Presidents' Daze

Still, Finn concedes that the band's wild performance style has been crimped by fame. "When we played smaller places, the important thing was interacting with the crowd and getting the lyrics across," he states. "With big places you've got to use grand gestures. We're all high up on this stage, and the audience is far away and we've all got bigger amps. We're basically a rock band now. We can't deny that."

Nor can Finn deny that the fan demographic has downshifted dramatically: "In Seattle we played bars mostly, so our crowds were late-twenties people. We didn't even think kids would buy our record, because when you're in the tenth grade being cool is the biggest thing in the world. We figured kids would think, 'There's no way I'm gonna get laid if I own this record.' But then MTV started playing us all the time, so I guess that made us cool."

The result is a rabid following among kids who are too young to remember Cheap Trick, let alone the Beatles -- both prime Presidential influences. "All these kids must think we're cool, but we're really not. We're not even a very good interview in the end, because our entire story is on-stage," Finn concludes, with typical humility. "People always want us to tell some kind of wacky tour story about us hanging our dicks out hotel windows or something. We just don't do that. The truth is we're fairly boring."

The Presidents of the United States of America perform Wednesday, May 15, at the Edge, 200 W Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale; 525-9333. Showtime is 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.

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