It might not have the cultural oomph of an all-original-member Guns 'n Roses reunion, and it might not have the nostalgia factor of Sonny and Cher's tearful reunion on Letterman, but the one-night-only reunion of Alton's Back of Dave this Friday should be a hell of a lot of fun; it's been a long time coming. Of all the almost-weres that have called the St. Louis region home, punk-math-emo (before it was a bad word) rockers Back of Dave may have been the almostest-werest.
Already hugely popular in the mid-'90s Midwest emo scene, Back of Dave almost went on a major East Coast tour, which would have meant sharing stages with such legends as Fugazi. Unfortunately, Back of Dave, then at the height of its power, was stymied by a van crash. Although the accident wasn't serious enough to cause an immediate breakup, it hurt the band's momentum, and Back of Dave sputtered to a stop a few years later, leaving only a handful of singles and compilation tracks and one side of an LP as testament to its greatness. (A smart local label with extra cash would be wise to compile these recordings on CD; they've withstood the test of time quite nicely.) Band members Nathan Sander, Ben Wilson, Matt Eberlin and Brian Marshall have since gone on to such bands as Mei Ling, Fly Everywhere and Indiana's Step Softly, Ghost, and singer Dan Campbell has bellowed for the Five Deadly Venoms, Keyop and Asia Minor. Fans of any of those bands -- or just of good mid-'90s-style mathy emo punk in general -- are urged not to miss this special event.