Continuing with our Riot Fest 2022 coverage with a few bands from day two! In case you missed it, click here to see my day one recap. We’re starting off with the hardcore punk band War on Women. This female-fronted band delves heavily into political and feminist issues. Shawna Potter is the very definition of […]
Continuing with our Riot Fest 2022 coverage with a few bands from day two! In case you missed it, click here to see my day one recap.
We’re starting off with the hardcore punk band War on Women. This female-fronted band delves heavily into political and feminist issues. Shawna Potter is the very definition of fierce; definitely see this band live if you get the chance…and, head’s up they will be touring with fellow hardcore punk band Cancer Bats this fall for an East Coast U.S. tour.
Next are The Front Bottoms, an emo/indie rock band from New Jersey. They released their third installment of their popular Grandma EP series titled Theresa on September 2, 2022.
Long-time emo band Sunny Day Real Estate made a stop at Riot Fest for their fourth reunion tour. Their 1994 debut studio album Diary has been considered one of the defining albums of the Midwest emo genre.
Check out the full gallery below and Part One of day two here!
The foremost punk rock supergroup cover band hit the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on the first day of October 2022. The band brought the humor and fun, performing others’ classics but at break-neck speed. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes has a rotating cast of characters. At this House of Blues Chicago, only […]
The foremost punk rock supergroup cover band hit the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on the first day of October 2022. The band brought the humor and fun, performing others’ classics but at break-neck speed.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes has a rotating cast of characters. At this House of Blues Chicago, only one of the original members, Spike Slawson, was on stage. Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Fat Mike of NOFX were unable to join Slawson due to both bands being on tour. However, Slawson did have a pretty solid set of bandmates: CJ Ramone on bass, Speedo aka John “The Swami” Reis of Rocket From the Crypt on guitar, Jake Kiley from Strung Out, and Andrew “Pinch” Pinching formerly of The Damned, on drums. The entire band was decked out in white denim and glittery pink shirts, accented by white ties Slawson added a white sports jacket and Elton John style specs, as well his Lounge Lizard persona.
The band zoomed through a pair of John Denver tunes, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “Take Me Home Country Roads,” as well as Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” “ScienceFiction/Double Feature” by Richard O’Brien
The set also featured Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)” by Elton John, “Mandy,” by Barry Manilow and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes serves up a reliably good time, no matter what the lineup at any given time. It’s all in good fun, though there was an early oof moment when Slawson joked about John Denver’s skills as a helicopter pilot (Denver died when the home-made aircraft he was flying crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash to pilot errors). Aside from that, the band members play with an earnestness rather than a mocking spirit underneath the levity. They seem to be enjoying this insouciant break from their “day jobs.” The crowd was all for it and left asking for more.
The Black Tones, on its first national tour, got the show started in a big way. The duo, comprised of Eva Walker on vocals and guitar, and her twin brother Cedric Walker on drums and vocals, have built a devoted fan base in the state of Washington. The Seattle duo’s hit song, “The Key Of Black (They Want Us Dead)” speaks to police brutality fueled by racism.The name of the Walkers’ first album, Cobain & Cornbread, is a nod to both their hometown of the Emerald City, and their family’s southern roots in Louisiana.
On stage, joined by family as back-up musicians and singers they soared. Eva Walker is both an indefatigable shredder and a dynamic vocalist. Cedric Walker is a thunderous drummer, every bash complementing his sister’s swaggering stage presence. With songs like “Mr. Pink,” “Ghetto Spaceship,” and “Mama, There’s A Spider In My Room,” this band will continue to knock the socks off of those lucky enough to see them in the future.
In the middle slot of the evening were the rising stars in Son Rompe Pera. The band, like The Black Tones, is led by siblings. The three brothers Gama: The two Marimberos/Vocalists, Mongo and Kacho, and percussionist/vocalist Kilos. The family is from Naucalpan de Juárezon the outskirts of Mexico City. They are joined in Son Rompe Pera by Raul Albarrán on bass and Albarrán’s cousin, Richi López on drums. The band has played nearly every size of music venue, and was interviewed by National Public Radio. They were also featured in a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Sessions, On this Windy City Saturday night, Son Rompe Pera buoyantly showcased its sound which is traditional marimba music and cumbia fused with garage punk and psychobilly. Marimberos Kacho’s and Mongo’s synchronized rapid fire banging of their mallets across their marimbas, whilst furiously dancing, building momentum, caused them to appear breathless as they hit the crescendos. Those moments elicited gasps from the crowd followed by roaring cheers. Son Rompe Pera did not just warm up the crowd for the headliners, Instead, it was introducing to many of the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes fans a piece of the members’ heritages and family traditions. In the process, they were also garnering new fans of their music and of the marimba and cumbia.
Story and Photos by Meredith Goldberg Noah Corona just needed to find a place to eat within a block or two of his home in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park, IL. It was the first day of the Covid lockdown. Lacking groceries and concerned that driving to get food might lead to him being […]
Story and Photos by Meredith Goldberg
Noah Corona just needed to find a place to eat within a block or two of his home in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park, IL. It was the first day of the Covid lockdown. Lacking groceries and concerned that driving to get food might lead to him being arrested, he walked around the corner from his home and came upon Cemitas Poblanas. The restaurant offered a $9.00 burrito meal, so it instantly became Corona’s daily spot during the pandemic. It also led to friendships with the staff and owners, “Mauro and Jennifer, a couple who had come from NYC in November ‘19 to start their new business. They are both originally from Puebla, Mexico, and spent 18 years in NYC, and worked in restaurants for a lot of that time,” says Corona (whose surname surely caused a few of his friends to tease him in 2020).
Cemitas Poblanas also has a small stage, which planted the seeds in Corona’s mind, of an idea he would work to fruition over the following year. Thus, was born “Punk Rock Tacos,” a monthly Friday nights DIY (do it yourself) event.
Corona’s DIY ethos was inspired by the late Mark “Monk” Hubbard. The visionary Seattleite Hubbard created the famous Burnside Skatepark Project in Portland, OR. Hubbard also founded Grindline, a company which designed over 400 skatepark across the United States and elsewhere. Corona met Hubbard, a DIY inspiration to many across the world, one month prior to Hubbard’s June 2018 death. Hubbard’s band Grindline, named after his company, was playing in Oakland, CA at a skateboarding event, the P-Stone Invitational. Corona says that during Grindline’s set “He [Hubbard] stared so intensely into my soul as he performed 5 ft in front of me.”
It was a life-changing moment for Corona and would lead directly to his passion project: Punk Rock Tacos (PRT). This is the first of many ideas Corona has for PRT. One he hopes to tackle next is building skateboarding bowl behind the restaurant.
The first PRT Sunday edition led to some patrons being disgruntled by the rowdy punk rock music, so these special showcases take place in a small exterior area behind the restaurant.
Looking forward to the Fourth of July this year, Corona organized an event to take place on the Sunday the 3rd. As a nod to Independence Day, the 13-band showcase featured two American flags adorned to the back of an old Army flatbed truck. Said truck, which Corona purchased for the event, also served as the stage.
Although this was a Fourth of July event, it was hardly a day for shouting “Murica” and chanting USA USA USA.
Instead, there was a strong diversity of band and crowd members, more than a few Anti-Fascist and Anti-Nazi patches on clothing, call-outs for change and fighting back by the musicians, Pride t-shirts spotted, in addition to feminist statements made. One singer received roaring applause to his declaration that men who lay hands (violently) on women are trash. In many ways, Punk Rock Tacos Fourth on the Third represented what should be the ideals of this experiment in democracy. Oh, and rocking the pit harder than anyone else in attendance were a four-year-old named Lucas and an Australian cattle dog named Max.
Of course, the main reason for the event wasn’t to focus on the disturbing events of the last several years, and especially the past few months.
For Punk Rock Tacos founder Noah Corona, this was event was not about politics or division. Rather, it was about release and people having an out outlet to express themselves. Corona reflected on the event a day after the Highland Park mass shooting. He has also been shaken by a fatal motorcycle accident just blocks away from the event which Corona informed me occurred “while we were partying.” Per Corona, “Life is too shitty to not have a good time, and if people don’t have their outlets a whole lot more death would be upon us.”
No Dead Heroes’ mission statement is, “We’re here to fuck shit up.” Shit did not actually get fucked up but the band tore through its 30-minute set much to the delight of the attendees. Those in lawn chairs and car seats removed from their vehicles to be used as lawn chairs, as well as those who stood both near and away from the stage. Frank Lombardo propelled the band both in voice and on the drums. Whether it was the heat of the bright afternoon or his physical efforts, Lombardo’s reddened face painted a portrait of punk rock intensity.
Milwaukee’s The Rustix don’t consider themselves a political band according to its social media. However, per a Facebook post from June 25, 2022, “Rustix and the Midwest Hardcore Punx scene stand in solidarity with people that have uteruses. If you don’t, don’t come to our shows, you aren’t welcome.” For the band members some issues transcend politics and The Rustix brought a set that was as tight and strong as that message.
WAYDSB states on its website: “We want to share our perspectives with you, and maybe our music will help you understand and feel what it is we’re expressing.” The band demonstrated this motto during its banger of a set. Drummer Liam Cavanaugh was clad in a (LGBQT+) “Pride” shirt and rainbow tie dye style cap, while guitarist James McFadden wore a t-shirt sporting the name of satirical 2016 U.S. Presidential candidate Deez Nutz.
Quantum, out of Crystal Lake, brought the fun. With a combo multi-bongo and just enough cowbells set up, how could it not? There was Bass player Shawn Belletynee draped in an American flag as a cape, a brand-new song entitled Planet B.S., and blood. Well, blood on the bongos at least. Lead singer Zac Dawson decided it was a good sign and queried “Blood on the bongos, isn’t that a Bob Dylan album?”
Noah Corona’s own band, The Throwaways, elicited loud cheers and clapping for both the music and for his creation of Punk Rock Tacos and this event. It was obvious by his constant smile throughout the day, how grateful Corona was for that appreciation and the joy his hard work has brought him. The Throwaways, as a band, honored his hard work with its rollicking set. Immediately after the set Corona was back on the ground making sure the rest of the evening went off without a hitch.
Ah Shitizen. With all due respect to, and respect is most definitely owed to them, Josh on drums, Elliot on bass, and Jerm on guitar, it is lead singer Claudia Guajardo who steals the most focus at every Shitizen show. With her hyperkinetic energy and charisma, she is the very definition a band’s front person. As is the case at every Shitizen show, Guajardo refused to stick only to the stage. But this being on the back of a truck, she did accept an assist from her boyfriend Adam Kreutzer (lead singer for Kreutzer and the newly joined drummer for Knoxious.) who helped her in and out of the high up flatbed stage. She scaled the truck herself before the set and after, but Kreutzer’s help allowed her the continuity of singing, microphone in hand. It’s a blast to watch Guajardo in frenzied action. The band is also a model of DIY as they finished up making their band shirts and merch themselves the morning of the event.
Metro Chicago’s Real Bad Real Fast was formed in 5 or 6 years ago. They invited friends and family to this event on Facebook with a sentiment presently shared by a good portion of the USA: “Come celebrate Freedom (cough)” adding “At least freedom enough for us to rock your socks off!!” As the gloaming set in, lights were installed on the already too confined stage before knocking off of socks began.
Corona described the event as epic and credited his second in command organizer Matthew “Cactus Matt” Durica and sound engineer Steve Anthony for much of the success of the event and PRT, and told everyone involved that he was “proud of all of us.”
A few days after the event Corona stated, “I am happier than shit right now, and all I can think is, what’s next?”
Sunny Day Real Estate is an American emo band from Seattle, Washington. They were one of the early rock bands in the Midwest emo scene and helped establish the genre, despite not actually being from the Midwest themselves. In January 2022 the band announced its fourth reunion.
A few weeks ago, we presented you with a list of underrated punk bands you probably, maybe, potentially hadn’t heard of before. Well, it seemed like you people may have enjoyed that, so we thought to ourselves, “What the heck? Let’s do a part two!” So, without any further ado, Dying Scene presents: Ten MORE […]
A few weeks ago, we presented you with a list of underrated punk bands you probably, maybe, potentially hadn’t heard of before. Well, it seemed like you people may have enjoyed that, so we thought to ourselves, “What the heck? Let’s do a part two!” So, without any further ado, Dying Scene presents: Ten MORE underrated punk bands you need to check out right fuckin’ now!
Ottawa’s Riptideshave spent 20+ years producing some of the best pop-punk to ever come out of Canada. These guys are right up there with Chixdiggitin my book. They’ve never put out a bad record, and their latest album Canadian Graffiti is pop-punk perfection. Every song on this thing is great, and it’s an absolute steal for $11 on vinyl.
POINT OF VIEW
San Jose’s Point of View has been around a while, and their sound has changed pretty drastically over the years. Their first album Sideshow Years is just awesome. It’s a blazing fast ska infused skate punk masterpiece that stayed in my car’s CD player for a few months when I first got it 10 years ago. Their new stuff is good, too, and is definitely worth checking out, but this is without a doubt Point of View’s magnum opus.
Hailing from Seattle, The Subjunctives are a pop-punk band fronted by Ean Hernandez from Sicko(speaking of underrated bands…). If you like The Mr. T Experience or old school pop-punk in general, you’ll like these guys. Check out their album Sunshine and Rainbows below. Grab it on vinyl from their Bandcamp page.
Kurt Baker makes fun power pop music with rock ‘n’ roll flair and punk rock energy. His 2012 album Brand New Beat reminds me a lot of my favorite Billy Joel record Glass Houses. This just got reissued with a bunch of bonus tracks for its 10th anniversary. Highly recommended listening for anyone who’s not too punk to admit they like pop.
There was a time when I was absolutely obsessed with The Murderburgers. I first stumbled upon the Scottish pop-punk band when they released How to Ruin Your Life, which quickly reeled in with fast, melodic songs about being an unemployed degenerate. I was devastated when they called it quits in 2019, but happy to hear frontman Fraser quickly started a new project called Wrong Life. He’s released two great EPs that match the more serious tone of the Murderburgers’ later output, and supposedly has a full-length album coming soon. Be on the lookout for that!
Anyone who’s read any of the bullshit I’ve posted since Dying Scene came back from the dead knows of my infatuation with Dutch pop-punk band Giant Eagles. The Windowsill is basically the same band (seriously, 3/4 of the members are in Giant Eagles) sans synthesizers. Their 2017 album Make Your Own Kind Of Music shows off their uncanny knack for writing some of the coolest, most laid back pop-punk tunes I’ve ever head. Crack open a beer and give this one a spin.
CIVIL WAR RUST
During my original stint with Dying Scene, one of my greatest discoveries was Civil War Rust. Death To False Hope Records used to have a shitload of music on their website that was free to download. That’s where I came across an EP from these East Bay punks. I loved it and I didn’t waste any time ordering their record The Fun & The Lonely that the songs on that free EP were pulled from. It’s been ten years, but I can still put this record on and enjoy it as much as my first listen. These guys are still making new music; they released a new single called “Heart of Gold” earlier this year. Civil War Rust deserves your attention.
THE YUM YUMS
If you’re in the mood for some unapologetically poppy punk, might I suggest The Yum Yums? This delightful Norwegian band has been churning out ultra catchy bubblegum punk for almost 30 years. Their 2020 record For Those About to Pop is some of their best work to date. Stop reading these words and listen to this awesome album already!
Denver’s Record Thieves, featuring members of Authority Zero and Allout Helter, released an excellent record in 2020. There was some other stuff going on at the time, so these guys seem to have flown under a lot of radars. If you like punk with melodic sensibility, this band is right up your alley. Listen to their full-length below, and grab it on vinyl here. Make sure to check out their brand new single “Fault Lines” as well.
When people say there’s no justice in this world, they ain’t lying! Dave Parasite rarely gets the recognition he’s due as one of 90’s pop-punk’s most clever songwriters. I’d challenge you to show me a bad song this man has written, but that’s an impossible task so I won’t waste your time. If you aren’t listening to the Parasites, what the fuck are you even doing? Start with Retro Pop Remasters – this record compiles the best of the band’s catalog. And be sure to grab the LP from here while you’re at it.
Blues Punk band comprised of twins Eva Walker & Cedric Walker
“Truly, for the band, music is as much entertainment and expression as it is a chance at activism. To change the world—or even a single person’s perception of it—through songs is an honor for Eva and Cedric and one it does not take lightly. Whether singing songs about the danger black bodies incur daily, spiders in their childhood bedrooms or fantastical “ghetto spaceships,” The Black Tones’ charisma and infectious blues-punk approach is exemplary, essential and the stuff of deep roots.”