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DS Festival Recap: Riot Fest Day One – Part One (9/16/22) w/Descendents, Lagwagon, Sincere Engineer and more

For the first time, Team Dying Scene had two photographers on the ground and in the pits in Chicago for the annual 3-Day Riot Fest. It was a blast to have another great photographer documenting RF. We both have our own perspectives. This is mine for day 1, Friday, September 16, 2022.   On the […]

For the first time, Team Dying Scene had two photographers on the ground and in the pits in Chicago for the annual 3-Day Riot Fest. It was a blast to have another great photographer documenting RF. We both have our own perspectives. This is mine for day 1, Friday, September 16, 2022.

 

On the day 1 train rides to Riot Fest, I queried those headed to Douglass Park about whom they were most looking forward to seeing play. It would have taken several pairs of hands to count how many attendees on the nearly full CTA train cars of the red and pink lines responded with Sincere Engineer. Chicago area’s Deanna Belos, performing under the stage name of Sincere Engineer, has been on a rocket ship to national stardom these past several years. It’s not hard to see why. Sincere Engineer combines infectiously great tunes with a self-effacing wit and an utterly charming stage presence. This was not her Riot Fest debut, but it was her first on one of the event’s main stages. She blasted out a set list including “Trust Me,” “Bottle Lightning Twice,” “Dragged Across The Finish Line” and of course, “Corn Dog Sonnet No.7.” That last song was the inspiration for the “Corn Dog Mosh Pit,” in which participants held up corn dogs as they slammed into each other. Back to those fans on the morning “L” rides headed to Riot Fest? Eager as they headed to Douglass Park and left Riot Fest satisfied. If Belos ever asked  “what am I supposed to do now?” I think a good response would be “pretty much whatever you want.”

Please look for an upcoming DS special feature on Sincere Engineer. 


Carolsdaughter, aka Thea Taylor, from Temecula, CA, is just a couple of months shy of her 18th birthday. However, has already witnessed her song “Violent” featured in over a quarter-million TikToks. Taylor, as Carolsdaughter, has also amassed 882.7K followers on her own TikTok channel. That’s in addition to the 183K followers on her Youtube channel. But the musician/comedian demonstrated that she is no flash-in-the-pan influencer too many often assume of young people with such large social media fan bases. Her performance at Riot Fest proved this. With an appearance recalling Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt days, Carolsdaughter utilized the entire stage, running from one corner to the next, with a few pogo jumps sprinkled in whilst belting out haunting lyrics. This included the aforementioned “Violent”: “don’t make me get violent,
I want my ring back, baby, that’s a diamond,
You don’t listen anyways, I’ll be quiet
I don’t really feel like fighting” was quite captivating.

As accomplished as she is at such a young age, it will be fun keeping an eye out for her future projects. We will be listening.


Boston Manor was founded in March 2013, in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. “Datura,” the band’s latest album is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2022, to critical acclaim. The record has thus far generated three singles, “Foxglove,” “Passenger,” and “Inertia.” As with the past Boston Manor releases, its sound is a fusion of punk, emo, dance, and electronica. The band’s Riot Fest set was intense as demonstrated through “Foxglove,” one of the above-mentioned recently released singles.

There was also a nice touch by guitar player Mikey Cunniff. Cunniff appeared on stage with a sports car yellow guitar emblazoned with Topo Chico branding and wearing a Placebo t-shirt. Placebo, one of the top billed Riot Fest 2022 artists, was forced to pull out of the festival, according to a statement the band put out, “…due to unprecedented visa and logistical issues beyond our control.” 


Taking Back Sunday, from my native land of Long Island, was back at Riot Fest after performing at the event in 2021. The band played a solid set much to the appreciation of many fans in the crowd. Those fans eagerly sang along as TBS ran through “Set Phasers to Stun,” “Timberwolves at New Jersey,” “You’re So Last Summer,” and “Flicker, Fader’.”

Taking Back Sunday, a Riot Fest semi-regular, was yet again a reliable part of the event and I’m sure this will be far from its last performance there.


The legendary Descendents kicked off their set with “Everything Sux.” Considering that the festival’s long-time slogan is “Riot Fest Sucks,” this was a great choice. Through nearly 30 songs, the Californians held their fans in sway as crowd surfing fans continually made it to the barricades before being pulled to safety by security personnel. In addition to the opening tune, Descendents also jammed through “I’m Not A Punk,” “I’m the One,” “Coffee Mug,” “When I Get Old,” “Merican,” “My Dad Sucks,” and “I Don’t’ Want to Grow Up.”

Descendents may sing about everything sucking but the band itself has never earned such a description.


San Diego’s Rocket From The Crypt has long been a fan favorite. With all members dressed in matching black attire with white trimmings, the group brought to mind a Mariachi band. Rocket From The Crypt had a common Riot Fest musical assignment: Playing one of its best albums in full, from start to finish.  In this case, it was the band’s penultimate album, 2001’s Group Sounds which features the very popular  “Savoir Faire,” and also includes “Straight American Slave,” “S.O.S,” “Carne Voodoo.” RFTC also performed “Sturdy Wrists”, “Glazed” and “Don’t Darlene “ from its second album Circa: Now!

Rocket From The Crypt members Speedo, Petey X, ND, Apollo 9, JC 2000, and Ruby Mars provided die-hard fans what they were looking for and it’s hard to imagine they didn’t pick up more than a few new fans in the process.


Yet another great band from California played, Goleta’s Lagwagon. The band’s walk-on music was Theme from “The Warriors” (composed by Barry De Vorzon) and its set sprinkled with humor as frontman Joey Cape led Lagwagon through a set which included “After You My Friend”, “Falling Apart,” “Wind in Your Sail,” “Island of Shame,” “Razor Burn.”

Many fans at the very front wore Lagwagon attire and appeared ecstatic that their time waiting, often crushed up against the metal barricades, paid off with an experience they’ll remember for years. 


Chicago’s own Alkaline Trio matched Lagwagon and perhaps even superseded them with choice of walk-on music. This time it was a tune that had stage and security personnel, the fans, and yes even us photographer singing in hearty unison. The tune which provoked this sunshiny moment in the darkness of just past the gloaming? One of the biggest hits by the legends (and Riot Fest alums) from just 85 miles west-northwest past Chicago. Of course the tune was “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. It was glorious.

Once on stage Alkaline Trio blazed through a set which included “Time to Waste,”  “Calling all Skeletons,” “Sadie,” “Fatally Yours,” “Bleeder,” and “Radio.” 

Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant also had a couple of dedications to gift. 

“How about a love song? How about a love song for Chicago? Tonight. Another one” proposed guitarist/vocalist Skiba as he introduced “Every Thugs Needs a Lady,” on which bassist/vocalist Andriano took the lead vocals. The conclusion of the song led to this delightful (partial) exchange between Skiba and Andriano as drummer Derek Grant sat back took it in:

Skiba “That, that was a 9 and a half.” 

Andriano “Thanks buddy… see I’m getting better.”

Skiba: “I would have given you a ten I just don’t want you getting cocky on me right?”

Andriano: “I can’t be reading my clippings” …”…I get a little confidence boost though with that, thank you Matt”

Skiba: “…No problem bro.”

This was immediately followed by Skiba declaring “This song’s for the Descendents, it’s called “Mercy Me.”

Alkaline Trio capped an enjoyable day 1 for Dying Scene correspondents.


Coverage of days 2 and 3 coming soon. See below for more day 1 photos.


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DS Photo Gallery & Show Review: KT’s Kids 19 – Nefarious Fat Cats / Bama Lamas / Eve’s Parlor Burlesque / Sweet Figurines (Liar’s Club – Chicago, IL 12/17/2022)

This was a super exciting event for me to shoot. I’ve tuned into the live stream in previous years, but this was my first time at the star-studded event in person. If you’re not familiar with the KT’s Kids, it’s an annual fundraiser held at Liar’s Club, running for its 19th year this installment. Christmas […]

This was a super exciting event for me to shoot. I’ve tuned into the live stream in previous years, but this was my first time at the star-studded event in person. If you’re not familiar with the KT’s Kids, it’s an annual fundraiser held at Liar’s Club, running for its 19th year this installment. Christmas may have passed this year, but KT’s Kids is a 501c3 Non-Profit, so it’s never a bad time to make a tax deductible donation. Also, as of this writing, the livestream is still available to stream on Zuma Live.

Herb Rosen and Mike O’Connell were the lovely hosts for the evening. They arrived in style to kick everything off, wearing matching red blazers fully bedazzled with sequins. Once they finished telling us what to expect for the evening, Sweet Figurines got things rocking. The whole band also looked quite fashionable, but I have to give a call out to the bass player. His shiny blue blazer, combined with his gold bowtie and matching gold bass guitar drew attention in a very good way. Keeping with the festive theme, the band came out of the gate with an excellent rendition of “Father Christmas” by the Kinks. The rest of the set, bursting with a great old-school rock sound, did not disappoint. This was my first time seeing Sweet Figurines and hopefully not the last.

Angela Eve’s Parlor Burlesque was up next, but before the risque review started, KT herself came on stage to give a brief history of the event. 19 years ago KT was pulling double duty, working at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and bartending at Liar’s. When Herb and Mike heard how little the kids at the hospital had, and how their basic needs were not being met, they wanted to help. That started everything, and every year for 19 years they have been able to raise more and more, and reach more kids every year.

Mike announced it was indeed time for sexy time now, and the fabulous Angela Eve hyped up the crowd and introduced the dancers. Last year Angela was sadly absent from the show thanks to Covid, as well as being 5 months pregnant. This year she was back in full force with little baby Nonda joining her on stage. Adorable. Kevlar B Lightning started the show right, tastefully removing her festive red garbs to the Peppermint Twist to reveal some tasty peppermint pasties. Jezzibel was up to perform next, who Angela described as a “pincushion of sorts.” She did not fail to live up to that description. Upping the ante of a traditional burlesque act, various sharp instruments went into and through her face! After a quick break for Angela to give one lucky attendee the gift of spankings, Queerella Fistalot graced the stage. Queerella wasted no time disrobing to make sparks fly. I’m being quite literal, the ol’ angle grinder came out to play and Queerella showered the stage in tiny glowing embers of hot metal.

The stage got quite crowded for the next act, The Bama Lamas! Self-described as down and dirty, hip-shakin’ old school rock and roll / R&B. Performing good and greasy the way it was meant to be played. With everyone adoring Friar’s hats, The Bamas managed to fit a drummer, a bass player, a sax player, a singer, not one but two guitarists, and a full 88-key digital piano with the accompanying keyboardist on to Liar’s Club’s tiny, tiny stage. Everyone in the band was having a great time and clearly the audience was too, reinforced by some very happy patrons getting their dance on. All in all a great throwback to an exceptionally fun era of music. Definitely recommend.

More burlesque was up next and who doesn’t like that? The first performer of round two was Miss Spitfire. Angela described her as bendy and she wasn’t kidding. Dawning a red onesie for the occasion, Spitfire’s Acroartist background was evident in some truly impressive contorted choreography, yeow. After a quick changeover, out came Miss Millie May! She may have been dressed like an ice queen but that didn’t stop her act from heating up the room. There was a brief intermission for more spankings before Lady India came out and owned the stage. India was oozing confidence as she danced her clothes off, and then the angle grinder came back out. Once more the stage was showered in an incandescent rain of shrapnel. Finally, Angela Eve herself closed out the burlesque portion of the evening. After many twirls and kicks, and littering the stage with articles of clothing, the house lights dimmed. Angela then showed off the most electric tassel spinning of the night. That’s right, fully illuminated Christmas light tassels. I can’t figure out where she could have hid a battery for them, so I’m going to assume they were charged by the pure power of sexiness.

And then it was time for The Nefarious Fat Cats to close out the music for the evening. Scott Lucas and Ryan Harding of Local H made up the initial lineup along with Herb Rosen. If you only know Herb as the owner of Liar’s Club, he is also known for playing in the Beer Nuts. Scott Lucas’s goatee made me wonder if we were seeing our Scott, or an evil doppelganger. If it was Evil Scott, all I can say is he was just as talented as the real deal. The Fat Cats came out of the gate strong with a cover of “TV Eye” by The Stooges. They continued on with that lineup for the first 4 songs, finishing up with “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. At first lineup change, Herb switched to lead vocals and turned bass duty over to Joe Principe of Rise Against. This lineup wasted no time before serenading us with “The Kids are United” by Sham 69. Next Joe Haggerty of Pegboy relieved Ryan on drum duty, allowing Ryan to pick up his Telecaster for a few songs. Herb took the bass back and the group proceeded to rock my ass off with their cover of “Bloodstains” by Agent Orange. For the next song another legend came on stage. To play “Suspect Device” by Stiff Little Fingers they brought out none other than Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers, taking over vocals and replacing Ryan on guitar. Mike O’Connell came back on stage to sing “New Rose” by the Damned. Sean Hulet of Masonic Wave, took over bass guitar next, for the band to play “Tush” by ZZ Top. Joe Principe picked up the bass again to play “Tin Soldiers” and “Alternative Ulster,” also by Stiff Little Fingers. The show was coming to an end, but there was still one more lineup change. Ryan rejoined on drums, Sean on Bass, Scott still on guitar, and for the first time that evening, Herbert Plant! Herb definitely didn’t have a beer bottle in his pants (I’m lying, he absolutely did) while the 4 piece played a couple Zepplin tunes for the evening’s finale. With that, live music was over for the night and it was time for me to drink.


Check out more pictures from the evening’s exciting festivities below!

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DS Show Review & Gallery: Heet Deth, Lollygagger, The Cult of SpaceSkull, and Hail Alien in Chicago (01.13.2023)

Liar’s Club, on Friday the 13th, brought the heat of Heet Deth, the acidic humor of Lollygagger, the spooky drama of The Cult of SpaceSkull; and in place of Hail Satan, it was Hail Alien. All of this added up to an entertaining way to spend a few hours on a crisp winter evening. Heet […]

Liar’s Club, on Friday the 13th, brought the heat of Heet Deth, the acidic humor of Lollygagger, the spooky drama of The Cult of SpaceSkull; and in place of Hail Satan, it was Hail Alien. All of this added up to an entertaining way to spend a few hours on a crisp winter evening.


Heet Deth returned to Liar’s Club as headliners. We were excited to first introduce the duo to our readers last year. Julia Bards and Laila Eskin were dressed in their uniforms of red overalls with the band’s name slashed in white across the back. The black and red grease paint on their faces rendered them looking like slightly less deranged first cousins of the late Heath Ledger’s The Joker from The Dark Knight. Different color scheme but similar mood. In the case of Heet Deth, they don’t want the world to burn, just the stage on which they perform. And burn up the stage, they did. Blasting through its set, Heet Deth gave the crowd not just a visual wow, but an auditory one as well. The band directs its anger at those who put profits over people and the environment. In “Bootlicker” the band addresses those supporting politicians caging kids:

How’s this for progress? I’ll set the stage We’ll flip the script, throw you in there How you think you’re gonna like it Bootlicker.”

Borrowing from cinematic history to make a point in “Planet of the Apes“:

We’re not here to be put in our place

To praise the demagogues of a fascist state

Here is just one solution, reverse the institution

There is no master race This is the planet of the apes

The group’s set also included “Blood,” “Big Bang Boom,” and “We Should Have a Party.” Heet Deth pulls no punches and the ferocity of its music and performances stick with you for days. Put this band in your ears, in front of your eyes, and on your “must see list.” Or for some, your “must see again” list.


Speaking of flames, Lollygagger’s fiery performance got pulses racing. Matthew Muffin, Kinsey Ring, and Michael Sunnycide tore up the stage with abandon. Sunnycide, as he typically does whilst drumming for Lollygagger, was sporting a leather chest harness and ball gag. This added a bit of cheekiness to their time on stage. A few days post-show, Sunnycide revealed to me the inspiration for the getup:

The chest harness and ball gag is just for fun. Because the band name is Lollygagger, the ball gag is quite literally and figuratively a gag. Just embracing my inner Judas Priest.

But simply being humorous is not all there is to Lollygagger. The band members suffer no fools. In fact, they name the fools out loud. One of the biggest fools of all being Roger Stone, the infamous Republican political consultant who would fit well in Dick Tracy’s Rogues Gallery. Stone served no time for his 2019 felony convictions for witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to Congress due to being pardoned after commutation by his crony, the twice impeached ex-president, Donald Trump. In “Stone.” Lollygagger rails against the over the top real-life character who, yes, does in fact, have the visage of another impeached, ex-president inked on his back. That being Richard Nixon of course.

Disinformation and American Pride
The shortest ladder to the top of the slide,
You slide down to the bottom then you’ll be back at the top again
A little bit of this and yea a little bit that,
A little bit of shit and yea a little bit of scat,
There’s more than one way to disembowel the American cat
.”

The band also blasted through “Sick Semper,” “My Boss is a Dick,” and “Mighty Methuselah’s Salami.”

However, it was the first song of Lollygagger’s set that lit the fuse. “Liar’s Club,” is a tribute to the very venue in which this event took place. Those who know about the legendary West Fullerton Ave dive bar will know immediately to whom the song refers:

Fashion annihilation!

Your pretty face will be crushed by Gary’s leopard boots

Lipstick and Leather

you know that I know that this place it just fucking rules”

Liar’s Club manager Gary Kessler and his epic shoe collection rule as indeed does the venue and Lollygagger itself. Check them all out ASAP.


If there is a punk rock version of LARPing [Live Action Role Playing], The Cult of SpaceSkull can surely be described at doing that. That’s not a bad thing. This band, from Detroit, is horror punk, with a dash of performance art. The band “characters” go by stage names. Led by Red Witch on vocals, the rest of the band members were almost fully covered by long red hooded robes and corpse face masks, bringing to mind demonic Monks. But there’s more, as in sword fighting, an inflatable black and white skeleton tube man, and an unnamed red and black glitter-covered creature. In addition, Red Witch has a nemesis who tries to destroy her. The troupe ran through a set which included, “Fucked Up,” “Red Bitch,” “SpaceSkull, and “Satan’s Slut.” Red Witch told me, post-show, that they often change up characters and storylines but for this event the arch nemesis dress all in black, was known as Beserker. It’s a unique experience to say the least.


Hail Alien, from Metro Detroit, kicked off the show with a kinetic performance. Spencer Rogers and Sean Tarolli’s solid set got the crowd revved up for a terrific night of music.


SPECIAL NOTE: Heet Deth has yet another reason to celebrate. The duo is nominated for best rock band in Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2022 poll.

Dying Scene readers will recognize several other nominees in various categories. Reigning champ for best Dive Bar, Liar’s Club is, again, nominated for that category. Gary Kessler, the manager of Liar’s Club, the king of cool, and owner of an epically fabulous shoe collection is reigning champ for Best Music Venue Bartender, and, again, nominated in that category (Ok, I am a bit biased. Liar’s Club has been my “home bar” here in Chicago for most of my coming up on 14 years (!?!?) here after all). Lastly, Chicago punk/post-punk legends Naked Raygun, veterans of DS coverage, including an extensive interview I conducted with founder/lead singer Jeff Pezzati a few years back, the reigning champ for best punk band is, again, nominated in that category. And of course best musical festival reigning champ is Riot Fest, which our team Chicago has covered extensively for several years is, once again, nominated in that category. But there are quite a few other DS covered nominees in musicians, venues, festivals and more, we have not mentioned here as well. So please check it out the link above and vote for your faves, whoever they may be, or just use it as a visitor’s guide to the Windy City.

Hey, we strive to bring you the very best and we appreciate our readers! Thank You!


Check out more photos from the show 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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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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Dying Scene Show Review and Photo Gallery: Windy City Sensation w/ Flesh Panthers, Criminal Kids, Some Hearts, RMBLR and more

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg Windy City Sensation returned in Chicago over the weekend of July 16-17, taking over Liar’s Club for two nights of a loud and rowdy rock cocktail with a twist of punk and hardcore. The iconic bar/venue on West Fullerton Avenue played host to a multitude of bands all competing […]

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg

Windy City Sensation returned in Chicago over the weekend of July 16-17, taking over Liar’s Club for two nights of a loud and rowdy rock cocktail with a twist of punk and hardcore. The iconic bar/venue on West Fullerton Avenue played host to a multitude of bands all competing for title of most hyper-energetic set.

Of course, the music was pretty damn good too.

Jump starting the weekend were some well-liked sons of the Windy City, Bad Sons. The Chicago born and bred street punk crew has two modes working in conjunction “Fast. Loud.” The band hit its targets on both. 

Though no exact stats available at the moment, Milwaukee might be the non-Chicago city with the highest number of bands having played at Liar’s Club. Convert, the first of the weekend’s several Milwaukee bands, followed Band Sons. Convert made up of musicians from two different hometown scenes: punk rock, and electronic music.  Somewhat obscured through a very dense layer of blue fog its performance nonetheless broke through strong and clear.  

Some Hearts is based out of both Tulsa, OK and Los Angeles, CA, which one member, Niah Bervin, joked was “weird, I know haha,” found its way into the heart of the opening night crowd with its energetic set. 

Criminal Kids has around for a while and has deservedly developed a reputation for rollicking sets. From the regularity of the band’s appearances at Liar’s, it is obvious this is a favorite spot for them. It even recorded a live record at the venue in September 2021. All of this contributed to a sense the band was very much at home, among friends, on the compact stage at 1665 W. Fullerton. Its performance did not disappoint. 

From Criminal Kids immediately to a crime of another sort. Crime Line comes out of Norfolk, one of the cities making up Hampton Roads, a metropolitan area in southeastern Virginia. (Note: it is also where I lived for several years so I know the area well) Along with its Naval facilities, Hampton Roads might be musically best known for homegrown hip-hop legends Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams. As shown in the documentary, “Hardcore Norfolk: The Movie” (2011) it also has a strong punk rock legacy. The most well-known of which is likely Waxing Poetics.  Crime Line carries that legacy forward with its rambunctious performance. Lead singer Ray Braza might have been purposefully or perhaps subconsciously but bloodily inspired by   Jack “Choke” Kelly from legendary Boston hardcore band Slapshot.  Braza smashed up his own head with the resulting blood running down his face and garishly mixing with sweat to soak his white t-shirt failed to stop him. Alas, it was difficult to determine if tears completed the metaphorical holy trinity symbolizing the hard work it takes to succeed. 

Capping off night 1 was Dinos Boys out of Atlanta Georgia. Chase Tail pulled triple duty for the weekend. Tail is the lead singer for both Dinos Boys and RMBLR, with each band at the top of its respective night’s bill. In addition, Tail organized the event. However, if he was exhausted at any point, it did not show. 

Aces, from Milwaukee, got the Sunday session off to a pummeling start with its no flash all thrash set. The band appeared to be buoyed by its latest EP, released this year, “Raw Deal,” which includes the single, “Outta Time.” 

Flesh Panthers are vets of the Second City punk scene. Revrend Zombotron led the group with an enthusiasm which led the crowd to slam against the stages and the walls surrounding the compact stage. Flesh Panthers’ lively performance was a highlight among many highlights during the Windy City Sensation 2022 weekend. 

And then there was Baltimore’s BBQT. The 5-piece crew from Charm City delivered an especially exciting set. Gabbie “Sleaze-E-G” Torres dominated both the stage and the floor. At times she appeared ready slither right off the stage. Thankfully, the stage is built fairly low to the ground.  Her bandmate,  guitarist Alex Briscoe, brought to mind a whirling dervish with his nearly continuous spins. He remained in perpetual motion for the duration of the BBQT set. 

Closing out the weekend, RMBLR left the crowd panting and exhausted. Event organizer Chase Tail growled into the mic, slashing across the stage. At one point he dropped to the floor of the stage and proceeded to easily do one-handed push-ups.

Despite a few brief technical glitches with sound gear and guitar straps, the weekend was a bit of chaotic glory. If there is a Windy City Sensation 2023 there will be high expectations to meet. I have little doubt that organizers can and will exceed those expectations. 

Please see below for more images from Windy City Sensation.

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