The Get Up Kids are a four-piece band from Kansas City, Missouri. Their poppy (poppy, not poopy) tunes will have you dancing around in no time at all. One wintry 1997 night provided the opportunity to see these guys play, along with Jimmy Eat World and Detroit's Empire State Games.

It was a dark and stormy night. All right, so it wasn't that stormy; however, southeast Michigan had recently been treated to a snowstorm complete with drifting and ice. Still, a little bit of the white stuff wasn't enough to deter a group of college kids from enjoying an evening of good old fashioned midwestern rock and roll.

John was kind enough to drive us, and we worried a bit when his car slid to a stop near us. We tossed our bags into the trunk and piled into the car. There were six of us, and because it's almost impossible to fit four people in the back seat of a coupe, I was volunteered to stretch out over the laps of Andy, Ariana, and Ethan. This position is not unfamiliar for me; because I'm thin, people assume that I'll be light. Well, I'll show them. I'll gain weight secretly, and everyone will learn to rue the day when they decided that I would be a prime candidate for uncomfortable seating all the time. I have digressed.

So we drove off to US-23, where treacherous was a rather kind way to describe things. Now I had shifted to sitting on Ethan's right knee. We all looked out the windows and exchanged nervous glances as we watched vehicle after vehicle slide off the road. Much to my comfort, Ethan kept mumbling things like, "Tonight we die!" and "We're going to perish tonight!" and other variations on our imminent death.

Somehow we made it to the Empire of One skate shop in Flint, and it was relieving to walk instead of drive. As soon as we stumbled out of the car, Ariana began doing something that, considering her strong and sensible feminist qualities, I never thought she'd do. She broke into a half-skip, swishing her arms back and forth slightly. "Ooh, the Get Up Kids! They are so cute! Their drummer is so young and he's so cute! Ooh and the brothers, they are so so cute, blah blah cute blah," she squealed. Ariana was thrilled because both she and the GUK are from Missouri (or Misery, as she calls it). We all walked into the door, glad to be in a warm place. A boy in a stylishly emo sweater brushed past us, and Ariana started to tug on my sleeve. "Ooh, that's the guitarist! Ooh, he is so cute! Look, augh, cute cute!" and at that moment, I wasn't sure which kids we were going to see - the Get Up Kids or the New Kids on the Block. But after a little while, Ariana returned to Earth and was her normal self.

We bumped into Dave Shettler, who drums for Empire State Games. My crush on him grew a smidgen more as I noticed his Weezer shirt. Nice. He was fluttering around like a chicken, because the show was going to start soon. While we waited, Ariana and Ethan and I watched some skateboarders play on the indoor halfpipe. Finally, the rock was to begin.