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DS Show Review + Gallery: Rock For Rights Chicago w/ Boybrain, Aweful, Djunah, and Heet Deth

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg Liar’s Club, always supportive of members of the Chicago punk rock community, often hosts fundraisers for various individuals/causes. Recall, the venue sponsored one of the Dying Scene Resurrection Shows recently.  On Saturday August 6, 2022, Liar’s Club was the site for one of several local shows benefitting the Chicago […]

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg

Liar’s Club, always supportive of members of the Chicago punk rock community, often hosts fundraisers for various individuals/causes. Recall, the venue sponsored one of the Dying Scene Resurrection Shows recently.  On Saturday August 6, 2022, Liar’s Club was the site for one of several local shows benefitting the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF). Venues in Chicago and elsewhere have been holding similar fundraisers in wake of the of the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturns landmark SCOTUS decisions in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and endangers numerous other privacy related rights. The announced amount of money raised for the CAF came to almost $2,000. 


Boybrain turned on the show’s engine with a hair swirling, brains (of all genders) smashing performance. The dizzying actions of the band members were matched by their striking physical appearances. Suited up in matching half uniforms of t-shirts with “Abortions” written across them in a font reminiscent of rec league baseball jerseys, and athlete-style black grease marks under their eyes. Boybrain slammed though a tight set featuring “Blood Wolf Moon,” off its 2022 debut album In the Company Of Worms. The band is comprised of punk rock veterans from the Chicago area and elsewhere: Patti on guitars and vocals, Inga on lead guitar, Colin on drums, and “Dr. Doom” (whose first name is actually Lauren. Come on though, Dr. Doom is a pretty cool moniker) on bass and vocals. 


Aweful, which we featured in the aforementioned Resurrection Show, once again offered its talents to an important cause. The trio, made up of Traci Trouble, Lucy Dekay, and Izzy Price, as always had the crowds pumped and their fists pumping. They ripped through tunes including “Far Away,” “Bubble,” “Just Like Me,” and one of their most popular singles, “No Avail.” Whipping around the stage, guitarist Dekay displayed her usual flair, whilst drummer Price and bass player Trouble fueled the backbeat. Trouble’s gritty vocals matched her stage presence as well as those of her bandmates. It’s always a fun moment to see how she and Dekay go back to back literally, appearing to be simultaneously competing for flashiest performance and joining together to create a single, more powerful organism.  So powerful that watching both women then fall away from each other, as if ripped apart, collapsing onto the floor seems the natural next occurrence. Even on the floor, Trouble and DeKay, are at times, still attached, playing a sort of punk rock patty cake with their sneakers. 


Djunah, an electrifying two-piece group from Chicago, is comprised of Donna Diane and Jared Karns. Diane pulls triple duty on vocals, guitar, and Moog Organ bass, as Karns powers through on drums. It was a rousing and hypnotic set. Thus far, 2022 has been a busy year for Diane, between recording vocals for Jason Narducy‘s Verboten the Musical, and the band playing festivals and sold-out shows, with at least two more upcoming fests. Those events being Louisville’s PRFBBQLOU2022 in late August-early September, and Milwaukee’s Bay View Bash, in mid-September.


Heet Deth is another 2-piece band from the Windy City. Formed in 2018 by best friends, Julia B on drums and vocals, and Laila E on guitar and vocals, Heet Deth describes itself as operatic. Wearing matching blood red shortsleeve coveralls, with their faces garishly painted red, white, and black, they manage to create their own styles even as the likes of David Bowie and Monkey from the Adicts are brought to mind. Heet Deth’s theatrical appearance is equaled by its non-stop energy.


Good to see the punk rock community standing up for all of our rights, as unfortunate as it is that these rights have to be fought for so vigorously at this point in history. Alas, the fight WILL proceed and there will be great music to keep us inspired and energized.

More photos below!


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Dying Scene Resurrection Show – Lowell, MA

The second installment of Dying Scene’s ‘Resurrection’ shows took place on Friday, June 10th, at Thirsty First in the blue-collar mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell native Kevin Stevenson kicked off the evening’s festivities. One of Stevenson’s many bands, the locally-beloved The Shods, kicked off a handful of the very first shows I went to […]

The second installment of Dying Scene’s ‘Resurrection’ shows took place on Friday, June 10th, at Thirsty First in the blue-collar mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts.


Lowell native Kevin Stevenson kicked off the evening’s festivities. One of Stevenson’s many bands, the locally-beloved The Shods, kicked off a handful of the very first shows I went to in my days as a teenage punk rocker, including a memorable set at the Mighty Mighty Bosstones‘ Hometown Throwdown in 1996, so it was a pretty special moment to have him get things started on this night. Bonus points for the Elvis Costello cover – complete with requisite wide-rimmed spectacles!


Next up were Stereo Vulture, who also hail from a little bit farther down the Merrimack River Valley in Haverhill. All four are longtime scene vets, so you’d never know that it was only their fourth show as a unit. Their sound is a combination of hardcore and old-school punk and good, old-fashioned rock-and-roll, and feels right at home in a gritty, working class bar.


The show was running a little ahead of schedule (I know, right?! A punk rock show ahead of schedule?!) so who better to help fill a little air time than longtime radio man and veteran of the local hip-hop and rock scenes D-Tension, appearing in this format with his Secret Rock & Roll Band. He’s got stories for days, and did well to weave them through an eclectic mix of danceable, sing-alongable rock tunes backed by a band that borders on virtuosic.

DNZL played the evening’s penultimate set, and to call it a barn-burner would be to put it mildly. For the uninitiated, the four-piece are a hardcore/thrash outfit from the Boston area who play songs inspired by the cinematic oeuvre of a certain actor with whom they share a name. They’ve got songs called “Blue Magic” and “Remember The Titans” and “Book Of Eli,” if you still need a hint… ANYWAY, frontman Mel Allington and crew wasted no time in getting the show-goers whipped up into the first “pit” of the night. It was also a bit of a monumental occasion, as it was DNZL’s last show for the foreseeable future, as Allington is moving to the Pacific Northwest (and, in fact, has probably already moved by the time you’re reading this). Hopefully the scene won’t be without him long, as he’s got the kind of dynamic presence we certainly need.

Longtime Boston scene veteran – dare we say ‘legend’? – Lenny Lashley closed out the show under his Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One moniker. One of the beautiful things about Lenny’s Gang Of One project is that you never really know what the makeup of the band will be. It might be Lenny playing solo acoustic, it might be Lenny with a pedal steel player, hell, it might be Lenny with former Street Dogs bandmates Pete Sosa and Johnny Rioux. In what’s at least the seventh or eighth different lineup I’ve seen over the years, this particular night found Lashley and his beautiful Gretsch Black Falcon fully plugged in, backed by a rhythm section of the mighty Jonathan Ulman (drums) and John Sheeran (bass) with Tom West on keys. Lenny’s been around a long time and his reputation as an honest and hard-working songwriter and supportive member of the scene has won him favor with a wide cross-section of individuals; see the on-stage shoutout from DNZL’s Mel Arrington and the presence of Gang Green great Chris Doherty in attendance as proof.

A fun night was certainly had by all – especially by the guest tambourine player! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the relaunch of Dying Scene. It certainly felt like the hot and sweaty and diverse and positive sort of night that made us remember why we fell in love with this scene in the first place! Check out more photos below!

*If you’re interested in donating to our cause but couldn’t make it out to one of our shows, you can send your extra dollars and cents to paypal.me/dyingscene!

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