Aweful brew the kind of three-chord power trio badassery of your youth, with plenty of snark and brassy vocal chops to go around.”
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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!
Photos and Story by Meredith Goldberg
One of the final installments of the Dying Scene’s “Resurrection” shows took place on Saturday, June 18, at Liar’s Club, in Chicago, IL. Herb Rosen, Liar’s Club owner and a founding member of Chicago legends Rights of the Accused, offered up the venue for the party. He included the whole door and a percentage of the bar, even some gift certificates. Bar manager, Gary Kessler, and his crew helped ensure attendees had a good time between sets.
To kick things off, a raffle was held with Liar’s Club denizens and others offering up gift certificates and services from their businesses, which included Twisted Scissors, Citizen Skate Shop, Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse and a two hour photo session with yours truly. The bands on the bill donated merchandise along with their sets. A few others brought miscellaneous items for the raffle. Said raffle ended up very successful as to funds raised. However, partygoers seemed much more interested in donating via raffle along with the nominal cover charge. It took a while to get the prizes doled out due to winning actually being beside the point to those who participated. In fact, it seemed that many people took this break between the third and four to sit on, and by, the iconic front stoop right outside Liar’s Club.
Four very popular punk bands from Chicago immediately jumped on opportunity to help a publication that has covered them. One band did have to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances. Good thing a visit to one of the top skate parks in the city happened because this is how B.R.O.K.E. caught our eyes. Barely had the offer of the set been uttered before the members said yes.
Chicago’s veteran blue collar stalwarts Squared Off, led by its founder Jo “Hoser” Villa, kicked off the night with a hard charging set of both older and more recent tunes. The band ended their time on stage with a raucous cover of Stiff Little Fingers’ Suspect Device.
Voice of Addiction was up next. Ian Tomele, founding member of VoA, also helped with some of the logistics of the night, with his experience organizing and promoting shows being of great help. The VoA trio was very enthusiastically welcomed back to their first set at Liar’s since 2019. The band spoke of its new record, news which was excitedly received.
Aweful was the penultimate set of the evening and the trio was on fire per usual. Drummer Izzy Price added a dollop of sweetness to the sassiness by asking the crowd and his bandmates, guitarist Lucy DeKay (also of Mystery Actions), and Traci Trouble, lead vocals/bass, to join him in wishing his girlfriend Erin a very Happy Birthday. All obliged the shiny purple hot pants wearing drummer.
B.R.O.K.E. ripped through its set. One that was full of humorous and catchy tunes. A song with a reference to disgraced actor Armie Hammer wanting to eat people elicited laughs. This type of very dark, verging on gallows, ripped from the headlines, humor is embedded in the band.
Liar’s Club stands up for so many in its community. On this night it stood up for those who cover the tight-knit punk rock community in Chicago. In doing this, it lent a hand for Dying Scene to cover punk rock communities from massive to miniscule, in Chicago and across the United States.
Check out more photos in the gallery 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!