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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



Show Review: Protex, Paul Collins, Wyldlife, Crazy and the Brains, Posers @ Voltage Lounge 3.11.17

The Voltage Lounge is one of my favorite venues in Philadelphia, simply because they’re known for having top-notch shows. I have wonderful (but fleeting) memories of seeing bands like Leftover Crack and The Virus, both of which I count on my list of some of my favorite shows I’ve ever attended. So naturally I was pretty psyched when I heard about this event featuring a lineup that’s, dare I say, perfect.

I’ll never get tired of seeing Posers play shows. The Philly band has an attitude on stage that is truly addictive to watch. Singer Jade Anna appears to be deeply distressed, peering off into the distance as she delivers a mighty vocal performance. But just as often, she can be seen in the audience, microphone in clenched fists, shouting and writhing on the ground. Meanwhile, guitarist Rory Cain, bassist Johnny Mick, and drummer Collin Russert are keeping everything under control with an impressive confidence and sense of urgency as they power through a mixed set list of old, recent, and not-yet-released tracks. One of these new tracks, apparently called “I Think Therefore I Am A Mess,” is an aggressive attack from start to finish, featuring some pretty hostile screaming from Anna and frantic guitar and bass work. Whatever direction this band is going in, I like it. I’m in for the ride.

Next up was Crazy and the Brains. This band knows how to get a crowd moving, dancing, jumping: who cares. They also have a xylophone player and he performs with such gusto that it’s something that everyone should see. One of the most enjoyable tracks to hear live was “Good Boy” which was quickly followed by “Brain Freeze.” Singer Christoph Urban rocked his signature gold chain along with a pair of suspenders that he only wore half-way, his energetic movements causing them to slip. Jeffrey Rubin is prone to breaking sticks for his xylophone and glockenspiel, so he can be seen throwing them erratically into the audience.

Wyldlife was absolutely phenomenal. The band takes influence from garage rock, indie rock, power pop, and punk to make for a sound that is almost guaranteed to get you bouncing around. They also ooze a classic New York coolness, all clad in leather jackets, some in polka dot shirts, and hair all in disarray. Frontman Dave Feldman crashes around the stage in a way that makes me imagine a scenario where Pete Doherty starts a punk band (which would be great). Their energy is all fun and games, often playful. Tracks like “Saturday Night” and “First Time’s the Worst” had the crowd bouncing against each other like mad atoms. Drummer Stevie Dios is manic in his playing and full of aggression, but he’s also graceful in his speed- I haven’t seen a drummer play so well in a long time. I can’t wait for Wyldlife to come back to Philly. They play an unforgettable show.

Next up was Paul Collins, best known for his work with The Nerves, The Beat, and The Breakaways. This was just him with his guitar, and that was all he needed. Each track seamlessly flowed into the next. “Stand Back” was one of the most fun tracks of the night, delivering a healthy dose of power pop that had crowd members rocking into each other all the way through to one of the last tracks, “Don’t.” Finishing off with “Walking,” everyone at the front of the stage was singing along wholeheartedly as Collins sang back at them with an equal amount of energy. His solo tour is something you should check out if he’s coming to a town near you.

Finally, Protex took the stage, the Northern Ireland band’s first time playing in Philadelphia in over 30 years. The 1st wave punk band is easy to love, and their performance is just as catchy. This second generation of Protex managed to bang through thirteen songs in quick time and they’re no spring chickens – they know these songs like they were born to. “Strange Obsessions” was an absolute blast to hear live and sent most of the crowd into frenzy. Aidan Murtagh is an absolutely wonderful frontman and has great energy on stage, not once faltering in his vocal delivery throughout.

This was such a great mix of old and new in the world of power pop punk brought together in one fantastic night. To all the bands that played, I thank you.



Show Review: Ceschi Ramos (a punk’s perspective at a hip-hop show)

As a punk rocker, I’m constantly going to shows, but not usually ones like this. I was attracted to this show by Ceschi. His recent split with Pat The Bunny really got me curious to hear and know more about his style of music.
I was originally planning to catch Ceschi in Berkeley at the Gilman, but when I saw he was going to be in Fresno on a Saturday, I decided that would likely work out better for me and I have absolutely no regrets about this decision. The venue was The Honeycomb and there were aspects of this place you could never achieve at the Gilman. Upon entering, you’re basically in an art gallery with artists actively working on paintings. Everyone I came in contact with was very welcoming and friendly, especially the performers.

The first performer was A.Hymnz (or ArTcher Hymnz). (Keep in mind, I don’t actively listen to these styles of music, so I just interpret things as I hear them.) This guy’s style really reminded me of an underground hip-hop artist. I want to say he somewhat reminded me of Atmosphere and I’m sure there are better examples out there. I didn’t know the words to his songs, but as I heard them, I could tell lyrics meant something to him and his songs flowed together really well.
Check out his music on bandcamp.

The second artist to take the stage goes by the name of Flued One. This guy gave me a much more mainstream feel, and not in a bad way. Some might hear mainstream and instantly think “sellout”, but maybe that’s more the case with punk music. Regardless Flued One put on a great show and performance. You could tell he was comfortable on stage and in front of a crowd.

Both A.Hymnz and Flued One were rappers, but each offering their own unique style. Because of this, there wasn’t a lot of down time between their performances since they mostly just had to get the right beats set up and pass the mic. This didn’t seem to effect the crowd or the show in any negative way and might have even made it better since the night was just getting started.

The third performer was a man by the name of Bobby Loveless. The first thing I noticed was he was very lyrical and much like Flued One he had a very comfortable stage presence. His vocals were a lot more raw than I was expecting, so with me being into punk, I really enjoyed the rawness of his set. He even screamed in one song and I loved it. Also, all of his songs flowed very well from song to song. His voice had a perfect level of raspyness to make it sound amazing.
Check him out here.

The fourth performer was Ersatz Splynter. This has a great flow. For the most part, he’s a very fast rapper. The crowd was loving it. One song he even rapped a verse in spanish. He didn’t seem new to performing and put on a great performance. I got a chance to talk to him after the show and much like everyone else I talked to, he was very humble. I really wish I had more to say about this guy as I genuinley enjoyed his performance.
Check him out here  – There will be links to a few other of his videos as well and I’m sure if you YouTube him, you’ll find him.

The fifth artist to perform is known as Sahab. The first thing you’ll notice about him is that he’s got a lot of equipment. I don’t know much about being a DJ, but I would say this was very DJ-ish (pardon me if that is way off). He made all of his beats himself on the spot and had several sound clips. I think he only actually sang on one song. He reminded me of Reggie Watts, but not comedic. Also, before his performance they turned all the lighting effects on, so it really gave that EDM or dance style party music effect. I could picture this being played at a club or something of the like. He did experience a technical difficulty at one point, but I don’t believe it was his fault and it hardly took away from the performance, he got it back up quick and got right back to it.

Tommy V was the sixth artist to perform. The first thing I noticed about him was how lyrical they can be. By the looks of him, you probably wouldn’t expect the performance he puts on. This guy really killed it in front of a stage. The crowd knew the lyrics to one song better than him, which I thought was pretty special. He just forgot a little part of a song but the crowd surly did not. He made a comment about how “you guys know this better than me”. Not really the type of thing you see at every show, so I really appreciated this. Tommy V is from Montana and the only other musician to have merch other than Ceschi, of which I purchased. The second song he played guitar and sang a more folkish song about being too high which was all too appropriate for this event. He might of made a couple mistakes on the guitar, but he wasn’t doing simple chords either. Towards the end he played another guitar song that was a little slower. The mistakes or whatever you would call them only added to the performance and to me, made the whole performance better. I could probably talk about this guy for a while. He had such a versatile style. The third song had yodeling going on with the crowd’s help. He’s constantly switching styles. He raps. He sings slower songs that are easy to sing along with. He’s really got a lot to bring to the table when you really take a chance to appreciate it. The crowd got into his set so naturally. He had a rap/rock song with yodeling. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, Ceschi got on stage and sang a song with him but Ceschi forgot a part, so you can’t really blame Tommy V for that.

Check out Tommy V’s here.

Ceschi. Who the great majority of the crowd was there to see, finally takes the stage. I was excited as he was the only artist that had songs I had even heard before. After all, I was planning on catching Ceschi in at the Gilman in Berkeley with completely different supporting acts.

Instantly, very active. He moves around a lot and really got the energy flowing. The crowd is completely in love with him, nearly singing along to every song, word for word. It didn’t take long to tell he’s not new to performing in front of a crowd. I had the luck of actually meeting and having conversations with him throughout the night. Such a humble guy. The venue didn’t really have any seating besides a couch that almost felt like reserved seating, even though I don’t think it was. The only seat was right next to Tommy V and Ceschi’s merch. As a result of this, people automatically assumed I was working merch, so I did. I made a few sales and as soon as I would see him again, I would give him the money and tell him what he sold. He told me I didn’t have to do that for him, but it was almost an honor in a way to get to know him the way I did.

(From memory, which isn’t all that great) I believe his first song was a rap style song but almost instantly he picked up a guitar and started playing a new song. He then put the guitar down and went right back to rapping. It was great how he mashed up his performance so well. It just flowed great. The energy was amazing. Much like Tommy V, Ceschi has a very versatile style, you can’t help but be entertained. He did a mini speech about how the government is fucked just before going into a song with guitar, and sang at a normal pace. This got the whole crowd chanting along the lyrics but the next song was a much faster, more upbeat rap song, and he still had a lot singing along with him. Ceschi’s songs are very lyrical and often times have a deep meaning.

In the middle of the set, he decided to take everyone outside for a few acoustic songs. How much more raw can you get? It was so cold outside, you could see his breath as he was singing the songs. He had taken his sweater off inside, so he’s out here in a t-shirt. After about 3 songs, he took us back inside to finish up with some rap songs. He got off the stage and just stood in the crowd. The intimacy of Ceschi’s performance was unreal. The show was finished with him getting down to his knees in the middle of the crowd for the last song of which ended fully acoustic with no mic.

And throughout the night I would see Ceschi selling his merch for whatever people would offer, often taking less than the minimum he was asking. Of course some paid the full price, the higher of the two options. One kid even paid in some foreign currency of which is likely worth much less than if it were just an actual 5 dollar bill. By the very end of the night, he was giving things out. He was giving away tank tops, as he mostly only had odd sizes left. He had a few t-shirts. He gave me one that’s much too small, but I’m a punk, so cutting something out and sewing it onto something else isn’t anything new to me.

Be sure to check out Ceschi at his bandcamp.

“EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD”

Every performer will receive at least one like on all social media, from me, they all deserved it.



DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: The Vandals 2016 Christmas Formal in Anaheim, CA (12.23.16)

Ah, it’s December again. Here in Southern California, December means twinkle lights in the palm trees, 60 degree weather, and the certainty of one major holiday tradition – The Vandals‘ Christmas Formal. Now in its 21st year, the Christmas Formal has become a bigger and better tradition every year, with both “formal”wear and Christmas onesies encouraged, a photo booth, and a “Christmas punch” at the bar (which sadly sold out within the first hour). 2016 marked a venue change – to the City National Grove of Anaheim. Personally, I loved the new setup – bigger venue, bigger stage, more room to move around, and a more spacious bar/merch/photo booth area. The Christmas decorations still adorned the stage, including the suspended carousel, inflatable snowman, and mountains of wrapped presents and piñatas.

Openers for the evening included Sharp/Shock and The Interrupters. Due to LA traffic, made 10 times worst by the constant rain all day Friday, I arrived during The Interrupters set in time to see them play, but not early enough to shoot them. They are a DyingScene favorite, and you can check out shots from some previous shows here and here.

At last, The Vandals (with Josh Freese on drums this year!) took the stage to the Oi To The World overture and kicked it into high gear for all of their Christmas classics. Despite battling the flu (and still wearing his tuxedo t-shirt that makes an appearance every year), Dave Quackenbush still managed to make it on the stage and give the crowd one hell of a show. After they played a majority of the songs from the Christmas album, they entertained the crowd with a few other select favorites, like “Anarchy Burger,” “People That Are Going To Hell,” “I’ve Got An Ape Drape,” “And Now We Dance,” and “My Girlfriend’s Dead.”

Fans who come every year know how the encore will go – Warren will sing “Hang Myself from the Tree” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” before the band finishes with a giant sing-a-long of “Oi To The World.” This year was no different in terms of the encore setlist, but, as always, Warren can be hard to predict when it comes to his stage presence. “Don’t Stop Me Now” tends to have a musical interlude where Warren entertains the crowd – this year, it included destroying all of the gifts on the stage, smashing the piñatas with his body (not the stick that Dave brought him) and throwing the pieces into the crowd, running around with the giant Santa boot piñata on his foot, and pulling the inflatable snowman across the stage, eventually having it collapse in front of Josh Freese’s drum set. The Grove of Anaheim has monitors on the side of the stage, so everyone was able to see the antics in real-time, and it was pretty amazing. This is gonna be the best Christmas ever!

It’s always a pleasure to celebrate Christmas with The Vandals and shoot the show for DyingScene. Check out our full gallery below and we’ll see you in 2017!



Show Review and Photo Gallery: Wake The Bat / Allout Helter / Screwtape / Choking Victim – The Gothic Theatre (Denver) 11.11.2016

Choking Victim

After nearly seventeen years, NYC skacore innovators, Choking Victim have returned for a Reunion Tour in select cities across the US. Since our West Coast staffer, AnarchoPunk is legally prohibited from entering Orange County, we couldn’t send him to the show in Santa Ana. Instead, he was awarded a no-expense paid trip to the Mile High City to catch the legendary trio’s performance at The Gothic Theatre. Check out his review and photo gallery below!



DS Photo Gallery and Show Review: Ukulele Hiro/Aggro Mucho/Fozzy’s Hero/Pulley – Maui Sugar Mill Saloon (Los Angeles) 11/4/2016

While underrated, Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Tarzana has become a rather noteworthy dive bar in recent years. This San Fernando Valley institution’s minuscule stage has played host to a number of high profile musicians over it’s lifespan including Dave Grohl and GNR’s Slash just to name a few. Veteran skate punks, Pulley were the latest legendary act to perform there and DS staffer AnarchoPunk was there to catch the whole thing! Check out the photo gallery and show review below!



All The Weirdos Came Out To Party at Hallowmas

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Jack Terricloth relishing in the excitement of his bands annual Halloween hell raising concert at The Warsaw.

Even though Scenic Presents brought World/Inferno Friendship Society and Choking Victim to the Warsaw to play their own separate and distinct shows, this year’s Hallowmas still seemed like day two of one hell of a Halloween weekend festival that Stza and the crack rock steady originators kicked off Sunday night. Many of the people in attendance for Hallowmas had come out the night before, the execution of the music came with the same overall aesthetic, there were members of the previous night’s bands out in the audience, and there were even a few cameo appearances onstage by the previous night’s headliner.

Though the festival feel may not have been a conscious decision by the bands or their promoter, after watching it go down it seems all but inevitable. WIFS’s fanbase is deeply intertwined with Choking Victim’s, and the bands are great friends. The way WIFS frontman Jack Terricloth gleefully called out Leftover Crack for playing on October 30th instead of the real Halloween was like a younger brother catching his older brother listening to Simple Plan and telling his friends about it.

And the family metaphor held strong throughout the evening, because as much as Hallowmas is a concert, it’s also a yearly tradition. Before the bands started playing, there were people chitchatting about how many years in a row they had come and old friends seeing each other for the first time since last year’s World/Inferno Friendship Society extravaganza.

Choking Victim bassist (R) Alec Baillie and Stza (P) along with the rest of Petersen’s friends showing respect to their fallen comrade before ambushing the pit.

There were even two separate tributes to a fallen family member, folk punk poet laureate Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew, whose widow Denise Lynn was in attendance. Opener Guignol played their band’s collaboration with Mischief Brew “Fight Dirty”, and toward the end of the evening six people led by Stza and Choking Victim bassist Alec Baillie carried jack-o-lanterns out into the moshpit that spelled E-R-I-K-P in lights.

However somber the cast lent by Petersen’s midsummer loss, Hallowmas was not a night of regret so much as one to celebrate the family that remains. Minutes before WIFS took the stage their faithful audience began cheering in unison “Tonight / we’re gonna / fuck shit up,” and seconds before the eight-piece folk performance collective arrived the insatiable crowd began informing Terricloth and his co-hooters that “We know” — to which one audience member who has haunted more than their fair share of World/Inferno shows (and even once got ejected from a WIFS show while wearing a pinstripe suit) responded, “I had no fucking idea.”

How often do Frida Kahlo and Andrew W.K. get together for one party?

Regardless of whether that World/Inferno ghost was being sarcastic or not, I had no fucking idea that WIFS was about to put on one of the most energetic two-hour performances I have ever seen. I have been present and counted at some truly memorable concerts in my life, whether it was Radiohead headlining Coachella, Pretty Lights’ first Bonnaroo, or that one time I caught the Flaming Lips while tripping my face off on some of the best LSD I’ve ever tried. And I tell you catching the World/Inferno Friendship Society on their home turf at the Warsaw on their big night Hallowmas can go toe-to-toe with any of those events.

Terricloth was in rare form, all decked out in a tuxedo, leading his band of weirdos in front of a crowd of even bigger weirdos. The crowd moshed, waltzed, mosh-waltzed, and stage dived while the ghoulish crooner threw everything he had at them; no matter how hard he went, all the crowd wanted was more. And more was just what they got when Stza jumped onstage to sing backup vocals for the grand finale.

Guignol might not perform often but when they do they do it well.

Guignol went on just before World/Inferno, and for a band that hasn’t gotten on a stage in years they sounded terrific. The night’s opener was Philly-based pop-punkers Teenage Halloween.



Choking Victim does “Reunioning” Right at The Warsaw in Brooklyn

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Choking Victim front man Scott “Stza” Sturgeon getting a heroes welcome in Brooklyn.

Scenic Presents’ sold-out Choking Victim show was the sort of evening that many of the fans in attendance had been dreaming about since they were in middle school (three years ago). But notwithstanding the young crowd — and to be fair, there was a good smattering of more seasoned punks throughout the auditorium too — Choking Victim killed.

The Warsaw show sold out so fast that Choking Victim were able to add a 3 p.m. set at a free show in Tompkins Square Park that same day. The free set was about six songs long, highly entertaining, and featured two OG members of Choking Victim making guest appearances. I assumed that the evening show would be about the same, but honestly even if the set lists had been identical, it would still have been like watching two completely different bands. And the set lists were completely different!

Sturgeon during the band’s earlier set at Tompkins Square Park.

Choking Victim tore through the entirety of their incendiary debut record No Gods No Managers and then concluded the night with a raucous cover of “Money Changes Everything.” In the park, they were a loose, comfortable band playing a show that could as easily have been in Stza’s livingroom as in front of hundreds of people in a historic New York City location. On the Warsaw stage, they were an unstoppable death machine ripping a hole through the eardrums of anyone dumb enough to listen (as I write this, my ears are still ringing).

The Warsaw moshpit erupted after about twenty seconds, and it had to have been within the next twenty seconds that a barrage of stage divers and crowd surfers rose to the top of the audience. People tried to stand toward the wings of the venue, but really being within fifteen feet of the stage put you in the blast radius for out-of-control skankers being ejected from the pit by the sea of moshers. Then whoever bowled them over would help them up and start all over again.

It was quite a raucous mosh pit throughout the entire night.

The current lineup was joined throughout the set by original drummer John Dolan, original bassist Sasha Scatter, OG bassist peasant James, C-Squat founder Popeye, and other close associates.

Stza claimed that the band only practiced each song twice, but it didn’t matter. No one goes to see Choking Victim, or any Stza-fronted band for that matter, for a precise musician who’s taking care to hit every note accurately. With Stza, it’s about raw emotion and explosive energy, which he provided in spades, fed on and intensified by bandmates Alec Baillie and Skwert.

There was a rich diversity in the people playing in many of the opening bands, but one thing that tied (almost) all of them together was Stza’s signature crack rock steady beat. No matter how far toward the precipice of heavy metal (almost) all of the openers got, they mostly found their way back to that more dub / ska sound.

As$troland went on right before Choking Victim and they were definitely the right band to welcome back the New York punk legends to performing.

(A)Truth and Trashy picked up two short early slots and both brought heavy guitars and the aforementioned beats. Death Vacation was a vicious kick in the teeth that may have been closer to metal than punk. Public Serpents are damn near as heavy as Death Vacation but went on dub tangents so mellow they could have been reggae. All Torn Up is one angry group of hardcore punks, and As$troland are an old school New York Hardcore band.

Death Vacation is definitely a band worth paying attention to in the future.

Death Vacation was close to stealing the show. After seeing Choking Victim, there is no doubt who the star of the evening was, but Death Vacation was damn close … check them out.