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April 15, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-15

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 15, 2003

ARTS

Aussie mayhem overtakes St. Andrew's

By Laura Haber
Daily Arts Writer
Only a year after the release of their debut LP
Highly Evolved, the Vines' live show has become
a rock spectacle that one must see to believe. As
fodder for music critics and gossip columnists,
lead singer Craig Nicholls' erratic behavior has
both elevated the Vines into the spotlight while
threatening to destroy them at the same time. On
the night of April 8, Nicholls' mania stole the
show from the rest of the Vines, who were demot-
ed to helpless bystanders, in a
performance that was sloppy
and unpredictable, yet somehow The Vines
compelling. April 8, 2003
In a year that saw bangls with At St. Andrew's
names that begin with "The," Hall
and singers with extraordinarily
messy hair emerge to reclaim rock from the death
grip of rap metal and anyone who wears red Yan-
kees baseball hats, the Vines have found their
niche as the loud, irreverent, moody and unpre-
dictable poster boys for this rock revolution.
It is debatable whether or not Nicholls' antics
are a result of a truly imbalanced disposition or
the pressure to live up to his live wire reputation.
That night it seemed most likely that Nicholls is
an overworked brat who uses his stage time to act
out his understandable frustration with his label
who insists the band continues to tour. Whatever
the case, the road is clearly wearing on the Vines
and has resulted in incomplete sets, onstage
fights, cancelled shows and a trip back to Aus-

Courtesy or capitol Recors

I am as insane as I look.

backup vocalist Patrick Matthews deliver his
lyrics in "Get Free" in the exact manner he does
on record, while Nicholls attempted to sing every
note but the right one.
The most passionately delivered songs of the
evening came in the form of "Mary Jane," a thinly
veiled ode to, and explanation for, Nicholls' behav-
ior and a transcendent reworking of OutKast's "Miss
Jackson." "Highly Evolved" was cut shorter than its
usual running time of 90 seconds, as Nicholls pro-
ceeded to climb the monitors and swing like a mon-
key from the rafters. This led to a rather scary
moment as the St. Andrew's crowd chanted, "Jump,"
to the questionably stable front man.
Surprisingly, the crowd was tolerant of
Nicholl's mood and accepted his undeniably
entertaining presence as a consolation prize for
completely refusing to recreqte the sound of
Highly Evolved. Though there was a sense that
some more faithful renditions would have been
appreciated, there was satisfaction in hearing the
Vines destroy the glossy Hollywood production.
After an hour, Nicholls abruptly decided it was
time for set closer "Fuck the World." As the song
spiraled out of control, he leapt into Hamish
Rosser's drum kit. Amazingly, this did not daunt
Rosser, who continued to play around his fallen
leader, suggesting that this sort of destruction
happens nightly. Just after the roadies managed to
piece the stage back together for an encore, the
house lights went up. In the true spirit of rock
and roll, it seems that "Fuck the World" is not
only the Vines' new song, but their calling card
as well.

'U.' backdrops RPG battle

By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer

tralia to mentally recuperate.
Though the Vines nearly completed their set at
St. Andrew's, it appeared painfully clear that they
must end this tour to avoid becoming a complete
parody of themselves. Nicholls managed to main-
tain focus as the band ripped through set opener and
latest single "Outtathaway." By the second song it
became obvious to the crowd and the rest of the
band that it was going to be "one of those nights,"
as Nicholls attempted to deliver a new song that
may or may not have been in English. From then
on, the show proceeded as a beautiful mess of his
theatrics, acrobatics and musicianship.
A sense of frustration emanated from the stage
as other band members tried to salvage their dig-
nity. It was nearly comical to witness bassist and

0

Courtesy of
Wolverine Soft
Evil haunts
Markley,
finally
someone
admits It.

VIEr
Have you ever wondered what really
happens on campus during spring

break? If your
answer is "Rabid
ninjas from Michi-
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school and possess
innocent students
and faculty," you
might be playing
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The group's decision to create a game
based on Ann Arbor's campus is a
stroke of brilliance. An old-school RPG
alone wouldn't have been enough to
attract the attention of gainers on cam-
pus, but combined.with a humorous
look at student life, "CW:IG" is nearly
irresistible.
And yes, I did say "Rabid ninjas from
Michigan State." It all starts when failed
athlete and Markley resident, Trevor, is
attacked by a gang of Michigan State's
grunts. After being rescued by the mys-
terious Johnny Foreshadow, he wakes
up in his dorm (which looks a lot like a
dungeon) and heads down to the cafete-
ria, only to find Bursley's own Sexy
Grandpa attacking him. After defeating
the obviously possessed Grandpa,
Trevor slowly uncovers Michigan
State's plan to summon Satan from
inside the Big House. On his way, he
enlists the help of a few allies including
Sage the Druggie, John the Comp Sci
Major, Adam the Frat Boy and others.
All characters have their own weapons,
attack methods and special powers.
The fighting system is primitive, but
solid. You choose to fight, flee, or rely
on an "autobattle" method, and then to
attack, defend, use a special power, or
use an item. After you have managed all
of your party members, the sparks fly.
This turn-based fighting continues until
one party is left standing. If that party is
yours, you are rewarded with plenty of
cash, experience points, and maybe an
item or two.
Unfortunately, this style of play
becomes tiring, even with the addition
of new foes. What's worse is that you
eventually amass so much booty from
your battles that even the largest threats
are of little concern. At this point, win-
ning the match is simply a matter of hit-
ting the space bar a number of times.
This is where the fantastic plot comes
into play. "CW:IG" is a true RPG in that
it combines run-of-the-mill gameplay
with a great storyline that ultimately
makes the game. No inside joke on this
campus has been overlooked (even
North Campus folk get some of the
spotlight).
The characters are extremely well
done as well. Players soon warm up to
the easy-going, yet properly motivated
Trevor and the drugged out, yet strange-
ly ambitious, Sage. Their role as Uni-
versity students only helps to pull you
further into the game, and even if the
gameplay gets boring, or the graphics
fail to compare to industry standards,
you are still driven to uncover the fate
of your beloved group of students.
While "Crisis Wolverine:. Insurrec-
tion Green" has little value to the out-
side world, students with a few hours on
their hands shouldn't miss this free
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