned to jamming at countless live shows. Such shows led the band to be better-known by dedicated basement show-going kids in urban areas across the country, rather than of their hometown of Minneapolis, Minn. Soon record labels, agents and managers wanted to do business with Motion City Soundtrack. However, the band decided to "do their thing" until the right situation came along. It paid off. Brett Gurewitz and his Epitaph crew took the guys under their wing not long after.

Album: I Am the Movie

Must Listen-to Tracks: "The Future Freaks Me Out" and "Autographs and Apologies."


From First To Last

Hometown: Los Angeles (by way of Gainesville, Florida)

Formed: 2003

Gimme a Break: The guys recorded their 2003 EP, Aesthetic, for New York micro-indie Four Leaf Recordings. The disc earned From First To Last -- who had already shared the stage with the likes of From Autumn To Ashes, Cave In, All American Rejects, Tsunami Bomb, Glasseater and Senses Fail -- the attention of Epitaph.

Album: Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count

Must Listen-to Tracks: "Featuring Some Of Your Favorite Words," "Secrets Don't Make Friends" and "Emily"


Don't miss this show coming to the Portland's Meow Meow, Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Safeway TicketsWest locations (and are super cheap!). More info can be found at www.epitaph.com

By Alicia DeCosta
href='http://barometer.orst.edu/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/02/04/4203de1e1cf24' targe= 'blank'>barometer.orst.edu