If the Get Up Kids seem a little tired during their upcoming performance on Friday night, you might want to forgive them. The Kansas City-based band is so intent on spreading their music throughout the globe that they have traveled as far east as Japan in recent weeks to perform.

Jet lag aside, you don’t want to miss one of your only chances to see one of the nation’s most breakthrough bands live in concert Saturday night. Get Up Kids have the potential to be the Green Day of this generation.

The band is frequently associated with the kings of punk rock, after just finishing a year and a half long tour with the Seattle-based band last year. They also spent an extended period opening for Weezer as well.The group came together in 1994 when vocalist Matt Pryor, guitarist Rob Pope, vocalist Jim Suptic and drummers Nathan Shay and Ryan Pope, Rob’s brother, formed the lively quartet.

Although the band hails from the Midwest, they insist that their music sounds less like that of John Mellencamp and REO Speedwagon and more similar to that of Cheap Trick and The Replacements. “We share the values of energizing, but tuneful rock with lyrics that are staight forward and from the heart,” Pope said.

Pope and his band are using this current tour throughout Canada and the United States to promote their latest album “On a Wire.” It is their first release since their well-received CD “Something to Write Home About” in 1999.

The band claims that it did not intend to wait several years between releases, but the opportunity to tour with groups like Weezer and Green Day was too hard to pass up.

“We don’t write on tour,” Pryor said. “We mean to, but it just never works out that way. Then I moved to Boston, and Ryan moved to Los Angeles. This was in 2000, and we were only seeing each other when we got together to tour.”

“It was a really long time, but we were getting offered all of these tours, like Weezer, and we couldn’t turn them down,” Pope added. “We were over the last record more than a year ago, and we started writing songs for this record almost a year and a half ago. We’re on tour with Green Day, and were opening for one of the country’s top bands, but we had all these very different kinds of songs that we we’re dying to play. I’m relieved that we finally had the chance to put out this album.”

Once the Green Day Tour ended, Get Up Kids returned to Kansas to start work on “On a Wire.” They wrote and produced 25 songs intended directly for the CD and eventually whittled it down to 12.

Paramount to the project was the hiring of acclaimed producer Scott Litt, who had worked previously with Nirvana, Incubus and R.E.M.

“We decided we wanted to have a producer, we drew up a wish list and we knew that we wanted to not be rushed on this album,” Pope said. “I mean, we recorded the first one in Chicago in two and a half days. We ended up doing this one with Scott Litt because he approached us – he heard the demos and he really liked them.”

“We really concentrated on arrangements – just putting across what needs to come across and not overplaying. It was cool because we were recording in a house in Connecticut, and we didn’t really know anybody around there, so there weren’t a lot of distractions,” Pope added.Get Up Kids have received rave reviews for “On a Wire” thus far.

MTV.com lauded their performance, saying that they produce “a sound positively Beatle-esque.”

Rolling Stone said that the inception of Litt has caused the Get Up Kids to “turn down the roaring guitars that sometimes limited their sound.”

Check out the Get Up Kids Saturday night at the Palestra at 7 p.m.Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at The Common Market with cash or Flex.

Rybaltowski can be reached at mrybaltowski@campustimes.org.



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