Search Results for "Photo Gallery"

DS Exclusive: Strange 90’s – A Benefit for Jerry Bryant of JBTV

Friday, March 8th, on the North side of Chicago, almost but not quite directly across the street from Wrigley Field saw a night all about love. Love for Jerry Bryant, love for his creation, JBTV, which ranks the longest running music television program in the US. And by extension love for all those fighting or have fought cancer. Love this night was expressed by two words, “Fuck Cancer.” A chant repeated multiple times throughout one of the city’s most famous music venues, Metro.

Jerry Bryant founded JBTV in 1984 and since that time has been awarded Billboard Music Awards for “Best Local/Regional Alternative Modern Rock Show,” as well as numerous Emmy Awards. Performances are taped in front of a live audience and then broadcast. Green Day and Chicago’s own Smashing Pumpkins were among the countless acts who gained some initial exposure on JBTV. In fact, the latter band made its very first television appearance on JBTV.

On August 20, 2018, JBTV announced that its founder, Bryant, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. The diagnosis was followed by six months of chemotherapy. And so there was never any doubt that there soon would be a benefit for Jerry Bryant and this one was a joyous celebration of the man who has done so much for music. The MC for the night was Lauren O’Neil, Q101 personality. It was a night to give him thanks. Another chant heard throughout the night was “Jerry, Jerry.” And when the guest of honor took to the stage, he spent the majority off his time urging everyone to take care of their health, get their tests done and most importantly stay positive in the face of a cancer diagnosis.

Bryant urged everyone in attendance to make sure that last action was taken. He did spent his entire time on stage with a huge smile and as JBTV President Michael Harnett told me by email a few days after the show, “Jerry was thrilled by the turnout and the support of the Chicago Music community.” Harnett added his own take on the night, “It was a great evening and event, very pleased.” JBTV’s partner in making this night such a success was the event, Charity Bomb. Harnett of JBTV credited Charity Bomb with having “…produced the great event.”

A few days after the show I spoke with Charity Bomb founder Matthew Leone by email. In 2010, Leone, bass player for Madina Lake, was brutally assaulted in Chicago near his bandmate/twin brother Nathan’s apartment while attempting to help a woman being beaten by her husband. He suffered brain swelling, a broken jaw, a broken nose and a fractured skull, and was in and out of consciousness for several days. His attacker was later acquitted of the resulting attempted murder charge in a bench trial. Leone described the founding of Charity Bomb. “We launched Charity Bomb because I was severely injured a few years back was the recipient of the same magnitude of love and that we were able to procure for Jerry. In my case, the Smashing Pumpkins stepped up and did a benefit show at the Metro for me.”

The brothers Leone and their Madina Lake bandmates also performed at the benefit, and he also related to me the genesis of this particular event. “Greg from Kill Hannah contacted me and asked for help. This occasion exemplifies our purpose for existing, so it was in immediate yes. It should also be stated that Chicago is a very supportive scene. Everyone in the room was either friends or fondly aware of each other.”

After the benefit for Matthew Leone’s recovery, he was inspired to keep it going. “Subsequently we devoted our lives to giving back for that wonderful experience. We have done several shows in Los Angeles and have five in the calendar for a variety of causes and constituents. Namely our Strange 80s annual benefit for mental health sufferers in the music realm.”

Head below to check out our photos and rundown of the truly memorable night.



DS Exclusive: The Toasters and Malafacha at Beat Kitchen (Chicago) Gallery

Legendary ska band The Toasters, with support from Chicago’s Malafacha, hit Beat Kitchen on February 28, 2019. The Toasters, founded in 1981, are one of the first wave of American Ska bands.

At the Beat Kitchen, The Toasters line up include frontman Robert “Bucket” Hingley; Tim Karns on bass; Grillbert Covarrubias on trombone; drummer Boris Maninvelt (Upsessions Holland); Deals Olan on saxophone (Out of Control Army MX); Buford O. Sullivan on trombone (ex-Scofflaws). 

Check out the full review and all the pics below.



DS Photo Gallery: Sammy Kay in Chicago with Seth Anderson and 6’10 (Flatfoot 56)

New Jersey’s Sammy Kay, with support from Canada’s Seth Anderson; Chicago’s own 6’10, (as well as J.D. Wright),  recently headlined an all acoustic night at G-Man Tavern in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. Saturday, February 23rd was a packed night for good shows across the Windy City but Kay kept the smaller but very enthusiastic crowd certain they made a great choice. He gave his fans and friends gathered there a loose and compelling performance, punctuating his set with a few references to a rough few years and how far he’s come back.

Kay kicked off the set with a cover of the classic Tommy James & The Shondells tune (and covered by pop singer Tiffany as well) “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  The rest of his set included “Wanderlust.” “Reservoir,” “Who Shot the Shot,” “Mary Swore To Me,” “Forever and a Day,” “Love Letters,” “Highs and Lows,” “Sweet Cecilia,” “Silver Dollar,” “Forgotten Ones,” “Saints and Sinners;” and “You Oughta Know.”

After the show, Kay described the tour to me: “the tour was nothing short of amazing. Every show was just killer. We got to play with so many talented folks, throughout the punk/folk/Americana scenes. It was nothing short of smiles every day, and laughs all night.”

Back to the event crowded Chicago evening: Kay himself acknowledged that cornucopia of punk rock choices as he half-joked during his set about checking his Twitter account for a response from Bob Mould. Mould was performing at Metro Chicago next door. Kay had, through social media, invited Mould to join him on a tune after Mould was done headlining at the larger venue. Alas, Sammy Kay broke the news that he “Never got to meet Bob Mould, but we’ll settle for Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour hangs in Dallas!”

Check out the full review and photos below.



DS Photo Gallery: Flogging Molly with Lucero and The Huntress And Holder Of Hands From Boston’s House OF Blues

Flogging Molly brought the 2019 US leg of their current world tour to the House of Blues in Boston last Friday night. It’d been roughly six years since I’d last seen them in this very same spot (and, actually, just over eighteen years since I’d first seen them in this very same spot, albeit in a much smaller club – Axis – at the time, sandwiched in between Avail and Dropkick Murphys, all of whom were supporting Mighty Mighty Bosstones but I swear I’m not bragging). If there’s one thing that can be said about Flogging Molly circa 2019, it’s that more than two decades into the Celtic punk septet’s career, their live performance remains a total and complete bombastic juggernaut.

Frontman and bandleader Dave King led his merry band of misfits — wife and violin/tin whistle player Bridget Regan, guitarist Dennis Casey, bass player Nathen Maxwell, accordion player Matt Hensley, banjo player Spencer Swain and drummer Mike Alonso — out of the gate swinging, kicking things off with crowd favorite “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” that fired the crowd up from the start, producing the first in what seemed to be a constant onslaught of crowd surfers on this particular evening. From there, the band ripped through a dozen-and-a-half tracks that proved a pretty solid, career-spanning cross-section (though nothing from 2011’s Speed of Darkness made an appearance). They’ve been playing a very similar main set throughout most of tour, with newer tracks from their most recent album, Life Is Good, peppered in throughout a series of old favorites (“Devil’s Dance Floor,” “The Likes Of You Again,” of course “Drunken Lullabies). A couple of the numerous things that made this particular night special – aside from the fired up crowd – included a “Happy Birthday” singalong to one of Dennis Casey’s sons who was in town celebrating his eleventh trip around the sun, and a couple of brief appearances from longtime friend of the band Mike McColgan of Street Dogs fame.

Primary support on this run of the tour is provided by the mighty Lucero. If you’re a frequent visitor of this here website, you’re no-doubt aware we’ve covered band quite a bit live in a variety of different formats over the last couple of years. But aside from a run through Providence, Rhode Island, with in support of Clutch a few years ago, we haven’t seem them in an opening role in a while, so the band’s forty-five minute set was a bit of a departure and seemed like it was over way too quickly. The band’s latest album, last year’s stellar Among The Ghosts, was pretty heavily represented in the set that covered about ten songs. While a Flogging Molly crowd is A) generally pretty vocal and B) very much a FLOGGING MOLLY crowd, there was more than a little bit of cross-over on this particular night. Other highlights included a merch table-side request for “Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble” from 2009’s 1372 Overton Park, and of course Ben and Rick’s otherwise unaccompanied run-throughs of “The War” and “Loving.” While an abbreviated, less-than-freeform Lucero set is still enjoyable and poignant as hell, we’re very much looking forward to our return trip to Memphis for to catch Ben and Brian and Roy and John and Rick at this year’s Family Block Party in April.

Each show on this leg of the tour also features opening appearances from Providence, Rhode Island’s The Huntress And Holder Of Hands. Admittedly, we’d not heard THAHOH before we found out that they were opening this run, although in hindsight we were at least peripherally aware of frontwoman MorganEve Swain’s old band, Brown Bird. The “new” band formed after the death of Swain’s husband and Brown Bird collaborator Dave Lamb, and perform as a sextet featuring string bass, cello, electric bass, drums, and Swain singing while alternating between viola and electric guitar. The result is a really, genuinely interesting sound that’s equal parts haunting chamber music and post-metal and Americana; for comparison’s sake only, I guess it’s like if Murder By Death were inspired by mournful soulfulness and not, well, whiskey or space operas (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Check out our full photo rundown below.

 



DS Photo Gallery: Typesetter, Rebuilder and Save Ends At O’Brien’s In Boston

Though appropriate venues might be fewer and farther-between as gentrification rages ever forward throughout the 21st century, the underground punk scene continues to be alive and well at places like O’Brien’s Pub, a quintessential dive bar in the Boston neighborhood of Allston. Case in point: Chicago’s Typesetter brought their US tour through “Obie’s” last Tuesday night for what was a fun, spirited, and — most-importantly– three-band bill which should really be the rule rather than the exception on mid-winter weeknights such as this. But I digress.

Save Ends and Rebuilder provided local support on this particular evening. The former have been staples of the local scene, particularly since the release of their killer 2013 album Cold Hands, Warm Hearts (and, obviously, its 2017 follow-up A Book About Bad Luck). Though they’ve been playing out and about for going on a full decade now, we somehow hadn’t shot them at a show before. Save Ends are a pretty sweet band with killer harmonies and super sharp, heavy-hearted emo punk stylings, which proved a perfect choice to kick off the evening’s festivities. The latter, meanwhile, have obviously been favorites of ours for years, and for good reason. Now appearing as a keyboardless quartet, Rebuilder have been working on a follow-up to 2017’s Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike for a little while now, and they peppered the middle of their set on this night with a trio of brand-spanking new tracks that were heavy on the early-Blink-style melodies we’ve come to love from them. In an interesting twist, the set’s closing track found drummer Brandon Phillips and guitarist/co-frontman Sal Ellington switched places as Phillips took the reins on a blistering cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” in honor of the eve of what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 52nd birthday.

Typesetter closed things out, and holy hell were they a visceral sonic experience. There’s a lot going on in a Typesetter live show: layers of guitar and keys and samples that’s at times shoegazey and at times all-out bombast. One of the standout live performances I’ve seen in quite some time, particularly when it comes time to try to draw parallels to other band’s for comparison’s sake.

Head below for our full photo rundown, and be sure to catch any of these bands when they’re in your respective neck of the woods. Help keep the scene alive!



DS Photo Set: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers with National Reserve, Boston, MA

North Carolina-based outlaw country badass Sarah Shook brought her latest and greatest project, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, through Boston last Friday on the tail end of their recent cross-country jaunt. The dimly-lit, cash only Great Scott is one of the last of a dying breed in Boston, and served as a perfect setting for the no-frills, no-bullshit Disarmers as they ripped through two-dozen songs, an impressive feat for a band that’s got two full-lengths under their collective belt buckles.

It took the band, centered around Shook and her lead guitarist and longtime collaborator Eric Peterson a few songs to hit their stride on this particular night, perhaps in part due to an audience that was present and focused but not overly engaged or providing the band a solid energy off of which to feed. By the time they hit the gutter punk anthem “Fuck Up” as the fourth song in the set, Shook’s trademark whiskey-soaked voice was out in full twang, and the older-than-average crowd began to show signs of life. Shook’s catalog is chock-full of the kind of lost or unrequited love songs and relationship failures that defined the early career of a band like Lucero; it’s only a matter of time before their live show does the same.

Support on this run came from The National Reserve, a four-piece Americana rock band that somehow hail from Brooklyn in the 2010’s and not Laurel Canyon sometime in the 1970s. There’s a real soulful vibe to the band’s live show, punctuated by frontman Sean Walsh’s velvetty smooth voice and lead guitarist Jon LaDeau’s near virtuoso style leads.

Head below to check out our full photo rundown. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers are touring in support of their latest release, 2018’s Years (Bloodshot Records), while The National Reserve are supporting their 2018 debut, Motel La Grange (Ramseur Records).



DS Exclusive: My Year in Photos 2018

Mike McColgan of Street Dogs, gestures to crowd surfer at Wreck the Halls in Allston, MA

2018 was another great year for documenting the punk rock scene, not just in my adopted city of Chicago. I also spent time shooting shows in my native state of New York, specifically, in my little brother’s borough of Brooklyn. And for the fourth consecutive year, I spent a long mid-December weekend in Boston, MA. For the compilation of my favorite images of 2018, I am again including faves from bands from a wide spectrum of years together and differing levels of public recognition. Quite a few of these images were featured in DS this year. However, as with my faves gallery in 2017, many others were heretofore not featured in any online or hard copy publications. The shows, Weekend Stands; and festivals (such as Wreck the Halls, Motoblot, Punk the Burbs; and Riot Fest) represented were a blast, every last one. Every group included is one more than worth checking out should they hit your town, city or other location where you might find yourself at the same time as them.

Personal Note:  A good many of the photos in this selection are of Street Dogs. I have been following them and documenting them coming up on 10 years in March. Those who know me know the only band I place above them as a personal favorite is The Clash. There are numerous reasons for my love of Street Dogs and among those reasons is their showmanship. 2018 presented me with the opportunity to document the band in NYC, Chicago; and in the Boston area. The Chicago images were part of my Riot Fest gallery for DS. They will be playing Punk Rock Bowling this May (which I likely may not make). After that, there are no scheduled shows announced for the foreseeable future. They are among the most fun and exciting bands to shoot. Their shows are always at maximum energy levels and the crowds pretty much never disappoint in matching that energy.  So I would like to extend my best wishes to the Michael, Johnny, Lenny, Pete, and Matt; as well as their crews. They and their latest album, “Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing,” were surely among the best of 2018.

Johnny Rioux (left) and Lenny Lashley of Street Dogs at Wreck the Halls

Ben Roy of SPELLS may be one of Those Who Can’t on television but when it comes to getting a crowd going, he is definitely one of those who can.

Street Dogs’ Mike McColgan pulled me up on stage at Brooklyn Bazaar to get a shot of the crowd. I have documented band from various places on the sides and in the back of stages. However, getting the right up at the front P.O.V. of most of the band members certainly is eye-opening

Triumph Ace and helmet sporting the Ace Cafe London logo at Motoblot

The Queers perform at Punk the Burbs 2

Peter Mittler of The Bollweevils at Chop Shop Chicago

Chicago

Ken Fitzner of The Bollweevils at Chop Shop in Chicago

Dr. Daryl Wilson of The Bollweevils gets high…on punk. Pete Mumford and Ken Fitzner also pictured.

A photographer shoot images of Street Dogs at Brooklyn Bazaar in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY

Pete Sosa of Street Dogs at Wreck the Halls #SadPeteSosa? Nah, just a quiet moment in the beautiful chaos.

Stickfight! perform at Liar’s Club Halloween show

The Run Around at Punk the Burbs 2

Stage invader during Street Dogs at Wreck the Halls

Ben Roy of SPELLS at Wicker Park Fest in Chicago

Pussy Riot at Riot Fest

Off With Their Heads at Wicker Park Fest

Nuns of Brixton at Motoblot in Chicago

Nate Leinfelder of Noi!se at Wreck the Halls in Allston, MA

Bill Stephens of Naked Raygun

Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun

Nikki Beller of Mystery Actions at Punk the Burbs 2

Mike McColgan of Street Dogs amid the crowd at Riot Fest

Street Dogs’ Johnny Rioux with his wife Melissa Rioux, on stage at Wreck the Halls

Lenny Lashley of Street Dogs at Wreck the Halls in Allston, MA

Legendary Shack Shakers’ JD Wilkes bends over backward for the Motoblot crowd

Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly on the squeezebox at Riot Fest in Chicago, IL

The Queers headlined Punk the Burbs 2

Scott Brooks of Avenues at Punk The Burbs 2

Trever Keith of Face to Face at Riot Fest in Chicago

Caitlin Rose of Bumsy and the Moochers performs at Punk the Burbs 2. Rose is one of the co-organizers of the fest taking place in the suburbs outside of Chicago

Rubber soles meet Bouncing Souls. Pete Steinkopf of Bouncing Souls has great taste in shoes.

Poli Van Dam of The Bombpops has fun at Riot Fest in Chicago

Todd Pott of Apocalypse Hoboken becomes one with the band’s fans at Chop Shop in Chicago

Alkaline Trejo during Alkaline Trio at Riot Fest

Tony Reflex leads Adolescents at Riot Fest. The band hung a large banner with the name Soto in place of the group name as a tribute to their late bandmate Steve Soto.

Larry Damore of Pegboy is surrounded by fans at Cobra Lounge in Chicago. The band performed at this fundraiser for another small Chicago venue.

Steev MF Custer and Devin Morris of Death and Memphis perform during their set at Brauerhouse Lombard.

Juan Avalos of Size 5’s jumps, for joy perhaps, as the band performs at Brauerhouse Lombard.

Benny NoGood of Benny and the No-Goods pours emotion into his performance during the band’s set at Brauerhouse Lombard.

Off With Their Heads perform at Brauerhouse Lombard

1916 gave a rollicking performance at this year’s Wreck the Halls

Denis Buckley of 88 Fingers Louie sits this one in, continuing to sing at the band’s show at Chop Shop Chicago

And finally, one of my faves I did not take. From left: Johnny Rioux, Matt Pruitt, Lenny Lashley, Pete Sosa, yours truly, and Mike McColgan. Thanks for all the great times! It’s been a blast documenting you all and I so wish I could make PRB this May in Las Vegas! Best Wishes!! Photo by Mark Korich



DS Exclusive: The Live Music Year In Pictures (Anarchopunk)

Oi!!!! Here’s some facts, Jack:  2018 is (almost) over. I didn’t manage to shoot as many shows this year. I moved from my home in Los Angeles to the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. I got a new kitten. I bought a new car. I started a new job. Now, here’s some stats, Jill (I didn’t want anyone to feel left out):  Despite all of that, I still shot well over one hundred sets from about twenty-five different shows/festivals. Moral of the story:  I’m fucking tired.

Check out a gallery of some of my favorite pictures from 2018, below!



DS Exclusive: The Live Music Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

Another year in the books, and while I scaled down the amount of shows I shot this year for a variety of reasons, it was still pretty awesome and eventful. The year started with a trip to Jersey to catch Jared Hart and a barn-burner of a Ben Nichols solo performance at the inimitable Crossroads venue booked by the equally inimitable Andy Diamond. There was also a trip to Connecticut to see Lucero and Jake LaBotz, a trip to Memphis for Lucero’s Family Block Party-slash-20th birthday celebration, another trip to Connecticut for the last installment of the Warped Tour (so, mostly, to see The Interrupters) and another trip back to Jersey for the Bouncing Souls‘ annual Stoked For The Summer throwdown that featured sets from Against Me!, Tim Barry, Titus Andronicus and Smoking Popes. Then there was a whirlwind Brooklyn trip to see Brian Fallon and Craig Finn. Oh, and there was another trip to Connecticut for a rager of a Bouncing Souls/Swingin Utters show. And a trip to New Hampshire for another Utters show. And a Frank Turner show in New Hampshire with Bad Cop/Bad Cop too.

Michael Kane

 

Oh The Humanity

Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs)

Rebuilder

But don’t think that means there was a lack of spectacular shows here on the homefront. There were stellar nights with Bundles and Birdwatching and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters and Art Thieves and Street Dogs and of course Rebuilder and of course Rebuilder again and Dan Webb and the Spiders a few times and Mint Green and Depressors and Oh The Humanity and KCUF and Weathered Friends.

Jared Hart and his better half, Casey

Ben Nichols

Trever and Dennis of Face To Face

Kayleigh Goldsworthy (Dave Hause)

National acts of all shapes and sizes came through the Boston area as well. Of course there was Lucero. And the same Brian Fallon/Craig Finn tour. And The Penske File. And The Lawrence Arms with Sincere Engineer and Red City Radio. And Fallon again. And Face To Face with Austin Lucas. And Dave Hause a couple times in a couple different formats. And another Frank Turner show. And Iron Chic. And Dead Bars. And Noi!se. And of course there was Pearl Jam at Fenway.

CJ Ramone

Bouncing Souls

Dave Hause crowd surfing during Frank Turner

Sincere Engineer

If you check this site out a lot, you’ll know I take a ton of pictures at most shows, and I try to present some of my favorite ones on a regular basis. Below, however, is a few dozen of my favorite pictures of the year. Some of them came out great, some of them came out less great but tell a cool story or evoke a great and personal memory. That’s ultimately, I guess, what I try to do when I’m shooting shows. Thanks for reading, and for looking, and for supporting the people and the venues that keep this thing chugging down the road.

Click on the individual pictures to see blow them up. Bring on 2019. -JMS-

 



DS Photo Gallery: Street Dogs Wreck The Halls with Noi!se and Art Thieves

Last weekend, the punks and skins came from far and wide, descending upon Boston’s Brighton Music Hall for the 13th installment of Street Dogs‘ annual Wreck The Halls festivities. The hometown working class heroes have been riding high this year, primarily due to the release of Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing, their first full-length in eight years. As the band’s members – and fans – spread far and wide, it can be hard to get all the moving parts in one place at the same time, making events like the three-day Wreck The Halls blowout all the more special.

Nights two and three of this year’s Wreck The Halls featured opening performances from Slapshot, Dori Cameron and the Invisible Monsters, Ramallah and 1916. Dying Scene made it out to the first night, particularly to get the chance to see Street Dogs take the stage with a couple bands that we’ve been fired up to finally see live: Noi!se and Art Thieves, and boy are we glad we did.

Fresh off the release of their own stellar full length, Russian Rats (State Line Records), Art Thieves kicked off the long weekend of Wreck The Halls shenanigans in fine fashion. The three-piece local band play a no-frills style of street punk that’s been the calling card of the local scene for a long time. They’ve sort of perfected the fuck-the-government calls to arms from a past generation and morphed it with the melodic sensibilities of the newer school. If there’s a local band to carry the torch that Street Dogs have been brandishing for the better part of the last couple decades once they decide to hang it up, it may well be Art Thieves.

Noi!se followed up in one of the most eagerly-awaited sets I’ve seen in quite a while. The Tacoma-based quartet has been around for seven-ish years now, but had yet to make it to this side of the Mississippi River. And yet, in many ways, Noi!se’s 45-minute set had the feel of a hometown show of their own, as a solid majority of the 435-strong capacity crowd was well versed in the band’s entire catalog. “Rank And File,” from the band’s 2012 Pushing On full-length (and previously from the This Is Who We Are 7-inch) kicked things off, and from their the band mixed in a dozen other tracks from across the last half decade. The first real pit of the night – and the first in a seemingly endless barrage of crowd-surface – fired itself up by the time fan-favorite “How We Made It Through” made its way into the set at the halfway point, pushing the gas pedal on an energy level that wouldn’t let up for the remainder of the evening. It was one of those times where the event actually exceeds lofty expectations, and where the symbiotic relationship between a band and a crowd is truly palpable.

It can be tough to come up with new phrases or adjectives to describe the live performance of a band that’s long been a stalwart of the scene. Still, the recent Boston Music Award winners for Best Punk/Hardcore act seem to find new ways to mix things up and keep them fresh, perhaps now more so than ever. The band ripped through “Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing,” the title track and lead single from their latest album, as they took the stage (well…after the rocking out to a few minutes of Boston’s “Foreplay” as the instrument-wielding 4/5th of the band took the stage anyway) before proceeding to dig deeper into the back catalog than I’ve seen them do in recent memory. “Pull The Pin” and “You Alone” and “Katie Bar The Door” were welcome additions to the setlist that I can’t recall having seen in the last handful of SD shows. The band played without a barrier (and, as a result, without a photo pit, which is something I’ve become apparently waaaaaaay too comfortable with in my old age), meaning that a band that already gets up close and personal with its fans anyway was able to raise that bar even further. There were guest appearances from Big Truth of American War Machine (I think) and the legendary CJ Ramone, the latter of whom took on vocal duties for a cover of his namesake band’s classic track “Blitzkrieg Bop.” It was a raucous first night for both band and crowd — many of whom were in attendance for two or three nights — and set the stage brilliantly for what was to come.

Head below for our full photo rundown.



DS Photo Gallery: The Radiator Rattlers Rock Nashua’s Holiday Stroll

It’s not often that Dying Scene covers performances at local Christmas season outdoor holiday strolls. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the only time we’ve done it. However, it’s also not often that a band as cool as The Radiator Rattlers plays a local Christmas season outdoor holiday stroll, so this past weekend, we packed up our camera bag, headed to our old hometown, and took in a pretty awesome performance to finish out the family-friendly annual event.

As you may recall from our recent sit-down with guitarist and co-frontman Frankie Piessens, The Rattlers hail from a half-hour down the road in Haverhill, Massachusetts. However, the octet’s (Piessens, Kenny Turner on washboard and vocals, Matt Pepp on banjo and vocals, Travis Boucher on mandolin and vocals, Carla Pierce on acoustic guitar, Luke Williams on Drums and Jimbo Ritchie on bass) swashbuckling pedal steel player Jonee Earthquake has been a fixture in the New Hampshire punk rock community for…well, for as long as I’ve been alive, and I’ll be forty on my next birthday. Earlier in the week, they announced a pretty huge milestone in their career that spans about a half-dozen years; they’ll be playing the big stage at next May’s Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas! And while you wouldn’t think of “family friendly downtown holiday stroll in southern New Hampshire” as perhaps the punk rockingest of venues, the set up was very much guerrilla-style and DIY: the street was blocked to through traffic by off-duty DPW heavy equipment, and the band performed on the in between snowbanks on a sidewalk – no stage in sight – outside a dive bar in the sub-40 degree temperatures. That’s pretty punk rock if you ask us.

Check out the rest of our full photo gallery below.

 



DS Photo Gallery: Rebuilder w/Dead Bars, Pity Party and Weathered Friends (Cambridge, MA)

A couple weeks back, yours truly once again found himself at Charlie’s Kitchen, the burger-joint and part-time no frills punk rock venue nestled just off the heart of Cambridge’s Harvard Square. The venue stacks the tables into the corner on Monday nights, fires up the PA system, and hosts local and national touring acts, and this particular Monday night featured hometown heroes Rebuilder headlining a bill that also included their Seattle-based BFFs Dead Bars, Oakland, California’s Pity Party, with brand-spankin’-new locals Weathered Friends kicking things off. It was another example of the kind of awesome and diverse bills that should get more and more people interested in keeping the scene moving forward.

Weathered Friends are a local three-piece that were making their public debut on this fine evening. They’r enew enough that, well, hold off on Googling them unless you’re overly interested in learning “how to cope with a fair-weather friend” or the wholesome craft projects of a delightful Kalamazoo woman (that’s not a euphemism). Still obviously finding their way as a band, they excel at a sort of angular post-hardcore sound that was reminiscent of Cave In’s earlier work. I like them, and hope they at least make a Facebook page for me to direct you too. Hint hint.

Pity Party were next out of the chute. The event marked roughly the halfway point in the band’s Herculean fifty-nine day cross-country tour, and though vocalist/guitarist Sarah Levy was dealing with a pretty gnarly case of strep throat (don’t worry, she wasn’t contagious), that left her voice shredded, which added an extra layer of urgency to the vocals as the self-proclaimed sadboys still managed to bulldoze their way through their half-hour slot.

So Dead Bars were next.  Rebuilder’s Sal Medrano has been bestowing the virtues of their live show to me for some time now, and for good reason. When Dying Scene’s own Carson Winter recently saw them down at Fest in Gainesville, he wrote that their “live show is like living out a daydream, complete with guitar melodies and singalongs.” Sal and Carson are to be rewarded for their insight; Dead Bars absolutely slay live. It’s a cathartic, frantic good time of a set, and I get the sense that their upcoming Jay Maas-produced A-F Records debut full-length is going to slingshot them to at least the Iron Chick level of revelry. Stay tuned for that.

Finally…what can I say about Rebuilder that I haven’t said in the other 168 posts I’ve written about them? I’m not sure, to be honest. They’re the best. They’re authentic. They play their asses off every set and seem to love doing so. The “core four” lineup (I just coined that…patent pending) is one of my favorites around, but the addition of keys (whether it was Rick or more recently Patrick or most recently Leo) adds a few sonic layers of depth that other bands can’t quite match (even if I can never seem to adequately photograph that particular fifth of the band). I want to quit my job and go on tour with Rebuilder…assuming they all quit their jobs too.

Head below for our full photo rundown from the evening!



DS Photo Gallery: Jawbreaker, Naked Raygun; and Smoking Popes at Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

Jawbreaker

Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on the north side of the city played host to three heavy hitters Sunday November 4, 2018. The bill provided fans a bit of relief from near constant coverage running up to the midterm elections. There more than a few “I Voted” (early in those cases) wristbands, politically motivated t-shirts and buttons visible. But for the most part this show would promise a a time-out from the heavy 24 hours news cycle.

The crowd proved that they were among those undeterred by heavy rains. They were too interested in watching Jawbreaker, a beloved headliner returning to Chicago roughly a year after the city played host to the band’s reunion at Riot Fest 2017. There had been more than a little grumbling about the ticket prices for this show when it was first announced. However, it appeared those in attendance in short order decided that shelling out north of $40 was well worth it.  Surely seeing two groups of favorite sons, Naked Raygun and Smoking Popes from Chicago’s tight knit punk rock community helped.

Speaking of tight knit, this show did draw a strong representation of aforementioned community. Spotted in the crowd, but not a complete list by any means I’m sure, were members of Pegboy, The Bollweevils, Death and Memphis; and The Usuals.

Smoking Popes

The Smoking Popes launched into a set of both old tracks and new tunes from “Into The Agony,” the band’s first full length album in many years. Lead singer Josh Caterer dedicated “You Spoke To Me,” off their third album, 1997’s “Destination Failure,” to Jawbreaker, as the song was written about Blake Schwarzenbach himself. Caterer described how fortunate he felt to be on same bill as one of his musical inspirations.

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

 

Smoking Popes

Naked Raygun is routinely described as legendary. And despite any hesitation about that word from its founder and lead singer Jeff Pezzati, it is so frequently used one may come to believe that is actually part of the band’s name.

There had been rumors that due to heath and other concerns, this show would be Naked Raygun’s last live performance. Jeff Pezzati dispelled those rumors and assured me they will in fact continue playing live shows.

Naked Raygun

 

Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun

Bill Stephens, of Naked Raygun, in a lighthearted moment, sticks his tongue out at photographers shooting from the pit below.

Pierre Kezdy, Naked Raygun’s longest running bass player is presently battling cancer and was not in attendance on stage or in the crowd. But his spirit was nonetheless felt and it was seen, on one of the most popular items at Naked Raygun’s table: a t-shirt featuring a full-bodied portrait of Kezdy.

 

Naked Raygun                                                

 

Naked Raygun

 

Naked Raygun

 

Naked Raygun

 

 

Naked Raygun

Returning to Naked Raygun’s performance on this night, Pezzati’s bandmates, drummer Eric Spicer, Bill Stephens on guitar and bass player Fritz Doreza, in their respective roles matched Pezzati’s vocal strength and powered through almost two dozen songs. Highlights including “Home of the Brave, “Peacemaker,” “Vanilla Blue,” the perhaps fortuitously named “Treason,” on which Eli Caterer of The Smoking Popes guested on stage. And of course “Rat Patrol” with its frenzy inducing “Whoah oh oh oh oh oh.” 

Naked Raygun

Oh and a photographer’s note: After the first three songs were completed Pezzati glanced down into the photo pit when he noticed the security signaling for the shooters to leave the pit and indicated to them with “he stays, she stays…” and so on. When the security again signaled for us to leave, Pezzati once again took a moment to tells the security, “they stay.” This was not the first time, Pezzati has advised security that the photographers stay for the entire set. It’s always appreciated by those of us documenting the show.

Naked Raygun

 

Naked Raygun

 

Naked Raygun

 

Eli Caterer of Smoking Popes guests on a couple of Naked Raygun songs.

Jawbreaker’s reunion at Riot Fest 2017 whet their fans’ cravings for more shows. Headlining the annual festival weekend apparently also whet the band’s own appetite to play together more often. Jawbreaker kicked off its set with West Bay Invitational and filled it with some of its best songs, including “Jinx Removing,” “Chesterfield King,” “Kiss The Bottle,” and “Accident Prone.” Their energetic performance challenged the crowd to keep up.

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker 

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

 

Jawbreaker

By the end of the night, many the show attendees straggled out of the Uptown venue and up to the “L” red line platform just across the street, shoulders hunched with exhaustion and clothes soaking wet. But it was hard to tell if that was more due to the rain outside or sweat earned inside by leaning into a solid punk rock bill top to bottom, working to match the energy expelled by those on stage. Just your average Sunday night in Chicago, IL.

 

 



DS Photo Gallery: Swingin’ Utters with Gallows Bound and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters, Dover, NH

With any luck, some of you have been paying attention while something truly remarkable has been happening on the eastern half of the US and Canada for the last couple weeks. That something, specifically, is the Swingin’ Utters tour in support of their solid new album, Peace And Love.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Even for a master of hyperbole such as yourself, this is a new level, Stone!” You’d be correct about the first half of that statement, but dead wrong about the last. At least, that’s the overwhelming feeling I had in watching the Bay Area punk legends as they took the owned the stage at the Dover Brickhouse in Dover, New Hampshire. It was a cold, drizzly Wednesday night that saw a small crowd that gathered upstairs in the brick-and-dark-wood adorned venue that creates a vibe that’s equal parts brew pub and sports bar (especially because the flat screens showing Game Four of the American League Championship Series remained on throughout). The Utters took the stage as a four-piece, with longtime partners-in-crime Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski joined by their newest bassist, Tony Teixeira, and by Gabe Katz, filling in on drums for Luke Ray who was away at a family reunion. In spite of the latest in what’s become a series of line-up changes, the band totally delivered from note one, in a way that’s at the very least inspiring. It might stand to reason that a setlist in such a situation would be scaled down or overly reliant on material from the new album, but that wasn’t the case. Sure Peace And Love tracks were well-represented, but tunes like “No Eager Man” and “Windspitting Punk” and “The Next In Line” and “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” were as vibrant, vital, and well-received as ever.

Support on this run (aside from three dates that find the Utters playing alongside Bouncing Souls in the greater NYC area – more on that later) came from Gallows Bound, and Michael Kane And The Morning Afters served as local opener, venturing up from Worcester, MA, for the mid-week opportunity to play alongside a venerated and influential band like the Utters. Gallows Bound, if you’re not familiar, are a five-piece from Winchester, Virginia, whose sound is delightfully hard to pin down. “Appalachian Punk Bluegrass” is what they’re billed as and is a fairly accurate description, with the acoustic-driven instrumentation and dueling vocalists (Jordan Joyes and Jesse Markle) trading duties and allowing elements of country and punk and folk and gothic undertones to meld in a unique way. Michael Kane and crew, who you may recognize as among our local favorites, are a working-class rock-and-roll band with influences that are equal parts The Clash, Tom Petty and, as evidenced by their set-closing rendition of “Born To Run,” Bruce Springsteen.

Head below to scroll through our photo gallery from the evening!

 



DS Photo Gallery: Face To Face and Austin Lucas at Boston’s City Winery (9/23/18)

Face To Face brought the US tour for their recent Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions) EP to its Boston stop at City Winery last Sunday night. If you missed the abridged backstory behind this latest release, it goes a little something like this: inspired by the positive vibes that came out of the acoustic VIP pre-show sets that they performed on last year’s EconoLive ’17 tour, the pioneering SoCal quartet hit the studio, emerging with new versions of some previously-recorded tracks like “All For Nothing” and “Shame On Me” and “Keep Your Chin Up,” tracks that didn’t normally see the light of day during the band’s normal punk rock set. (And “Disconnected,” a song that the band has seemingly recorded at least once per year since its appearance as their debut single 27 years ago.)

Instead of merely playing the original tracks close to their respective vests and simply re-recording them as straight-forward acoustic tracks, the band opted to strip each song down and re-imagine it in new and sometimes surprising ways: boot-stompers, Lucero-style alt-country jams, sort of Jason Mraz-style adult contemporary-ish ballads, and so on and so forth. The results may be – in this writer’s opinion – mixed, but they may also represent the band’s most “punk rock” effort since their 1999 album Ignorance Is Bliss. And they also make for a pretty fun, occasionally raucous, and enjoyably different type of Face To Face show. With a stripped down set, there’s very little room for error, and that’s magnified in a venue like City Winery with its crystal-clear sound and clear sight lines in spite of its long rows of family-style tables that run the length of the venue perpendicular to the stage. This puts extreme focus on the band’s musicianship; Scott Shiflett has long been known as one of the premier bass players in the scene, and he played with a much smoother groove than the normally in-your-face “lead bass” style we’re accustomed to from him. The setting and the country-ish rock and roll style fit pretty perfectly in Dennis Hill’s lead guitar playing wheelhouse. Danny Thompson, rock-solid behind the drum kit during the band’s normal set was perhaps the hardest-working member of the foursome on this occasion, employing castinets and an electric cajon and a washboard and a variety of other percussion instruments that lent unique flavor to the different tracks that composed the hour-long set. And while frontman Trever Keith has always played guitar in the band, it’s his voice that’s been a large portion of the band’s trademark over the last quarter century, and it had plenty of room to soar and to whip up the occasional singalong (some of them admittedly half-hearted, though that was our fault, not theirs) in the process.

Support on this leg of the Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions) tour run comes from Austin Lucas. The Indiana-based troubadour grew up a punk rock fan in small town America, and has become one of the more hard-working, road-tested members of the country-punk set in the last decade. The City Winery style lends itself well to the solo singer-songwriter, and Lucas, ever the story-teller (and wildly underrated as a guitar player) took full advantage of that. While I’ve never set foot in Indiana, Lucas’ songs paint a picture that’s not unlike the main streets and backroads of New Hampshire where I grew up before moving south, so there is an instant, funny familiarity that makes his work so engaging.

Head below to check out our full photo gallery!