Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the beloved Despierta Los Niños EP. For the unfamiliar and familiar alike, we invite you to look back on the great release with this retrospective.
Following the release and tour of Alienating Our Audience, the band spent the summer mostly quiet. They announced in August that leading up to the next studio record (which was not released until April 2005), they would be releasing a short, tour-exclusive EP. Though none of the songs save for “Molly” had been previously released, some fans were already acquainted with many of the songs, as “Wack!” had been a setlist staple since its debut in December 2001. “Capitol P,” meanwhile, was introduced on the Alienating Our Audience tour that followed the next year. Other songs, namely “Alienating Our Audience” and “Joke” had also been performed, but sparsely. The only song that had yet to be heard by anyone was “Brooklyn Hype,” of which only the first half was released on Despierta.
Tacked on Despierta is a live recording of “Molly,” which was released on Alienating Our Audience the year prior. And instead of pushing “Wack!” or another studio recording from the EP for promotional purposes, a DVD single of “Molly” was distributed. Should you be lucky enough to find one of these promo DVDs, you too can revel in the treat that is watching two and a half minutes of spliced live footage and guitar smashes. In HD, no less.
The tour saw the band performing some of their best sets yet and still to this day. They were varied, including fan favorites and the live debuts of songs like “Keepin’ Up with the Kids,” “1989” (then unreleased), and “Brooklyn Hype” (featuring the still unreleased second half). To sweeten the pot, the band toured with MSI fan favorites like Tub Ring and Dog Fashion Disco. Though the EP was supposed to see its release at the first show of the tour, being promoted as “tour only,” the EP was delayed until Halloween at Voodoo Music Experience 2003 in New Orleans. The tour garnered the band critical acclaim and press, including a cover shoot with The Village Voice. Wrapping up the tour in December, the band played their first three night stint in New York at Irving Plaza in December. To commemorate the occasion, a special baseball style shirt was sold exclusively at these three shows.
“Wack!” Live on the Despierta Los Niños Tour
“Brooklyn Hype” Live on the Despierta Los Niños Tour
“Capitol P” Live on the Despierta Los Niños Tour
“Molly” Live on the Despierta Los Niños Tour
“Alienating Our Audience” Live on the Alienating Our Audience Tour
“Joke” Live at the CBGB 2002 Secret Show
Of course, the concept of “tour-only” didn’t really pan out. In between the delayed manufacturing keeping it from being sold on the first few tour dates and overstock, the remaining copies were put up for sale on MerchNow shortly after the tour, as were the leftover Irving Plaza shirts. Though the release is now out of print, occasionally a box of the EP was discovered and put back up for sale online. Now, they’re pretty much all gone. Regardless, Bill H put it best with his eBay description for the EP back in 2003: “Despierta Los Niños is Spanish for ‘tour-only’ means to be sold on the webstore after the tour.”