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AWEFUL

Aweful brew the kind of three-chord power trio badassery of your youth, with plenty of snark and brassy vocal chops to go around.”

DS News: Djunah unveil video for “Seven Winds of Sekhmet,” announce US tour dates

Everyone’s favorite powerhouse Chicago noise rock duo, Djunah, have got a pretty big news day today. First and foremost, they announced a slew of tour dates that’ll find them covering most of the eastern US, with stops in Toronto and Montreal thrown in for good measure. Check the dates on the flyer below. Not to […]

Everyone’s favorite powerhouse Chicago noise rock duo, Djunah, have got a pretty big news day today. First and foremost, they announced a slew of tour dates that’ll find them covering most of the eastern US, with stops in Toronto and Montreal thrown in for good measure. Check the dates on the flyer below. Not to make a regionally-specific reference, but the fact that they’re playing O’Brien’s in Boston is WILD to me and it has me concerned for the structural integrity of the building. Here’s what it looked like when they played Chicago a few months back, as shot by our own Meredith Goldberg.

Last but not least, the band unveiled the video for the track “Seven Winds Of Sekhmet.” I’m not going to pretend I’m anywhere near cultured enough to know what that song title is a reference to, but I can tell you that the video is epic and the wall of sound might melt your face off. The song appears on their forthcoming album Femina Furens, which is due out on March 3rd. Pre-order info is here. In the meantime, check out the video down below the flyer!


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DS Original Content: Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, dear readers! Now, I’m aware that maybe we’re in the minority when reading our beautiful blog. Still, it’s nice to celebrate the achievements of those who work beside me and those I get to speak to on group chat every day. This year, in addition to celebrating the women I admire, […]

Happy International Women’s Day, dear readers! Now, I’m aware that maybe we’re in the minority when reading our beautiful blog. Still, it’s nice to celebrate the achievements of those who work beside me and those I get to speak to on group chat every day.

This year, in addition to celebrating the women I admire, both in music and my private life, I asked my amazing colleagues if they wanted to share a quote on what International Women’s Day means to them. Mary and Meredith, as excellent as they are, had time to pass something on to me, so I had something more than just music and my anecdote on what International Women’s Day means.

So, let’s start with our lovely Meredith, as many know. She’s one of the many talented photographers on the team. Also, Meredith is easily one of the nicest people around and sincere. She lends an ear if you feel overwhelmed and has brilliant taste in movies and TV shows.

“International Women’s Day gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I’ve done as a photojournalist, and on the women who I looked at for inspiration for as I came up as a photojournalist, my mentors. But it’s also a chance to look forward to those coming up now, in both photography and also the music scene I document.

I’m also very grateful that Dying Scene’s Team Chicago has some terrific shooters in Mary and Fleurette. We all have different styles, and that’s what makes it great. The same goes for the women of punk rock in Chicago, including Claudia Guajardo in Shitizen; Traci Trouble & Lucy Dekay, who make up 2/3 of Aweful; and Deanna Belos, a.k.a. Sincere Engineer. I’ve documented the groups’ rises for several years as they’ve taken over the Chicago scene. In some cases, they are taking on national and international tours. These are women-fronted/mixed-gender bands with very different musical and performance styles. However, these groups are each powerful in their ways, and just three examples among many in the Chicago Punk Scene. It is a very exciting time to document this scene.”


And there’s Mary; I don’t know how to describe Mary because, truth be told, we haven’t had the chance to talk. But from what I’ve seen on Instagram, we have so much in common.
I’m kidding. Mary is energetic. She’s hard to describe before; she is well-spoken, funny, humble, and willing to let us ramble on about everything and nothing. I admire her, plus we have a super funny and low-key embarrassing story that we’ll tell one day.

“Happy International Women’s Day!

“I’m a feminist through and through. A tattoo on my bicep represents the political slogan/poem/song “Bread and Roses” that originated from Helen Todd, an American women’s suffrage and worker’s rights activist. I also absolutely love photographing fierce femme-fronted bands! My favorites include Jigsaw Youth, Destroy Boys, and War on Women. It’s great to see so many more women being represented at punk shows, not just on stage but also in the audience and photo pit!”



And then there’s me. I don’t like talking about myself, so I’ll skip that part. But I do know what International Women’s Day means to me. It wasn’t until five years ago that I really started to observe and focus on it. Hell, I wouldn’t even have called myself a feminist because, as embarrassing as it will read, I thought I wanted the 1950s lifestyle, and honestly, maybe that’s what others wanted for me, too.

I have two kids; my firstborn is a boy, and my youngest is a girl. But when I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I was scared as hell because I knew exactly what she would have to go through and what challenges she could potentially face in life if I didn’t get my bullshit together and start doing my research. Suppose I didn’t get out there and start fighting. Luckily, my pregnancy with my daughter was rough, the constant sickness, the bleeding, and… I think we get the picture. But she became the reason for many things; one of them is why I have 800 different jobs in music, stopped my day job, and decided to work harder than I ever have. Truthfully, I don’t want her or anyone else to work as hard or as much as I see those strong, independent women around me do. I wouldn’t mind fighting to make her life, whatever she decides to do, just a little easier. Also, show her how sisterhood isn’t a competition but a journey you have alongside your best people. That was one thing that took me years to understand: being number one or two means nothing if you’re alone.

So, how is it being a woman in music? From time to time, it can be challenging. I’m always happy for a challenge, but I’m extra excited when people tell me I can’t do it. And in music, I have some of the most inspiring people to look up to on my journey. From Patti Smith, Lana Del Rey, Dolly Parton, and Charlotte Sands, Andrea from the Danish band Situationsfornærmelse, Mannequin Pussy, and Stevie Nicks to a more personal note, that some people always attack me for, but they have shown me what real sisterhood means Annette, Aus, Sidsel, Stine, Salina, Nikoleta, actually every woman that celebrates other women’s success, achievements, those who inspire and include other’s.

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN WITH MARY AND MEREDITH FROM DYING SCENE.
COVER PICTURE BY MARY SUNDE OF WAR ON WOMEN

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DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: Aweful / Alternative Radio / The Side-Bets (Liar’s Club – Chicago, IL 1/21/2023

There were good times to be had at Liar’s Club in Chicago on Saturday January 21st. Traci Trouble of Aweful put together a fantastic lineup for the night: a trio of power trios! Three bands with three members each. Let’s dig in! It’s a bit of a surprise I haven’t seen the SIde-Bets before. Local […]

There were good times to be had at Liar’s Club in Chicago on Saturday January 21st. Traci Trouble of Aweful put together a fantastic lineup for the night: a trio of power trios! Three bands with three members each. Let’s dig in!

It’s a bit of a surprise I haven’t seen the SIde-Bets before. Local to my Chicago scene, they’re self-described as loud, rowdy, and minimal garage rock, and my description of them would be no different. These boys started the night off right. Dougie Ramone laid out some catchy bass lines that meshed great with Joe’s tight and punchy drum beats. Brendan topped off their sonic footprint with a great driving, crunch guitar sound and grungy solos. Led by Dougie’s snarling vocals, what more could you ask for? If that sounds like your bag, check them out immediately. Side-note for the Side-Bets, they were the only band where none of the members fell down, or laid down on stage for the night.

Alternative Radio filled out the middle of the evening’s entertainment. Hailing from Milwaukee, this was their first time playing in Chicago. If I had to describe them I’d say mix a fair amount of 70’s rock ‘n roll with some 80’s punk edge. The first thing that went in my notes about them was their drummer performing lead vocals on all the songs; you don’t see that every day. The second were his stylish red leather pants. Yes. This dude played drums in tight leather pants. I can’t imagine how sweaty and uncomfortable that must have been but it didn’t slow him down at all. Their bass player had some very fashionable shoes on that may have been his downfall, literally, as he tripped over a cable and fell on his ass. To his accord, he didn’t miss a beat. He did start a trend though, as it wasn’t long before their guitar player was down on the stage too, kicking his feet in the air while rocking his guitar parts. Alternative Radio put on a damn good show, give Milwaukee some love.

Aweful ranks way high amongst my favorite currently-active Chicago bands. I’ve seen and photographed them numerous times before, and boy howdy was I excited to do it again. They just keep getting better and every new song is better than the last, it’s been awesome following them. They came out of the gate strong with the song, “Bubble,” which is an older song but will be coming out on their new album soon. Rocking hard, Bubble brought everything I’ve come to love and expect from Aweful. The stage was full of energy and movement as the girls romped around with a whole lot of head-banging and hair flips. The first thing to draw me in was Traci’s unmistakeable thick-ass bass tone. It filled the whole room with her earworm bass melodies, sure to be stuck in your head. And when she kicks on the distortion it absolutely crushes. I never cease to be impressed with Izzy’s phenomenal drumming, he makes a very minimal drum set sound like a much larger kit, not a lot of people can do that. After the show I was talking to him about his excellent drumming facial expressions and he let me in on the secret. It’s all a reaction to, or an effort to prevent, the stinging of sweat in his eyes. Drummers take note for your own photo charisma. Lucy’s power chords and guitar licks tore up her signature sparkly leopard print SG. Her distinct phaser effect always brings a great atmosphere to the set. The interplay between Traci’s dark vocals with Lucy’s backup singing brought great dimension, making the songs even more memorable. At the culmination of their closing song, Time, Traci and Lucy followed the trend started by Alternative Radio, rocking out laying down on the stage floor. I have to say, besides being awesome musicians the whole band is so friendly and welcoming. I really love them ❤ And you should show them some love at all of their shows.

I’ve never had a bad time at Liar’s Club, but this show knocked everything up a notch. Check out the photos below!

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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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DS Show Review and Gallery: Motoblot 2023 Saturday with Labretta Suede & The Motel 6, Vang!, The Beat Creeps, and The Crombies. Chicago (06.23.2023)

The air was thick, but not yet due to the smokey skies from Canadian wildfires, which would eventually blanket over parts of the Midwest. Instead, this was your run-of-the-mill summer day-related weather condition. But sizzling could also describe the day’s musical acts. Vang!, The Beat Creeps, and Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 had the […]

The air was thick, but not yet due to the smokey skies from Canadian wildfires, which would eventually blanket over parts of the Midwest. Instead, this was your run-of-the-mill summer day-related weather condition. But sizzling could also describe the day’s musical acts. Vang!, The Beat Creeps, and Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 had the crowd sweating. The Crombies, brought its cool to provide a respite at the 10th annual Motoblot, a motorcycle rally and music fest.


Lucy DeKay of Aweful and Mystery Actions has formed yet another band. DeKay, along with Jay Howarth, Meg McDuff, and Elyse Dequina, introduced Vang! to Chicago with an explosive afternoon slot as its first-ever show. A Vang! bang you might say. The fiery set included “Bad Girl,” “Push,” “Demona 666,” and “Mannequins.” Vang! ended the set with “Let’s Ride.” DeKay said of that last song,

It’s about bikers! Haha perfect for Motoblot!

DeKay described the debut performance to me several days after Motoblot 2023 closed out,

I was so excited. Tiny bit of butterflies at the beginning and in between playing the songs, because Meg and I are shy talking on the mic believe it or not, was awkward but fun as fuck overall.”

For her part, McDuff,

I was nervous because me my guitar strings were loose, and I thought I was out of tune and my voice sounded like crap and it was so hot on stage I thought was going to pass out, lol.”

However, McDuff needn’t have worried,

But after hearing clips of what it sounded like from the audience perspective, it sounded good, and felt relieved.”

Vang! will continue providing opportunities for Chicago area punk fans to discover it with a pair of shows at Liar’s Club, on July 22, and August 4. You can also check out Vang! on the 5th of August at Jefferson Park Festival.


Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 arrived in its adopted hometown of New York City via New Zealand. But it made a stop in Dallas, TX on its way to The Big Apple. With its full-throttle approach to its set, the band seemed right at home performing among motorcycles from around the world.

While the entire band was a tight formation, the dynamic chemistry between lead singer Labretta Suede and guitar player Johnny Moondog, really stood out every time they shared the microphone.

Labretta Suede & The Motel 6 motored through a set list including, “Etiquette For Suckers,” “Teenagers Gettin’ High,” “Mean Mouthed Momma,” “Bait,” and “Crying Shame.” 

Labretta Suede revealed to me, some of the band’s history in the States, and mix behind the magic:

A few singles have come out on USA labels but I (labretta) am the driving force that drives the band. It’s the most juju strange & dangerous mom & pop/cottage industry brands around.

Check into the Motel 6 next chance you have, you may never want to check out.


The Beat Creeps brought the theatrics, with a bit of camp. Motoblot attendees were all there for it. As was I.

The band, comprised of Nic Roulette, Leilani Killgore, Ariel Dornbush, and Elliot Tanner, pummeled through its set, which included, “The Phantom,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “Valley of Broken Hearts,” “I Don’t Want To Die,” and a rollicking cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “How Does That Grab Ya Darling?”

Lead singer Roulette utilized various items around the stage as props including a neon orange construction cone atop his skull. Several times he threw the mic stand and the mic itself into the photo pit. Of course, it is always a good idea to keep one eye looking through the lens and one eye on your surrounding whilst shooting a show, so I should note that those of us documenting the antics were never in danger of being struck such items. I also have little doubt that Roulette was at aware of his aim, to ensure no injuries, as well.

Instead, The Beat Creeps served an entertaining audio and visual feast to the crowd which heartily digested it. I look forward to a second helping sooner than later. It shouldn’t be too long a wait as the band plans to release a full-length album in 2024. Until then, the band, which self-describes, as, “Unapologetic garage rock and roll with a punk feel appeal to it.” That’s a pretty on-target description of The Beat Creeps.


Chicago’s very own two-tone outfit The Crombies, a staple of Motoblot, has always been a reliably fun band to see live. However, please know I am not at all suggesting its act has become monotonous. While there is a thread of consistency in the band members’ moves on stage, they possess the abilities to, nevertheless, make them seem fresh. The friendships amongst this band of brothers-from-other-mothers is obvious and results in a propulsive spark to The Crombies’ sets. Several play in other bands with each other, most especially Chicago’s legendary rock steady collective Deal’s Gone Bad (DGB). This day was no exception. Singer Mike Park, guitar players Vee Sonnets and Dave Simon, drummer Matt Meuzelaar, bass player Kevin Lustrup Anthony Abbinanti of the Drastics and who played with Sonnets and Simon in DGB (Park was the original singer as well) filled in for Karl Gustafson on keys.

Saturday’s set included a few The Crombies originals, “Unsavory Types,” “Sneaky Pete,” and “Putting On Airs.” The band also took the crowd through a tour of two-tone, ska, and reggae history with some classic covers. These included “Click, Click” by The English, “Little Bitch” by The Specials, Toots and the Maytals’ “Monkey Man,” and a mashup of two songs, “Chase the Devil” by Max Romeo and “English Civil War” by The Clash.

Abbinanti subbing for Gustafson was not the only different aspect to this year’s set. Unlike pretty much every other The Crombies Motoblot set I’ve witnessed, Simon did not ride the shoulders of a friend in the crowd. The fact that Simon was playing at all is a testament to his grit and stubbornness, as several weeks earlier, he broke his left clavicle when attending a punk show as a fan, not a performer. Even though Simon had very recently had surgery for the injury, with some visible black medical tape, he was able to tough it out. Surely it was not easy, as evidenced by the sight of him grimacing, and holding tight his injured wing post-set. So, from us at DS to D.S., we give him serious praise if not also a bit of concern. Ardent fans of The Crombies, and of Simon himself, need him back whole and I look forward to Simon once again playing atop shoulders at Motoblot 2024. Taking place again in this, per Carl Sandburg, City of the Big Shoulders.


Please check out more photos from the show. Also, stay tuned for coverage Sunday’s sets, by my colleague ManVsFriction, coming soon.


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DS Show Review and Gallery: Motoblot 2023 Sunday with Aweful, Sabbatha, The Surfrajettes, Tiger Sex, and The Delta Bombers Chicago (06.25.2023)

Motoblot, the annual motorcycle-focused street festival in Chicago, continued its blast of rockabilly, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll on Saturday, June 25th. The festival featured seven bands that delivered the rock on an excellent outdoor stage next to Cobra Lounge. The crowd was treated to a mix of local and international acts that kept them […]

Motoblot, the annual motorcycle-focused street festival in Chicago, continued its blast of rockabilly, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll on Saturday, June 25th. The festival featured seven bands that delivered the rock on an excellent outdoor stage next to Cobra Lounge. The crowd was treated to a mix of local and international acts that kept them entertained and energized throughout the day. The first band to kick off the event was The Bama Lamas. Unfortunately I was unable to arrive early enough to cover them this time. However, I’ve written about them in the past and they are a fantastic act. I definitely did myself a disservice in my tardiness.

Up second was Aweful, a gritty post-punk trio from Chicago. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play at least 10 times now. Traci Trouble, Lucy Dekay, and Izzy Price all performed on point as I’ve come to expect. Aweful delivered a raw and powerful set that showcased their catchy hooks, snarling vocals, and punk attitude. They played all the old favorites as well as new tracks that will appear on their upcoming record. Their set was spiced up but not upstaged by the lineup of motorcycles in front of the stage, revving their engines to take a lap in the spirit of the festival. It was no surprise Aweful once again displayed that they are anything but awful (that was terrible, I apologize) and that they are one of the most exciting bands in Chicago right now.

Next up was Sabbatha, an all-female tribute band for Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Dio. The band hails from Chicago as well and consists of four talented ladies who share a love for heavy metal legends. Sabbatha rocked the crowd with their faithful renditions of classics like “Bark at the Moon”, “Paranoid”, “Crazy Train”, and “Holy Diver”. It’s always interesting to hear familiar songs with a different voice, and their voice worked extremely well with their setlist. Justice was done to every song they played. Sabbatha impressed the audience with their skills and passion, and made everyone feel like they were witnessing the real deal.

The fourth band to take the stage was The Surfrajettes, a four-piece instrumental combo from Toronto, ON, Canada. The band charmed the crowd with their clever breed of reverb-drenched surf music. They also sported sky-high beehives, go-go boots, and eyeliner, completing a fitting, unified look and vibe. The Surfrajettes played songs from their debut LP Roller Fink, as well as some covers of surf classics. I admit I did not know the names of the covers, but the melodies were instantly recognizable. The band had the audience dancing and grooving to their fun, catchy tunes.

Up fifth was Tiger Sex, a wild and raucous punk rock band formed in Las Vegas but hailing from Cincinnati, OH. With Kelly’s voice leading the charge, Tiger Sex assaults their listeners with Kei on guitar and Troy on drums. The band unleashed their fierce and frenetic set that included songs like “I’m Not Your Baby”, “Bad Boy”, and “Tiger Walk”. Per usual, they had some antics on stage, such as Kelly bringing an audience member up to do their interpretation of the tiger walk dance. Later she brought Tracie from Aweful up to help her use a dirty old traffic cone off the street as a beer bong. Tiger Sex coated the stage with intense energy, giving everyone a wild ride. Not to be confined to the stage, Kelly brought the mic into the crowd showering the audience members with all of her intensity.

The second to last band of the fest was The Delta Bombers, a Las Vegas quartet that has been tearing up stages since 2008. The band pulled no punches with their high-octane blend of rockabilly, blues, and garage rock. They delivered a memorable selection of songs from their catalog spanning 14 years of recordings. The crowd devoured their energetic and charismatic showmanship, as the band radiated their vibrant breed of sonic power. All and all The Delta Bombers proved once again that they are one of the best rockabilly bands around

It is with further shame that this photographer was unable to stay for Supersuckers, but I have it on good authority they provided a commanding end to a fantastic lineup of bands. Day two of Motoblot 2023 was a spectacular day of music that showcased the diversity and quality of the bands that played. The festival was a celebration of the culture and lifestyle of riders, drivers, and spectators alike. It was another year to remember for everyone who attended.

Check out some photos from the day below. And Check out MerGold‘s coverage of day one here!

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Dying Scene Resurrection Show – Chicago

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 […]

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!


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