Fuck You Up and Get Live (MVD)
by Brian Varney
As someone who considers himself a Dwarves fan but has never seen the band live, I figured Fuck You Up and Get Live would be an ideal match for me. Though my affection for the band’s work has waned in recent years, there are at least a couple of amazing songs per new album. They may never reach the dizzying heights of Blood Guts & Pussy again, but I respect their achievements and the fact that Blag Dahlia continues to be able to wring gems like “Salt Lake City” out of a band many considered a one-note joke.
I’ve heard legend of their early ’90s/Sub Pop-era live shows and had expectations of blood, bones breaking, people fucking on stage, things being killed, and a frantic aural assault, all of which should last around seven or eight minutes. So imagine my disappointment when this DVD revealed nothing more than five reasonably normal-looking guys (as normal as you can look in a mask and bikini underwear, anyway) playing punk rock. I suppose my expectations were a bit unfair since, as I said, I haven’t followed the band as closely in recent years, and it isn’t really fair to expect anyone to maintain such a self-destructive career arc while managing to survive, but I can’t say that I’ve ever been more disappointed in something simply because it was so normal.
There’s not a thing wrong with the band’s performance. I just also wanted to see the spectacle, and it’s just not here. I suppose that’s a comment more on my own shallowness than it is a shortcoming on the band’s part. I’ve never been a huge fan of watching straight, unadorned live footage unless the band is an exceptional live act, which I can say the Dwarves, on the basis of this performance, are not.