Right around 9:30, Ram and Ox took the stage. This is the new(ish) band with CPM and Paul from None More Black. They play more straight up punk rock and hardcore than None More Black did, with a bit more thrash. Colin sings and is the only guitarist, with Paul handling backups. I really want to like this band because of how great NMB became towards the end, but overall I just can't get into it. Not really sure why. However, CPM definitely has some sweet gear/amps.
Hey Angel was next and played a bit more indie rock. Their guitar tones sounded awful and Joey's voice isn't really my cup of tea. They have some cool parts, but overall I can't get too into it.
Finally, Weston took the stage. I was never SUPER into them, but Got Beat Up is a great record that has gotten a lot of play from me. Unfortunately, the only other time I saw them was when they were trying to be serious and weren't fun at all. Luckily, this time they were hilarious and fun. They came out to the Rocky theme music, and started the song Got Beat Up after some on stage antics. They played a bunch of great songs, and had a lot of energy the whole time. I was getting nervous about not hearing some of my favorites, but in the last few songs, they hit "Retarded," "No Kind of Superstar," and ended with the 1-2 punch of "New Shirt" straight into "Heather Lewis." Wonderful ending.
After an extended pause that included a New Year's countdown from CPM, the Loved Ones came out dressed to the nines to celebrate the New Year in style. Adding Dave and Chrissy from the Explosion has really filled out their sound, but unfortunately the guitars were way too quiet in the North Star. I've always said that they needed two guitars, so I'm glad they finally do full time. They played all my favorites off of Keep Your Heart ("Player Hater Anthem," "Arsenic") and a handful of new songs (one of which can be downloaded here. They played with a ton of excitement, and Hause seemed super happy to be playing new songs in Philly. Since I recently got a new record player for Christmas, I picked up their LP and EP 10". Sweet. And Bill danced like a drunken snowman on a balance board all night. This whole show was fun as hell and a great way to start the new year.