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Show Review: Punk in Drublic (9/16/17 – Tacoma, WA)

The Punk in Drublic logline is the sort of thing that makes a Pacific Northwest punk a little misty-eyed: craft beer + punk rock. It sounds so simple, yet until now, it hadn’t been done. Fat Mike has managed to combine the unique atmosphere of a punk rock show with a brewfest. As Langston Hughes said, “Hold fast to dreams.”

The tour stops are cities most likely missed on regular circuits. I arrived at the Tacoma stop with the thought, as I’m sure did everyone else: why the fuck is this in Tacoma? The question is probably the answer. NOFX is a band that has been around forever and toured about everywhere you can think of, doing a weird tour of less-sought American cities seems right up their alley. Sometimes the only reason is why not?

I got to the venue early enough to walk around and take in the sights. It kind of reminded me of a mini-Punk Rock Bowling, but without the oppressive desert heat. In fact, the green grass and cool air were a welcome change from my past festival experiences. If there’s anyone listening out there: the mild climate of the Northwest is perfect for this type of thing. People were drinking beers and chatting, hyping themselves about the last time they saw NOFX or Bad Religion; decked out in Fat Wreck gear and comparing tasting notes. It was a cool vibe, definitely a unique festival experience. I had the pleasure of trying out Stone’s NOFX collaboration beer– a hoppy lager called Punk In Drublic– and am happy to report it tastes about how you’d expect: a big earthy bouquet of lager maltiness with a strong dose of hops. Pretty damn good, if you ask me.

The biggest problem with the beer side of the operation was that there wasn’t enough. There were ten-thousand punks in Tacoma that night, and they drank all the beer.

Photo credit: Evan Olszko

Impressively, it wasn’t even cheap beer, we’re talking ten-bucks-a-pop festival cups here. Fat Mike got his I-told-you-so in on the mic at the end of the night. For next time, they’ll have to remember that the crowd that goes to see a craft beer/ NOFX show aren’t the one-and-done types. Besides the beer running out into the middle of the final set, the festival went pretty smoothly, excepting for the long beer and merch lines. It’s hard to be too upset, allowing for inexperience with this sort of event. If they do it again (and God, I hope they do it again), they’ll need twice the kegs and the volunteers to go with them.

For the music of the day, I’m happy to say all the bands killed it. Tacoma darlings, the Hilltop Rats opened the show, obviously honored to be in the company of such a strong lineup. They played fast and aggressive skate punk with tons of melody and banter. They were there to get the fest started off right, and they were there to have fun along the way– what else can you expect from a band who played a song called “Jell-O Shots”?

Not to beat a dead horse, but the lines for beer were getting gargantuan by the time the music started in earnest. Unfortunately, the beer line predicament kept me in line for the entirety of Bad Cop/ Bad Cop’s set. From where I was though, they sounded great. Warriors is one of my favorites of the year, and I was happy to hear them play and harmonize with expert precision.

Goldinger was up next and if I had to name a song of their’s to save my life, I would have to gracefully accept a bullet. But, when they came on stage, I was in total awe. Those guys have energy to spare. They were bouncing up and down, kicking out muscular riffs that had folks dancing and singing along. Ska isn’t usually my thing, but man, I had to admit– Goldfinger kinda rocked it.

Less Than Jake had a bunch of energy too, and gave a bashful “Thanks, Fat Mike,” for putting on the punk beer fest. If there was a running theme through the night, it was that the band’s were as enthralled with the novelty of the event as the fans. They opened with “All My Best Friends are Metalheads,” which means, if I had to name one song of Less Than Jake’s to save my life, I could do exactly that.

The gateway band that I can’t shake is Bad Religion. Yeah, there were other bands I listened to when I first got into punk, but Bad Religion is the one that I always come back to. What can I say about them that hasn’t been said? Their set at Punk In Drublic was one of the best I’ve seen from them, they sounded great (especially their harmonies) and opened with “American Jesus” and ended with “Fuck Armageddon… This is Hell.” In between those two, they also played “No Control,” “Do What You Want,” “Generator,” “Los Angeles Is Burning,” and a bunch of their other hits. As he is apt to do, Fat Mike jumped on stage for the bridge of “21st Century (Digital Boy).” At Punk Rock Bowling, he took over bass for “We’re Only Gonna Die.” If there’s one thing Fat Mike likes to do (besides drugs), it’s help Bad Religion keep their set exciting. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again, but it always brings a smile to my face.

I’d only see NOFX once before, but knowing how the band follows whims (you know, like pulling off a punk beer fest in Tacoma), I always figured their sets could be pretty distinct. As per usual, there was the trademark banter, which for a NOFX fan is as much a part of their set as well, you know– songs– but, it was funny and entertaining. Fat Mike riffed on event coordinators not having enough beer and then proceeded to play a lot of classic tracks, changing words for laughs along the way. Seeing NOFX in their element with an audience of ten-thousand was a sight to see. You don’t get many opportunities to sing “Bob” with a choir that size. Everyone was really into it, singing and circle pitting– whether in the pit or not– and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them play one of my favorite deep cuts, “I’m a Huge Fan of Bad Religion,” maybe just because I can relate to the title.

All in all, Tacoma’s Punk in Drublic was a unique spectacle of good beer, great live performances, and some logistics that could stand to be improved. But, as Fat Mike celebratorily said, “This is a punk rock festival for ADULTS!” And it certainly was. There was beer and there was a music, and not a fucking kid in sight.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

 

 



Show Review: The Menzingers, Laura Stevenson, The Split Seconds, and Kyle Trocolla (8/26/17 – NY)

The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie NY is a beautiful old theater from the 1920’s with old plaster moldings on the ceiling and art deco Egyptian friezes that stare down at you from high above the stage. It’s probably the largest venue of its kind between New York City and Albany, and over the years I have seen so many great bands there to include but not limited to Social Distortion, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Bouncing Souls and dozens of others. In my opinion The Chance does not book enough good or interesting shows as they tend to opt toward Cover and “Tribute” bands and old dinosaurs who are well past their prime attracting show goers who often are also well past their prime.

But this weekend the Mid-Hudson area of NY was treated to a near perfect lineup of young up and coming bands by The Chance that was in general not just a breath of fresh air for the venue but for me as an avid show goer in general, because it seems that even at the hottest live music venues in the northeast rarely do you find a perfect lineup where you don’t have to suffer through a talentless filler band or two to enjoy some top notch entertainment.

This night was as close to magic to me as if I had put together a dream team of bands I’d like to have in some sort of fantasy pick your favorites game, but I never would have put all of this together simply because I don’t know if I would have thought to build a show this way so let me thank whoever it was that made this happen.
The show opened with Kyle Trocolla of Two Fisted Law doing his acoustic stuff from his solo album The Stranger . Kyle stood alone on the large stage of The Chance and hammered out about ten songs or so telling stories of life, love and life on the road that brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat, and had the entire crowd cheering and screaming in praise of his set which is quite an achievement when you have 3 bands to go before the headliner everyone came to see… If you’re not already familiar with Kyle and you like Tim Barry and Chuck Regan check him out I believe he is every bit as good as those two are and you will be sure to feel the same.

Next up were new comers to the scene; The Split Seconds from Washington DC. Unfortunately for them being the first electric act on stage the sound guys had to work out the kinks and some feedback issues during their first three songs, but once that was cleared up all I have to say is wow. The Split Seconds brought the energy and brought the fun to this show, my friends and I were all blown away with their tightness and their songs, this band has a solid old school punk sound and feel that is hard for me to put my finger on exactly, so maybe we’ll just take a blender and mix up some of what you like from the late 70’s scenes in New York and London and drop a heavy dose of California 90’s pop punk with a dash or two of classic DC Dischord Records and there you have a recipe for success. This band is one to watch out for and I am so glad I caught this set.

After being so very satisfied by The Split Seconds I was equally satisfied by another new act for me Laura Stevenson. Laura Stevenson of Bomb The Music Industry also does solo work, and on this night played with a full band. I am sorry to say although I am familiar with Laura I don’t know her music and have never seen her live so here I will officially slap myself on the wrist and now announce myself as a convert to the Laura Stevenson cause, she along with her band were great, absolutely great, a little less singer songwriter than the preconceived notions I had in my head, and I would say her style was more of a power pop than an indie or punky sound but who cares what we call it, their performance was stellar and I hope they return to the Hudson Valley soon.

Now without further ado the band we all came to see The Menzingers took the stage, with wild chants and screams from the crowd they just laid into song after song both old and new, getting the crowd more worked up with each song and sing along chorus they played, the pit was packed with fans pumping their fists and singing so loud they often drown out the sound system itself, the positivity and love between the band and the fans was palpable…I have seen The Menzingers three times now, the first two as support for larger touring bands so this was the first time I had seen them headline a show of this size in a room this size and they proved to all in attendance that yes The Menzingers have arrived, and are a headlining act to be recognized. With a combination of fierceness and grace they ended their set and thanked the fans, the venue, and the opening acts before leaving the stage only to return with a couple more songs to appease the crowd chanting for more more more.

This was, if not the perfect show, as close to perfect as it gets, each and every band fit the bill perfectly and each and every band delivered stellar performances, I would return to see this same show for multiple dates if it were possible. Thank you Kyle Trocolla, thank you The Split Seconds, Laura Stevenson, and Thank you The Menzingers for a night I will remember and sing the praises of for weeks, month’s maybe years to come.



Show Review: ‘The Real Will Wood and the Tapeworms’ (Live Album/Concert Film Recording Event)

Dunellen, NJ- Before attending the show at Roxy & Dukes this past Friday, I actually contacted Will Wood to ask if there was anything that I should do to prepare for my first (LIVE) Will Wood and the Tapeworms experience. His response: “That’s like saying meet me at the playground at 3 o’clock, we’re gonna fight, bring brass knuckles. I wouldn’t want to arm my enemies. I wouldn’t want to give you any information that would allow you to be prepared or allow you to be able to defend yourself once the proverbial fan is hit.  It’s not gonna be anything you’ve ever seen before, I promise you that.”

He wasn’t kidding, it was a show experience unlike any other.

Imagine trapeze-artists dropping from the ceiling like spiders dangling from a web, fans that paint their faces with a third eye on their forehead and a diverse crowd made up of “ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, neithers, boths and inbetweens”; that my friend is just the surface of what you will witness at a WWATT show.

THE REAL WILL WOOD AND THE TAPEWORMS PART TWO’ (Live Album/Concert Film Recording Event) with special guests Bella’s Bartok literally sold out in days and I assure you that everyone who was there realized just how lucky we were to have been in attendance at this intimate concert. A TV crew came around and asked fans “who is the real Will Wood?” and by the end of the show I think we discovered that the real Will Wood was now a part of all of us. If that makes sense, does it? I can’t explain it any other way.

Stand out songs/crowd pleasers: (Not necessarily in this order, I drank bunch of PBR at $4 a pop for a 16 oz. can and my memory got away from me) “Mr. Capgras Encounters a Secondhand Vanity,” “Chemical Overreaction/Compound Fracture,” “Hand Me My Shovel, I’m Going In!,” and “White Knuckle Jerk (Where Do You Get Off?).”All of these songs were sing-alongs as the 90% of the crowd seemed to know all of the lyrics. I expected these songs to be played but it was the encore song that surprised the hell out of me. After the band cleared the stage Will Wood came out by himself and sat down before his keyboard. As he began to play I immediately realized what song it was even with the extended intro but I feel like the crowd was 10 secs behind me as they began to scream in amazement. The song was “Love Me Normally” which I have only seen or heard on a public access TV show appearance and from my understanding it’s not on any albums that I am aware of. This song is a gem and a rarity and it meant so much to the fans that Will decided to end the show with this song. “The lipstick on the mirror are the lyrics to my obituary…”

This show will forever go down in history, not just in our memories but it was recorded and will be released on CD/online in the near future and Will Wood has vowed to give everyone that purchased a ticket to The Real WWATT Show a FREE Copy. There will also be video/film footage in an undetermined format that eventually will be released as well.

To give you some kind of idea of the experience that concert- goers had at The Real Will Wood and the Tapeworms show, I’ve included their latest music video below. The song is entitled Hand Me My Shovel, I’m Going In!” and it’s a very similar feel to the live show. Make-up, sweat, confetti, and Blood.



Show Review: Two Fisted Law’s final show with Jukebox Romantics & Lost In Society (August 12, 2017)

Eventually everything comes to pass, even we as humans will reach the inevitable end and have to face our own mortality…I have often wondered if it would be better to go quickly and silently without any notice of my own end. Or if it would be better to know ahead of time and be able to get all of my affairs in order, say good bye to all my loved ones, enjoy the pleasures of my favorite meals or films one last time and I don’t know maybe have one last party before my eventual demise.

Bands for the most part break up or give up after an internal dispute over art, or money or some personality conflict. And although it may not always come as a surprise to the band members themselves it often is a surprise to the world and to the fans. Well this Saturday I was able to witness a spectacle of punk rock love and brotherhood few have ever been able to experience…After over fifteen years of cross country tours, numerous lineup changes, on stage fistfights, and hundreds of drunken booze soaked practices and shows the boys from Two Fisted Law decided to call it quits in early spring of this year. Professionals that they were they kept every date they had booked on their calendar during 2017 and added one more…The Official Final Show which could not be held in their hometown of Danbury Connecticut due to the closing of their local venues Cousin Larry’s and The Heirloom Arts Theater so was held in neighboring New Milford Connecticut at the surprisingly large and well equipped Fast Eddies Billiards.

Upon arrival I was able to catch the last few frantically fast paced songs by Danbury locals and longtime Two Fisted Law friends Social Standards. The speed and aggression of their front man made me kick myself for missing most of the set and reminded me of my own mantra about always checking out every band at a show.

Next up in the lineup was a crowd favorite The Jukebox Romantics who quickly whipped everyone into a frenzy with front man Mike Terry screaming anthemic vocals to an audience of well-versed fans who sang along to every song while shaking fists into the air while slamming into one another…between songs the band would crack jokes and trade insults while sharing Two Fisted Law stories with the audience, this performance alone was worth the hour and a half drive I had to get to New Milford for this show.

After The Jukebox Romantics left the stage Asbury Park New Jersey’s Lost In Society who have just completed a tour with Face To Face and soon leave for tour with Unwritten Law took the stage and unleashed a super tight set of fast paced pop punk songs that again had the entire place dancing and singing along song after song as front man Zach Moyle leaped all over the stage like a man possessed…It was a truly exceptional performance and I can see why these guys are so popular at the moment.

After Lost In Society had finished the feel of anticipation grew as did the crowd which pushed out of the band area of the venue and crept into the main bar and pool playing sections of the club. In attendance was a who’s who of Northeastern punk bands including members of Damn Broads, Cry Havoc, Enziguri, The Lost Riots and others I’m sorry I recognized but could not identify.

It was now about 11:45 pm Two Fisted Law took the stage and current front man Lance thanked everyone for coming out and thanked the band for having them adopt him into the family and the set began…it was tight it was loud and it was fast as they blazed through song after song Lance screaming into the microphone as if his head was about to burst right off of his neck.

In between every other song Lance or Kyle would tell a little anecdote from a past show, or share some love for someone in the room, they thanked the opening acts all of whom have shared in the long and proud history of Two Fisted Law both on and off the stage. Then maybe 25-30 minutes in Lance invited Big Jym the previous and longtime front man up on stage to do a duet, and both men laid into 3-4 songs together the crowd going completely insane then Lance left the stage and the show continued on with Big Jym singing more fan favorites, another pause and the original drummer Matt Rosenzweig, original bassist Dave Haug and original Guitarist Ricky Foster took the stage with much adulation from the crowd of longtime fans they all shared a couple of jokes and insults back and forth and then Ricky sang a never before performed on stage song from the very first inception of the band from some 15-16 years ago before they all went back into the full show with Jym on vocals and the old lineup still in place the band rocked for over two hours in total playing possibly every song off of every release they had done…and in the end every member got on stage including once short term member Mike Terry of the Jukebox Romantics. Kyle Trocolla then again gave a short thank you speech to all in attendance and explained how the song Late Nights And Bar Fights Was indeed written for, and about, every fan who ever made it to any of their shows, they all shared a shot of whiskey and saluted one another and the crowd and then they all…5 Guitarists, 2 bassists, 2 drummers on 2 drum kits, and 2 front men all playing and singing in unison belted out that song. And they tore the house down…I have seen many great shows, I have seen many touching moments on stage, and I will say that as of today this one song at this one show, with everyone onstage playing their hearts out, and managing with all the booze and emotion to be so fucking tight and deliver the wall of sound that they delivered with that many people on stage playing together was bar none one of the greatest moments in punk rock history and I only which everyone in our world was able to experience that one song…It was truly the thing legends are made of.

R.I.P. Two Fisted Law.

Check out photos from the show by Just Vibe below.



Show Review: Rebellion Festival Day 1

DS recently attended the annual, 4 day punk rock extravaganza that is Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, North West England. Read the first of our reviews of the festival below – looking back at the ridiculously strong line up on day 1.

Rebellion – Day 1

High summer in the UK is unpredictable down in London. One day it’s beautiful, sunbathing weather. The next it’s pissing it down. But, in Blackpool, as a soft southerner, you can be sure to be freezing, regardless of the fact its early August. You find yourself swept off your feet by the blasting wind and greeted by people in t-shirts looking at you funny for shivering. Luckily, the annual pilgrimage up there is for Rebellion – the unique, 4 day punk festival held in the cavernous Winter Gardens. And a couple of us were there for Dying Scene. [Continued below]



Show Review: From Ireland to New York City Leftover Crack Kills

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Leftover Crack made it from the stage in Dublin to the Stage in Brooklyn in less than 24-hours and looked damn good doing it .

Watching Leftover Crack frontman Scott Sturgeon perform in 2017 is somewhat akin to watching the film Logan. He’s getting old and a little beat up, but he’s still every bit as feisty as he was at 21. We even get to see him do battle with X-24 in the form of all the Crack Rock Steady imitators out there copping Stza’s swag — and just like in Logan, the original wins out.

At the ripe old age of 41, Stza finds a way to put on electric shows night after night and from nation to nation. I’m 29, and I don’t think I’d be able to play a show in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday night, then fly straight back to New York City for a 5 p.m. Sunday timeslot in Tompkins Square Park before taking the stage at 10 p.m. in Greenpoint.

But Stza does and he does it well; he brings the explosive performance of a much younger man and mixes it with skills acquired as a frontman over the past twenty years, making for one of the most engaging lead singers in punk. This was my first time seeing Leftover Crack, so I’d never seen Stza play without a guitar before, and the freedom of not having an instrument slung on his back all night really showed in his movement and stage presence.

I, unfortunately, missed the Tompkins set because I had to be at my day job, but when I informed one of the contractors at work, he snuck off across the East River to catch the show. He reappeared with photos and fresh bruises from the mosh pit.

Bass player Alec Baille

In October 2016, Choking Victim played the Warsaw on the 30th and World/Inferno Friendship Society played their annual Hallowmas the following night. In August 2017, World/Inferno led the charge, playing Brooklyn Bazaar on the 5th while Stza rolled out his other mob, Leftover Crack, to close out the weekend on the 6th. Once again, Robert and Andrew over at Scenic Presents managed to attain a festival vibe without crazy high ticket prices (or even a festival).

Stza also let fly that Leftover Crack is working on new material. He said it might take them the better part of a decade to release it, but that it is on the way.



Theatrics and Poise: World/Inferno Friendship Society bring the house down at Brooklyn Bazaar

Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Jack Terricloth serenading one lucky fan at Brooklyn Bazaar.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society have really only been playing New York three or four times a year as of late, which makes every one of their hometown performances a must see. Their music is complex and beautiful, their sound is raw and powerful, and they bring a level of showmanship and theatricality to the stage that no other punk band on the planet does.

For their last hometown performance before their annual Hallowmas, Mr. Terricloth and his cohort invited Philly ska/punks Teenage Halloween up to the Big Apple to open the evening in Brooklyn Bazaar’s ballroom. They played well and announced that they would be dropping a new record soon on Philadelphia-based Fistolo Records.

Next on the bill was Slackers frontman Vic Ruggiero, who may just be the single most New York human being on the planet (under the age of 60 at least). Vic’s solo sets are like watching New York blues history unfold right before your eyes, and it’s really a thing of beauty. He’s an engaging storyteller, a tremendous guitarist, and a genuine guy.

Vic Ruggiero of The Slackers doing his solo thing.

It’s hard to fill up a stage like Brooklyn Bazaar’s as a solo act, but Vic actually made the room feel full with his electric guitar, a kick drum, a tambourine, and his chest-mounted harmonica. He played his solo stuff, took requests, and even workshopped a new song entitled “Garlic is the Sun” for his hometown crowd. Not all the requests were honored, however, as Vic pointed out to one fan that “if you wanna hear dat one, you’ll need to come to a Slackers show” in his droll New York accent.

As great as Vic was, the crowd was there for one reason and one reason only: to fuck shit up with World/Inferno. The room went bonkers with the first notes of “Tattoos Fade,” and Mr. Terricloth raised a full bottle of Coppola wine to toast the WIFS faithful. The crowd roared along to every lyric of World/Inferno’s opening score, and the ever friendly World/Inferno moshpit sprang into existence. There are punks to help you up in every pit, but something about the WIFS pit is just far more inviting than any other band’s.

Mr. Terricloth raising a toast to his World/Inferno faithful.

In a pre-show interview, Mr. Terricloth had said that Saturday night’s show would be “off the hook,” and he delivered on his word with a big-time performance. The group, which sometimes swells to more than thirteen members, was a lean eight-piece in Greenpoint, but they still packed a mighty punch when performing hits off of Red Eyed Soul like “The Velocity of Love,” “Your Younger Man,” and “Let’s Steal Everything,” among a slew of others.

They went through damn near half their catalogue in a performance that ran nearly two hours, and they did it all with panache. When they left the stage for their admittedly planned encore, the giant who was standing next to me in a denim vest (complete with Choking Victim patch on the back left and Grateful Dead patch on the front right pocket) lept onto the stage and led the crowd in a rousing chant of “tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up” until the band came back.

Ms. Malak

The encore opened with “Politics of Passing Out,” which required Mr. Terricloth to play a little acoustic guitar — in this case, one that he acquired from his old friend Sly Stone back when he was Sly’s driver — and closed with a tune I just don’t know the name of that was selected by WIFS bass player Ms. Malak.



DS Photo Gallery: Pegboy, The Crombies and The Beer Nuts at Chicago’s Motoblot 2017

Motoblot 2017 was held at Cobra Lounge/All Rise Brewing again this year, June 23-25th. This is the 4th year since the event evolved from the decade long Mods vs Rockers Chicago. Motoblot celebrates motorculture, especially inspired by that of 1960’s Great Britain, per festival assistant Nick Goodwin, a self-described petrol-head. Co-Founder Lawrence R. Fletcher estimated the total weekend attendance at 12,000. He told me it was their biggest year to date. “The weather was fabulous and I am sure Sean (McKeough) something to do with it.”

Sean McKeough, who joined founders Fletcher and Martin Cimek, as a partner the 2nd year of Motoblot, and was also the co-founder of Riot Fest and owner of Cobra Lounge, passed away last November.This year’s event was another chance to celebrate his life. A patch reading “McQ,” as McKeough was affectionally known, adorned Motoblot shirts worn by organizers and staffers. Saturday evening, before that night’s headliners kicked off their set, a group of bagpipers played, as friends and family gathered around and revved McKeough’s collection of motorcycles for what was described as one last time.

The music was the centerpiece of the festival. Saturday’s lineup included, among others, three Chicago based bands with varied styles and devoted following inside the city and out: The Crombies; The Beer Nuts; and Pegboy. The Crombies’ performed mostly covers of 2 Tone classics with a few originals sprinkled in. Their rollicking set transformed the parking lot in front of the stage into a dance floor. Among the highlights were “English Civil War” (The Clash); “Lip Up Fatty” (Bad Manners ) and “Monkey Man” (Maytals via The Specials); The Crombies’ original “It’s Not You”; and a reworked version of “Mad at the World” originally written by lead singer Mike Park for his former band Deal’s Gone Bad. The set also included: “Plastic Gangsters” by The 4-Skins; “Hooligans” by the Wailers “Hey, Little Rich Girl” by Roddie Radiation and The Specials, “Wash Wash” by Prince Buster, Gangsters by The Specials; “It’s You” by Toots and the Maytals, “Blood and Fire” by Niney the Observer; “Little Bitch” by the Specials.

The Beer Nuts is described in their Facebook fan page as “Chicago’s most notorious party band.” and advises fans to “Bring a raincoat and Silly String for a night of maximum rock and roll and random sex with strangers.” The band’s mission statement could read simply, “fun” but the group is composed of veterans of Chicago’s punk scene, including: Joe Kelly (Ministry), Herb Rosen (Rights of the Accused; as well as the founder and owner of Chicago’s Liar’s Club), Leanne Murray (Pig Face), Louis Svitek (Ministry), Mike O’Connell (ROTA). At Motoblot, official members of Beer Nuts were joined by others including Vee Sonnets (The Crombies; The Sonnets); Dave Simon (Deal’s Gone Bad; The Crombies; Anger); and Scott Lucas (Local H; Scott Lucas and the Married Men). Beer Nuts shows consist of such songs as “Who’s Got The Yea Yo,” “Blow Me For Beer,” “Woke Up Tied Up” and “Pro Vag.” If you’re interested in neither having fun nor getting doused from flying cups of brew, and continuously flowing bongs, it’s best you head to the rear of the venue or festival grounds to wait for party’s end. And if you are documenting the show or for any other reasons have gear, take cue from the sight of the plastic covered speakers on stage and protect your equipment.

Headliner/Chicago legends, Pegboy gave what seemed to be one of their most highly energetic shows of late. Lead singer Larry Damore, dispensed with the guessing game familiar to Pegboy fans in recent years— at which song would he sit down on stage (and on occasion take his own pulse)? At about the second song he joked to the crowd that they would just get it over with. Damore would return to that position throughout the set, at times dangling his legs over the side of the stage, or lying flat on his back. However, he also repeatedly jumped off, or, slid himself off, the stage to pace in and sing from the photo pit. Numerous times he returned to the makeshift barricade to sing at and within the crowd and, on at least one occasion, surf above it. The barricade held Damore, the photographers scrambling for shots; and the crowd, though it was in continuous sway throughout the set.

“Skinny” Mike Thompson roamed furiously over much of the stage, slinging his bass up and bowing low, in seeming perpetual motion. His bass work; and Joe Haggerty’s ferocious drumming, along with Joe’s brother,  guitarist John Haggerty’s propulsive playing provided the hyperdrive heartbeat to Damore’s gritty and growling vocals.Their setlist did not disappoint, including “Strong Reaction” near the start and closing out with “Hardlight.” The group propelled through others such as “Superstar”, “Through My Fingers,” “Field of Darkness”; and the song Damore joked was responsible for making him independently wealthy, that is, “Revolver,” Pegboy’s driving cover of the Mission of Burma classic “That’s When I reach for my Revolver.” The rest of the set included: “Still Uneasy,” “Not What I Want,” “Locomotivelung,” “Witnessed,” “Fade Away,” “Time Again,” “Never A Question,” “Dangermare,” “Walk On By,” and “Line Up.”

Full Gallery Below!



DS Photo Gallery: JFA returns to Chicago (w/The Dwarves, The Bollweevils, I Attack, and Decent Criminal)

JFA returned to Chicago for their first Windy City show in more than 2 decades

Skate punk legends, with origins in Phoenix, AZ, and Southern CA, JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army) return to Chicago for the first time in more than two decades.  The Dwarves put on a great set as for first time live they ripped though their classic album “The Dwarves are Young + Good Looking,”and then rumbled through other songs as well as the night’s headliner. Local punks The Bollweevils got a rowdy summer send off; I Attack, another local punk band, attacked ferociously; Decent Criminal played a set far more than merely decent.

Taking nothing away from The Dwarves and their terrific set; however, it was JFA that appeared to garner the most excitement and whip the crowd into their most frenzied. And not just from fans in the crowd, but numerous fans in the bands sharing the bill as well. Some other musicians expressing that JFA was THE inspiration for them to get into the punk rock game.

Brian Brannon shares the mic with a fan.

JFA lead singer Brian Brannon frenetically covered most of the stage, dancing and jumping on every bit of stopping only for the briefest of moments here and there to catch his breath, this allowed band mates, Don Redondo on guitar, Corey Stretz on bass; and drummer Carter Blitch to shine in their own moments. The set was dominated by classics from their early days. JFA was officially (according to their cited history) formed just 10 days prior to the attempted but failed assassination of former President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. Hinckley Jr.  famously admitted the reasoning for attempting to kill Reagan was to impress actress Jodie Foster. Guitarist Don Redondo explained that they were partially inspired by the Dead Kennedys’ political tweaking in choosing a band name.  Redondo also added that the climate of increased political and social division also inspired a new track on their as of yet scheduled upcoming release. They played the new track “N/Tolerance” on Friday, with the simple credo of “Just Don’t Be A Dick.”

Corey Stretz of JFA

As noted, perhaps the biggest admirers were in the other bands on the bill, and Redondo spent much of the evening offstage engaged in conversation with drummer Pete Mumford. Mumford is a member of the legendary Chicago punk outfit, The Bollweevils, which lit the stage on fire once again immediately prior to JFA. Redondo and Mumford had a continuing dialogue about the best drummers and bass players in rock history, or at least their favorites (which included drummers Keith Moon, Neil Peart and John Bonham; and bass player John Entwistle.)  Redondo spoke of his belief in the best way to craft a new band, “Start with a great drummer and a great bass player and build from there.”

Don Redondo also spoke of the reasons for the long absence from Chicago: busy lives, other jobs (including Brannon’s other career, as Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy Reserve), families; and added that while the band is not changing its name from Jodie Foster’s Army, its motto as of late could be  thought of as Jodie Foster’s National Guard. That is, “one weekend once a month.”Judging from the reception they received at Reggies Rock Club, the crowd may be asking for far more than that, but were ecstatic and grateful for the band’s return.

As mentioned, The Dwarves and The Bollweevils both lit up the stage as expected. And in the case of Daryl Wilson, the lead singer for beloved Chicago legends The Bollweevils (and namesakes of a 2016 IPA  collaboration with 350 Brewing, “Weevil Wobble”) lit most of the area off stage on fire as well He repeatedly threw his 6′ 5″ frame into the welcoming arms of the crowd.

The Bollweevils are not scheduled to play again in their home region until they return from their journey to Blackpool, United Kingdom. They are confirmed for Rebellion Festival 2017, taking place in early August, along with their friend sin another Chicago favorite, 88 Fingers Louie.

Decent Criminal

Decent Criminal, from Northern California,  started the night off strong fashion with straightforward punk, proving that a show can be solid and rowdy from first note by the opening band to last note from the headliners.

Rob V. of I Attack

I Attack, led by the one man wrecking crew of Rob V. “Jak,” may have been be the cause of the most colorization of the crowd members, as in ending up black and blue; and purple.  Many showing their colorful souvenirs from the set seemed to have smiles on their faces, accompanied by expressions of half disbelief. If there was a Richter Scale equivalent in Circle Pits, the pure rowdiness whipped up by I Attack might, conservatively speaking, hit the 7 plus to 8 range.

This show had a bit of everything for from start to finish and may very well have thrown down the gauntlet for top to bottom billed, non-fest punk shows this summer. It is s summer is still in its infancy with many promising such events on tap, but judging from this night, it will hopefully be long and hot in the very best ways. Head below to check out our full photo gallery from the intense evening!



Show Review & Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Bowling Club Show – Cock Sparrer / Giuda / Drakulas / True Rivals (Backstage Bar and Billiards 5/28/2017

Billed as a Mystery Show the headliner for this Day Two Club Show was listed only as “Special Guests” along with the named opening acts Giuda, True Rivals and Drakulas. Despite knowing some of the people playing the show, I was never able to get anyone to spill the beans, so I was still in the lurch even after getting inside the poorly lit venue. Shortly after taking my seat in the corner, all was revealed by a slightly inebriated oracle who was sitting next to me as I got my camera ready for the shoot. “Did you hear who the special guest was yet? ” I asked doing my best to awkwardly make small talk. “Hell yea!” he retorted ecstatically. “Fucking Cock Sparrer!!! Woooo-hoooo!!! Want a beer?!?” Gotta love Punk Rock Bowling! Check out the show review along with an awesome photo gallery of all of the incredible acts below!



Show Review: Frnkiero and the Patience & Dave Hause and The Mermaid – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (APRIL 18, 2017)

Brooklyn had the honor and privilege not only of catching frnkiero and the Patience on one of their first shows back in the States after a crippling bus accident almost claimed their lives in Australia, but also of the eclectic Dave Hause’s latest project, The Mermaid, on their debut touring circuit, last month – and Jersey Beat was there to document the sights, the sounds, and the smells of it all.

The Mermaid were the openers this tour, but, as everyone who has ever seen Hause perform in any capacity knows, he always steals the show. Hause had recently scaled back his high-energy performances both with The Loved Ones and as a solo artist with his excellent 2013 release, “Devour,” taken on the road with brother Tim as a mellow acoustic set. Now, Hause brings that bounce back with his latest touring band, The Mermaid, in support of Hause’s February release, “Bury Me In Philly.”

A Frank Iero crowd is not the easiest to win over (this fate has only, to the best of my knowledge, been flawlessly achieved by the charming Homeless Gospel Choir and, of course, the impossible not to love live Against Me!). However, The Brothers Hause and the rest of The Mermaid accomplished the task with ease – so much so that the ever-present fan line was just as excited to meet them as they were The Patience, and they all bought cds. I bought a “Dirty Fucker” shirt, which Hause had the entire crowd chanting as an informal fuck you to the current administration.

The album is amazing, and the songs translate incredibly live. And, as always, Dave threw in a jam for us Loved Ones fans in the audience, “C’mon, Kid.” The set went by way too quickly. Hause is always an electriifying performer and a damn fucking good songwriter. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of “Bury Me In Philly” yet, run, don’t walk, to your latest record store / download site and nab one now.

As incredible as The Mermaid were, Iero and The Patience were not to be outdone. Always engaging and fun to watch onstage, Iero has really come into his own as a frontman. These shows see him comfortable and engaged in between songs, trading laughs and sharing anecdotes with the audience. This album, “Parachutes,” informally the sophomore release to 2014’s “Stomachaches,” performed live with three quarters of this current lineup, is really, really good.

Don’t let the innocent faces of this young crowd fool you, kids: this band is punk through and through, and those kids are pretty damn hardcore. Crowdsurfers pepper the pit and beer and sweat hit faces as Iero and the crowd scream every word together. I’m told that it was Iero who insisted that the barricade be removed that night, to eliminate the barrier between band and fan.

The set included the full “Parachutes” album and most of “Stomaches”, as well as a handful of Iero’s solo songs, including “B.F.F.,” which was written by his six-year-old daughter. Their shows are a like a bloodfest of frenetic energy. The band moves so rapidly onstage, that all photographic attempts wind up blurs until they’re in between songs. Everyone’s hair is in their mouths and everyone’s voices are shot at the end of the set – both artist and aficionado.

Iero is a very adept songwriter and interesting performer, and this tour, in particular, is very well worth the trip, but if you can’t make it out, definitely check out “Parachutes,” it’s a total ass-kicker.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Nothington / The Bombpops / Western Settings (The Hi Hat – Los Angeles 3/29/2017)

Jay Northington of Nothington

We imagine that Wednesday night shows are hit or miss in most places, but in Los Angeles, the prospects are even more bleak. However, every once in awhile, there comes a lineup so good that even Humpday can’t put a damper on the turn out. This was one of those shows, drawing an impressively sized crowd that even drew fellow punk artists, with members of Get Dead and True Rivals among the audience. Hell, Dying Scene even had two staffers in the bouse for this one! Read the review and check out the photo gallery (nearly a month after the show…really, AP?) from this incredible mid-week performance below!



Show Review: Leftover Crack, Starving Wolves, Bad Cop/ Bad Cop @ the WOW Hall Eugene, OR


I could have seen Leftover Crack in Portland. In fact, I have before. I’ve seen them tear it up at the Hawthorne, I’ve seen them in Vegas, tearing it up at Punk Rock Bowling. Both times they were great– energetic and fun, bringing a sense of musical ambition and bravado to their radical anthems. This time though, I saw a chance to see a friend in Eugene and catch a band guaranteed to kill it. I’d never been to Eugene before, so it amounted to the question, “Why not?”

Besides an excuse to see an old friend, what drew me to this particular tour was just how ridiculously strong the lineup was. Leftover Crack was headlining, of course. Then there was Austin upstarts Starving Wolves, and then the amazingly melodic Bad Cop/ Bad Cop. It was the latter that I hadn’t seen yet, and probably the one I was the most familiar with on wax. The tickets were an easy purchase.

The venue was the WOW Hall, a surprisingly awesome place to house a show with the look and feel of a true DIY space. It was a fairly large room, nothing out of the ordinary for a concert hall, but with a very humble, community oriented vibe. The next day, while I was checking out an awesome record shop called House of Records, one of the dudes who worked there told me it had been a fixture of the scene forever, a place where the legendary Ramones had played. The more you know.

So, there were we. Checked in, relieved to find a beer and wine bar downstairs. We swilled IPAs and checked out the vests and watched from the screens as the local opener came on. It was loud, heavy, and reverberated through every wall in the house. With a couple quick chugs we left our drinks and went upstairs, curious as to what the local scene in Eugene had to offer.

And it is moments like this that make going to shows worth the sweat, smell, and claustrophobia. There’s no better way of discovering a new favorite band than being won over in the live setting. Broken Dead were the first opener, and they set the bar high early on. They played crust punk, the melodic variety not out of bounds for the likes of Tragedy or the Holy Mountain, but with a greater emphasis on classic hardcore and touches of the black metal that rears its head in some of Leftover Crack’s heavier tunes. Even cooler, is frontwoman Manda’s commanding presence, on both ax and vocals, impressing with her acidic screams and darkly melodic rhythm work. Broken Dead left me reeling with the excitement of discovery.

Not A Part of It, another Eugene local played next. They played a competent melodic punk, with boatloads of energy. Sort of Rancid-y, sort of Queers-y, but a bit harder edged with that classic 90s goofball intensity. At this point in the night, we were worried that the WOW Hall wasn’t going to fill up enough for a proper pit, because, even though we are often too old and tired to participate, a mosh pit, like a painting, is still a joy to look at. Each band brought a handful more, and slowly, the room was beginning to fill.

We were really there for Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, so we stayed close by for their set. The room filled up a bit more and to my surprise, punks were circle pitting with abandon to the Fat Wreck alums catchy anthems. There was still more than enough room to breathe, but Bad Cop/ Bad Cop sealed the gaps with their vocal and instrumental tightness, so much so, I can say with a decent amount of confidence that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a band pull off harmonies as tight as theirs live. Besides their songwriting (and bassist Linh Le’s infectious stage moves), I was further endeared to the band by their palpable admiration for opener Broken Dead. On stage, they were incredibly complimentary, and to my delight a day later, I saw that it wasn’t just for show either. Facebook updates don’t lie, Broken Dead were added to the next two dates also. Cool stuff.

I managed to catch the last two songs of Starving Wolves’ set in Vegas, also opening for Leftover Crack. I was never really sure how to feel about them. Their recorded material is limited to a two song EP, and yet I keep seeing them on these big bills. A part of me thinks there’s some artificial push going on here, like there’s some sort of punk rock cabal that Starving Wolves is hooked up with that is trying to make them superstars or something. I don’t know. I can’t really be that negative beyond that, because they put on a raucous live show. They play a pretty melodic variety of street punk with a bunch of gang vocals. It all comes together in the live setting. Their hair is a silly exaggeration of everything punk rock, their frontman keeps making circles with his arms and reminding the crowd to circle pit; it’s goofy, but I couldn’t help but think it’s pretty earnest. Sometimes you gotta let go of your cool and just have a good time. Starving Wolves are an amazing live band, and punk cabal or not, they are worth seeing.

By the time Leftover Crack hit the stage, the WOW Hall was stuffed. Denim as far as the eye could see. This was when I started to reflect on Eugene as a whole, and decided that it was a pretty damn cool town. Not anywhere could support a scene like this. To see such an active group of participants at a punk rock show was sort of inspiring. I remember going to see shows in Spokane, a bigger PNW city, with a way lower turnout. I was in awe. And the unique feel the WOW Hall lent to it was of a real punk rock show. The people there, for better or worse, were punks, and they were there to let loose. Despite it being a pretty diverse show, there was a sense of danger too– not the sort of thing you expect to find (except from our most optimistic punks) at a major show with such household-name bands. I remember a moment in Leftover Crack’s set where a man stumbled out of the pit to the back of crowd, as soon as he cleared the mob, he collapsed with his hand in his head. Moments later, a throng of people carried him out of the building. I found myself reminded again and again, perhaps in comparison to seeing Nails the night before, that this was a punk rock show, and it was take no prisoners.

Leftover Crack’s set was a tense affair. It was where the night got weird, but no less fun. Stza was intoxicated, and super chatty, and not everyone seemed to enjoy this as much as I did. Some of the crowd got belligerent as the frontman told stories in between songs, chanting, “Shut the fuck up!” To his credit, he performed ably throughout the night, and heckled his hecklers right back, elongating his pause between songs with some mock tune-ups. The rest of the band took it all in good humour and stride. Brad Logan mused with Stza on whether or not he was “too nice,” and  bassist Alec Baillie wondered aloud if he even knew how to play any of their old songs, with some gentle ribbing from Stza. The overall impression was of a band of punk veterans who happen to be old friends.

They played a range of material, Choking Victim songs included, which were met with a frenzied pit. Despite the tension between audience and artist at points in the set, this was probably the most enthusiastic crowd I’ve seen them have. They amplified their show by destroying a Donald Trump pinata on stage and then throwing it into the crowd. Turns out the effigy was filled with condoms, which dispersed throughout the venue. Soon, people were blowing them up like balloons and bouncing them around the crowd. As the band played, fat, inflated dicks soared above our heads. I’ve never seen punk rock be as sublime as it was then.

A special shoutout deserves to go to Kate Coysh for her role in Leftover Crack’s live show. She might just have to be one of the best screamers I’ve ever heard. She has the type of voice to send chills down your spine, and whenever she was on stage, whether taking the lead or trading off lines with Stza like some sort of rap duo from hell, it was impossible not to be wowed by her talent.

The set was finished family style. Stza announced that they were not going to do an encore, that they were just going to keep playing instead of going through the pageantry. They brought on Starving Wolves for one song, and Bad Cop/ Bad Cop for another, tying together disparate threads of punk rock with a sense of community. They ended their set with perhaps their darkest banger, Fuck World Trade’s “Operation M.O.V.E.” The incredible Kate Coysh took lead vocal duties, grasping an invisible orange in the air (any metalhead’s birthright, I suppose) and finished the night off with a buzzing electricity. Of course, the same assholes who antagonized Stza earlier antagonized more, calling for an encore. To no one’s surprise, the band kept their promise– once they were off stage, they were off for good.

The crowd in the WOW Hall dispersed and soon we were back out on the street, going through the show point by point, conversation points blooming out of every detail we could remember. It was one of the better shows I’ve been to, and probably the best introduction to a new city that I could hope for.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Bouncing Souls in Santa Ana, CA (3.16.17)

As my username may suggest, the Bouncing Souls are my all-time favorite band. Seeing them live is always an amazing experience, but having the opportunity to shoot the show was a dream come true. After nearly 30 years in the punk scene, the Souls’ set it still infused with energy as if it is the first time they are gracing the stage. With 10 full length albums, there is no shortage of songs to comprise the setlist (anyone else lucky enough to catch the “For All The Unheard” shows back in 2011? The LA ones still rank as some of the best shows I have ever seen!).

The Bouncing Souls’ catalogue includes many anthemic sing-alongs for their hour+ long set, and this night at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA was no exception. New songs were peppered in with all the old favorites, including “Anchors Aweigh,” “Kate Is Great,” “Ghosts on the Boardwalk,” “The Gold Song,” “Sing Along Forever,” “That Song,” “Writing On The Wall,” “Manthem,” and (of course) “Hopeless Romantic.”

I wish I could have seen the opening bands, but unfortunately, the LA to Orange County traffic on a Thursday prevented me from seeing Get Dead (and I walked in at the end of AJJ‘s set). The Souls alone were worth the hours in traffic and I can’t wait until Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas to see them again!

Check out the gallery from the show below.



Festival Review: The 7th Annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ

Saturday March 18th at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin Texas, Altercation Records delivered another incredible day of punk rock fun at the 7th annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ.

I have been lucky enough to experience the last 4 years of this event held each year in Austin during the South By Southwest Music Conference, and I have to say it is probably my favorite punk event after PRB, although it in no way compares size wise to major events like PRB or The Fest, the people at Altercation know how to throw a party! First off It’s free admission for all ages, there is free BBQ and free Beer for a limited time, this usually last for the first hour or so, during the first two sets, of which there are usually 10-12 sets of amazing bands, half of which are brand new up and comers, others are gritty road warriors who have been at it for years and usually there is at least one old classic band or figure like Cheetah Chrome, Fishbone, or Sylvain Sylvain…This year there were no classic punk acts, I don’t know maybe they are getting harder to come by? This year the venue also changed from the Vortex to a smaller indoor venue called Kick Butt Coffee, at first I was suspect of a punk show of this size in a coffee house, but Kick Butt Coffee is an actual venue with a stage and a full bar.

The place steadily filled and by the 4th set it was mobbed with the crowd spilling out into the parking lot, first up were The Glory Holes out of Memphis who do an all gay oriented Ramones styled pop punk that is really fun…Second to hit the stage was Heels who are a really awesome duo who are sort of like Lucero on speed…followed by New York City’s Jukebox Romantics who always put out a killer performance and this day was no different than the last few times I have seen them, super high energy take no prisoner punk rock…The next band up was a new one on the Altercation label who’s name it took me a minute to figure out; Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman, which if you don’t immediately get it is a hybrid of two television characters, Dr. Beardfacé from Scrubs, and Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock.This band was new and interesting to me, the front woman Kerrie Trube has a really rich voice which during some songs really stood out, I think we will be hearing more from them in the future as their sound and live performance matures…After that was another new band on the Altercation roster The Split Seconds from Washington DC, this might be my favorite new act of 2017, The Split Seconds are a pop punk/retro punk band who have a fresh new sound yet still pull on my spirit of 77 heart strings, I really liked this set…They were followed by The Hangouts who reunited for this show, I love The Hangouts, I have seen them maybe 4 times and they are always great and I was stoked to see them reunite for this show…Next was Boston’s OC45 who do straight up Boston style punk rock, and they do it very well with lots of fist pumping whoa oh’s…American Pinup returned this year and as always delivered a phenomenal set, I don’t know if there is a better voice in rock & roll than Lauren West? This woman I adore…I felt bad for the next band up having to follow American Pinup but Houston’s Grizzly Band did not disappoint by any means, and truly rose to the occasion with a killer alt country set of their own, This is a band that you just have to see live at least once before you die…Mind Spiders were wow, these guys have a post punk garage rock vibe all their own…Then came From Parts Unknown out of Dallas whos Upright bass fueled set was breakneck and furious…And last in the lineup up was F Woods of Mercury Radio Theater form Philadelphia PA who brought solo guitar quirk to the BBQ which was unsurprising considering his regular touring alongside of The Dead Milkmen.

So there you have it the complete lineup, all in all one of the best shows I have been to, I watched all 12 sets and in all honesty have to say that the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ impressed me once again, not only was every band great, but the mix of genres and the placement in the lineup kept it interesting and kept us in the audience wondering what was next…Hope I can make it to number 8