You Am I are one of the best live bands on the planet.
The Aussie rockers are a precious commodity in their home country but criminally overlooked here. Word is their live shows are not to be missed. But it's not our word: A who's who of Seattle musicians—members of Soundgarden, the Presidents of the United States of America, Mudhoney, the Makers, and the Posies, among others—all spread the gospel on the rock 'n' roll spectacle that is You Am I.
Andrew McKeag—the Presidents of the United States of America, Shuggie
I went to see them at the Croc in '98 or '99... #4 Record tour. There might have been 50 people there. They melted my face that night, and they were only a three-piece then. They were all my favorite bands melted into one and they delivered live, something I was starting to wonder if ANYONE could do at that point. Ultimately, for me, they're a very powerful band with an incredibly gifted leader/frontman/songwriter in Tim Rogers. You can just tell the guy loves words and has a great time gluing 'em together in song.
Scott McCaughey—the Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, R.E.M.
I think Kim Thayil of Soundgarden first told me about You Am I. First time I saw them was at CBGB—the Fellows might have been on the show or I might have just gone to see them on a night off, I can't remember. I was blown away by the songs and the energy. I figured they were destined to near-immediate hugeness. I guess it never quite materialized over here and it's hard to fathom. The latest album [2006's Convicts] shows how much they still have to offer—killer songs with the early Replacements often coming to mind and still slipping in that masterful Ray Davies melodic flair. What's not to love?
Chris Ballew—the Presidents of the United States of America
Danger and melody... Live, they could end up in a fight with the jocks in the room and at the same time croon their socks off.
Kurt Bloch—Fastbacks, the Young Fresh Fellows, Sgt. Major
They were playing on a Sunday night, I think, at the Off Ramp... I suppose no one had even heard of them around here at that point, 1994, but if they were friends of Soundgarden and from Australia (home of good times and all things rock), they'd be worth a try. And they were! I recall Live at Leeds–era Pete Towns-hend fronting AC/DC's rhythm section, with total kill songs to boot.
I remember a show in Seattle, at the Crocodile, '97 or '98 maybe. Perhaps 25, 30 people in the room, but you knew they were there for the band. They came on and just put it all on the stage. Maybe they were channeling frustration from trying to break in the U.S.? Maybe putting on a show for the Seattle heads and hipsters? Maybe it was just another night for them? But to us, to me, for that 60 minutes, it was the promise fulfilled. I was released from strife and connected to the source. You Am I was the power.
Johnny Sangster—Steve Turner and His Bad Ideas, Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, producer extraordinaire
In the fall of '98, my band the Congratulators opened for You Am I at the Croc. I remember looking around the room about halfway through the set and seeing a room full of dropped jaws. It was like watching The Who meets 1965-era James Brown. The energy and the soul were both through the roof. I've been a fan ever since. Hourly, Daily and #4 Record are both in my desert-island emergency kit along with Singles Going Steady and Live at Leeds.
Greg Collinsworth—the Small Change
To be honest, the reason You Am I is loved by so many rock 'n' rollers is because we are so envious of their live show. Live, they are the best band in the world. Super cool, super smart. So energetic and snotty and true. They are the Stones. They are The Who. And I'm talking about the Stones and The Who in their heyday.
Michael Maker—the Makers
They're stars. And they're perfect gentlemen, always looking fine. And onstage, they rule with iron fists, not afraid to sweat, and scream, and hurt.
Besides the usual gushing about You Am I's incredible live show (They Will Stop At Nothing To Put On A Good Show!), I need to say a bit about Tim's sense of fashion: I like it.
Mike Musburger—the Posies, Fastbacks, Supersuckers, Shuggie
Sure, Tim Rogers seemed to be channeling my own musical inspiration, Pete Townshend. That alone might make me want to break things in disgust, but he had something else more important: his own voice, delivering that mix of confession/confrontational lyrics that I find compelling—nay, vital—for rock 'n' roll. In that one moment I became a fan for life, and have been championing them every chance I get. You Am I remind me of that feeling that anything could happen, including destructive firstname.lastname@example.org