The Promise Ring

Grog Shop on March 27

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Yo La Tengo, with Outrageous Cherry Grog Shop, 1765 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights 10 p.m., Friday, April 7, $10, 216-321-5588
In the world of emo-core, nobody's as cute as the Promise Ring. Packing the Grog Shop with giddy teens in thick-framed glasses, the founding fathers of the emo sound played a set of music that focused mainly on their latest Jade Tree release, Very Emergency, but didn't deliver on that album's promise.

"Have you ever had a dream where you have been swimming in mud with earmuffs on? I am having that dream right now," guitarist Jason Gnewikow told the crowd. Unfortunately, it was a fairly indicative comment for the Promise Ring's lackluster and predictable set. Many of the songs from Very Emergency were carbon copies of their studio counterparts. What was lacking was showmanship, and considering the $8 cover, many of the audience members probably would've been better off staying at home with the record. Led by the huggable, balding singer-guitarist Davey Von Bohlen, the set's highlights included "Emergency! Emergency!" and "Jersey Shore," which were performed with about as much conviction as the band could muster.

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