March 30, 2005 

Fall Out Boy • The Matches and The Plain White T's • Chris Botti • Breaking Benjamin • I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House

Thursday 31

Fall Out Boy

The name inspired by a perpetually klutzy friend? A kid who sees himself as a social scapegoat? Or maybe an allusion to that buddy who can't come off an acid trip. From wherever their name stems, it isn't nearly as important as what Rolling Stone has since renamed Fall Out Boy: one of the "10 Artists To Watch" and AP Reader's Chart labeled them the second most under-rated band of 2003 and one of the "100 Bands You Need To Know For 2004." Pretty weighty dubbing going on in the life of this young Chicago-based quartet. Their major label debut From Under the Cork Tree, full of thoughtful and Red Bull-laced punk ditties, will launch when they wrap up headlining duties on the Fueled by Ramen & Friends tour with Gym Class Heroes and The Academy Is ...

The Big Easy Concert House, 7 p.m., $12.50, $14 at the door.

Saturday 2

The Matches and The Plain White T's

Hooky-punk fire starters The Matches team up with the Plain White T's on this Chain Me Away tour. What kind of hassle did they get into to warrant barring them from the community with chains? Dunno, but I can tell you that the last time these punksters were in town for the Epitaph tour a few months back, they were viciously entertaining and fiercely energetic-troublemakers for sure. Co-headliners the T's, touring to support their sophomore record All That We Needed, offer a catchy brand of socially aware power pop. Oddly enough, they wear only plain, white t-shirts. Hmm. Waking Ashland and Rochester, New York's Roses are Red will play too.

The Venue, 6 p.m., $8, $10 at door.

Sunday 3

Chris Botti

La dee-da-dee, here's Chris Botti. Not to be confused with John Gotti or Port-a-Potty, Botti is a gifted trumpeter and composer, and a charismatic performer to boot. With his lush and thoughtful audio landscapes, he's created a genre of his own-a contemporary jazz offshoot since the release of his first solo album in 1995. On top of that, People Magazine named him one of the 50 Most Beautiful People. His new album is a collection of old faves, freshly interpreted and fine looking.

The Big Easy, 8 p.m., $32.50.

Monday 4

Breaking Benjamin

Imagine the scene: It's Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, circa late 2000. Guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark James Klepaski ditch Lifer, an up-and-coming alt-metal act signed to Universal Records. "Why?" ask the historians, fans and their parents. For a high school friend who just wanted to sing, man. That friend happened to be Ben Burnley, in whose singing and songwriting talents the ex-Lifers had so much faith that they took the gamble and hooked up with drummer Jeremy Hummel to start anew. And thus they became Breaking Benjamin. Over the years, Fink had heard hundreds of Burnley's songs, and apparently they all sounded like hits. "I sat in with them one night and everything clicked," Fink says. "I thought, 'This is it.'" But they aren't alt-rock like Lifer; they are radio-friendly, post-grunge rock, blending aggression and melody. So turn that frown upside down. Special guests Theory Of A Deadman and Exies open the show.

The Big Easy, 6:45 p.m., $20.

Tuesday 5

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House

Apparently there's some guy who can lick any son of a bitch in the house ... Keep your spit to yourself, buddy. Really I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House is a quartet from Portland that's on tour to promote their new album Menace. No, they aren't a ghetto rap act with a beautiful gold grill and brass knuckles to match; in fact, they make southern rock that's warming like bourbon in yer belly. And they are playing with the Supersuckers and Reverend Horton Heat, the grease-flavored punkabilly outfit fronted by the zany antics of Jim Heath, who is not a reverend. Reverend Horton Heat has been amassing an eclectic fan base for 20 years, thanks to the badass musical skills of the trio­-they rock, they roll, they drink down the booze and sing about cars. Drivers, start your engines and let the fun begin.

The Big Easy, 7:30 p.m., first 150 are $5, second 150 are $10, then $16.50.

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