Chop Shop in Chicago was the site of a kick-off for September live music. The Windy City’s own Apocalypse Hoboken headlined the bill after having pull out of their show there earlier this summer due to a positive Covid case. Joined by three other Chicago area bands, it was well worth the wait to see Apocalypse Hoboken take the stage once again.
Chicago’s Apocalypse Hoboken, whose first incarnation began in 1987, played at Chop Shop on September 2, 2022. It’s still playing shows but with a wink to the members’ ages perhaps, an AARP sticker was spotted on one of the amps. Nonetheless, AH shows are still a blast and these recent one was no exception. Wearing a needed eyepatch over his left eye, and a Hawaiian style shirt, Apocalypse Hoboken lead singer Todd Pot bounded onto the stage and wasted no time hitting top speed. However, even before he sang the first note, the band wanted to ensure that crowds members could sing along. Band members handed out folders full of pages with AH song lyrics on them. It was reminiscent of a first day of high school choir practice, or for me, middle school band practice for this former Alto Sax player. Of course, it also alleviated the need for sweaty, exhausted but satisfied fans to grab for an often wrinkled and torn set list post-show. Complementing Pot’s energy were the animated expressions on the face of guitar player Scott Hoffman. Sean Seeling, also on guitar was less animated in his expression but still equally compelling to Hoffman in his playing. Bass player Kurdt Dinse appeared more stoic in comparison but he and drummer Andy Peterson provided a pulsating rhythm section. Apocalypse Hoboken kept fans excited through nearly three dozen songs, including “Jerk Lessons,” “Pop Goes The World,” “Pocketful of Lips,” and “Monchhichi.”
The Brokedowns, founded in Elgin /Fox Valley region of IL, are usually a quartet but Covid struck again, this time temporarily knocking out guitar player and vocalist Eric Grossman. However, his presence was felt. Actually it was cardboard, in the form of a large cardboard cutout of Grossman, his bandmates brought out on stage with them. Kris Megyery, guitar and vocals, Jon Balun, vocals and bass, and drummer Mustafa Daka tore through a set which included older songs such as “Born On The Bayou Too,” and “Cash for Gold.” It also included the newer tunes, “Cinnamon King,” and “Samurai Sword.”
Canadian Rifle might reference the USA’s neighbors to the north, but they are one of Chicago’s beloved own. With a backdrop sporting their signature visuals of the words “dreams” and “goals” within what is commonly known as the No Symbol, the band slashed through its set. The dynamic performances of Jake Levee, Tim Murphy, Josh Snader, and Dustin Christian, prompted some members of the enthusiastic crowd to jump up and down repeatedly. Perhaps none more exuberantly than Lucas Sikorski of opening band WIG.
The aforementioned WIG, got things popping with a lively set. Sikorski on bass, and bandmates, Chris Gottlieb, on vocals and guitar, and Clayton Demuth on drums, ensured no weaker spots on this bill. WIG is a Chicago band on the rise and very worth checking out. So please do that stat!
See more photos below!