Search Results for "The Bollweevils"

Festival Review: Catching 350 Fest and Catching Up with The Punk Rock Doc

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

350 Fest V took place a couple of weeks back, August 23-25, 2019 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Headliners included Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; and Naked Raygun. Included amongst the many others playing, were Suicide Machines, The Eclectics, Airstream Futures, The Repellants, Tight Night, 88 Fingers Louie, an acoustic set by Anthony Reneri of Bayside, Zebrahead, The Menzingers, Lucky Boy Confusion; and The Bollweevils.

Relive it or find out what you missed by checking out the pics and a full write up below!



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 Photo Gallery: Apocalypse Hoboken; 88 Fingers Louie; The Bollweevils at Chop Shop Chicago

Apocalypse Hoboken headlined a three-night stand at Chicago’s Chop Shop, July 13-15, 2018. The weekend’s events were set in conjunction with the July 13, 2018 release of “Everybody’s Been Burned” on Underground Communique Records. UCR’s Bandcamp site describes the release as follows: “This is a collection of recordings not previously released on vinyl. The record and download contain 17 songs, and yes there are only 16 streaming.”

The final day of the band’s three-night run saw things changed up a bit. Their Sunday “Matinee” was more of a Sunday Family Fun Day, where the musicians had the opportunity to show their kids what their work was all about. The show was topped by several of the kids joining their parents on or near the stage for a rousing rendition of Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World,” led in unison by Apocalypse Hoboken’s Todd Pot, 88 Fingers Louie’s Denis Buckley; and The Bollweevils’ Daryl Wilson. Wilson, by the way, with his three young daughters by his side on the stage, the youngest dancing up a storm, appeared to be the only one of the trio of vocalists not requiring a lyric sheet. He had that down pat, perhaps having the most recent experience singing the tune over and over to his little girls?

I asked Todd Pot of Apocalypse Hoboken his thoughts on the weekend, how it came about and what the future has in store for the band. His response:

“Ok here goes….. We’d like to thank each and every person that made it out to our three-day celebration of a community that’s taken almost thirty years to build. The band is humbled beyond words. Since junior high Apocalypse Hoboken was my favorite band outta the suburbs of Chicago. I never in a million years thought I’d front my heroes band. Through the luck of seeing a flier back in 1993 that Apocalypse Hoboken was looking for a new lead singer, my life has never been the same. Fast forward to 2018. We have had a few reunion shows throughout the years but something just clicked with this most recent slew of shows. Older, wiser, and strangely enough with more to say. I think the boys in the band are on a stone cold mission. A mission that never really ended. The future looks bright and everybody is invited to the party. November third we will be returning to the Chop Shop with our comrades in Riff Sidekick Kato. The party has just begun. One by one we all are learning what it’s like to be pissed on. It could be worse. Right?”

It could be a lot worse. But it’s pretty good right now, and you can head below to check out our gallery from the Sunday show to demonstrate the fun Pot, his bandmates; and bill-mates are having these days.



Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, and Punk Rock – Pegboy, Bollweevils and more in Chicago

“Thanksgiving Eve” and the extended holiday weekend in Chicago had the city hopping with terrific shows. I covered a few of them.

Thanksgiving Eve at First Ward ChopShop was headlined Pegboy, The Bollweevils pretty much co-headliners; with Airstream Futures out of St. Louis; and Breakmouth Annie also on the bill.

It was Pegboy’s first show back in their hometown after terrific receptions at two recent festivals, the most recent being in Brazil. This was first international trip for “Skinny” Mike Thompson and he described it to me as “incredible.”
Pegboy, in recent years has rarely left the state of Illinois to perform. To their beloved hometown crowd they brought their classics, including lead singer and guitarist Larry Damore’s classic uniform of white t-shirt and blue jeans. In the crowd, the team #WeAreLarry #CultofDamore, a small group of big Pegboy fan whom also happen to be close friends with the band members, also sported that same uniform.

Damore himself made fun of his usual hitting the floor with exhaustion. However, he impressively lasted nearly an hour before lying down on the job. Damore punching the air throughout the set and leaving the stage as he crowd surfed, caused a frenzy in full measure with Pegboy bandmates, lead guitarist John Haggerty, the gold standard of punk rock guitarists; John’s brother Joe Haggerty powering through on drums, and bass player “Skinny” Mike Thompson roaming the stage and cranking up the intensity. Thompson, appeared not to just playing his bass but the bass seemed to be another of his limbs as he folded himself over time and time again. At times it became difficult to distinguish the instrument from the player of said instrument.

Pegboy started their set with “Not What I Want,” and jammed through 15 songs including classics “Superstar,” “DangerMare,” “Strong Reaction,” “Revolver” (their great cover of Mission of Burma’s “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver” and the song Damore has routinely described as making him financially independent) and “Through My Fingers.”

Their classic and moving “Strong Reaction,” which has been covered live numerous times by well known artists, has been getting renewed attention, in big part due to Chuck Ragan speaking publicly about how Pegboy has inspired him. Ragan and his Hot Water Music bandmates pay homage to the tune in the first line of the song “Never Going Back” from their new album Light It Up— “Had a strong reaction waking up.”

Full Disclosure and personal note: I am friends with the band members, especially Skinny Mike and Larry. Larry and I had actually discussed “Strong Reaction” and what it meant to me less than a week earlier when we hung out a Liar’s Club show. So this show was a first for me: It was the first time I ever joined the lead singer on the mic, informally and spontaneous as it was. Whilst shooting the show, I had to sit partly on the stage to work amidst the chaos and Larry came over and put his arm around me and I helped him sing that tune. This was truly a verklempt-inducing moment for me.

However, I am glad no footage of that has surfaced as of yet, because as a singer, I am a great photographer.

Still, just another example of how punk rock is about more than just getting rowdy, the connections between those who write the songs and those who find meaning in them cannot be underestimated. One just need to listen to few of the lyrics to “Strong reaction” – “ I walk alone through the sleet and snow and pouring rain to…Get my heart broken, forever ever lost inside of…I walk along to slip and fall on strong reactions…Keep my heart broken, never ever amend myself…That’s all right and that’s okay” — whatever Damore’s personal motivation or his own story behind his writing, no doubt many people can take those lyrics and relate to them in some measure.

However, the crowd was not filled with just locals. Karring Moan flew in from his present home in the Twin Cities of for this show. Moan is a long time fan of both bands, “I try to go to most Pegboy shows actually. My first punk show ever was Pegboy at Fireside Bowl in the mid ’90s, and it was just one of those moments that changed my musical taste — or at least what I wanted to experience in music. And the fact the Bollweevils were playing too meant that it was a no brainer of a show. I still have the flyer from that first Pegboy show…”

The Bollweevils were the penultimate set and they too spend some time rocking on the international fest set. This past August, they played Rebellion in Blackpool. Dr. Daryl Wilson, aka the Punk Rock Doc, punctuated the space above the stage with numerous high jumps that makes one wonder if he competed in the track part of the track and field as a high schooler. Surely the combination of his 6’5″ frame and ability to grab massive air would have served him well in several events.

As it was Wilson did not spend his entire time on stage. He often ventured into the crowd where he shared the mic with the enthusiastic crowd and diehard Bollweevils fan. The 14 song set list started off with “Honesty Isn’t so Simple,” and included “Fencesitter,” “Bottomless Pit”, “Peggy Sue”, “Galt’s Gulch”, “John Doe”, “Altered States” “999-Stoney” and of course their call to fun,“Bollweevils Anthem.”

Wilson is one of the subjects in the documentary, “Men: the Series.” The film tells the stories of four African-American men, one of whom is Dr. Daryl Wilson. Wilson is by day is EMS Medical Director at Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL.

Remaining on the stage but providing just as much power for the Bollweevils are the two Petes: Peter Mittler on bass, and Pete Mumford on drums. Mumford seems to always have a smile on his face, look of pure joy as he smashes the skins. What is going through his mind as he plays? This is how Mumford described it to me recently: “I normally don’t really think of anything at all when I’m playing. When I’m on stage, I like to look at the people in the crowd acting like idiots and having fun…that always makes me smile. I like to make stupid faces at the people I know too. So yeah, not thinking much…just trying to have as much fun as I can.”

Mittler said this about playing in The Bollweevils: “I love playing in this band with guys I love and have so much in common with. I also think that it’s the heaviest drinking band I’ve ever been in.”
This is a sentiment shared by his bandmate, guitarist Ken Fitzner. Fitzner is arguably the Chicago Public School system’s coolest elementary school principal. Fitzner brings the serious chops, and the communal bottle of Makers Mark. He also seconds Mittler’s description of the allure of playing in The Bollweevils: “yes hardest drinking band.”

As for some of The Bollweevils most diehard and long time fans? Patrick Lancor of Chicago remembers his first show: “I was the kid on Fullerton at the Fireside with a 40oz of Big Bear standing at the corner fucking with the red laces. Then a giant showed up, like 6′ 5″ or some shit. His name was Daryl, and he had a 3-liter of RC Cola in hand.”

As I noted above, for all intents and purposes Pegboy and The Bollweevils were co-headliners, no matter that Pegboy’s name was at the very top of the bill.

Daryl Wilson joined Larry Damore at the mics. Though they joked about Ebony and Ivory,”” the song closing out the night was Pegboy’s “Hardlight.” And they left the crowd smiling…and exhausted. Which is exactly how one should feel at the end of a great night punk rock.

In addition to the veteran groups co-headlining the show, first two bands on the bill, Breakmouth Annie out of St. Louis; and Chicago’s Airstream Futures provided far more than just a warm up. Both groups got the crowd moving and rowdy.

But terrific music this weekend also happened at least twice at Liar’s (likely three times but I was on site twice).




Friday was a night to recover from any family drama and over-eating that might have occurred on Thanksgiving. It was also a night to celebrate the birthday of lifelong skateboarder Abe Linders who turned… well a bit over 21 and let’s leave it at that. While he pulled no tricks on the cozy stage indicating that he was too old for that well we know how the line goes. His band Fastplants, out of Waukegan, needed no tricks to provide fast-moving punk rock. Linders described the origin of the band name, “We’re all skateboarders none pro. A fastplant is a skateboarding trick that none of us are able to do.”

Stomping Grounds is American Oi!/punk band formed a decade ago and members describe the band as product of the tough working class culture found on the streets of Chicago’s south side and Northwest Indiana. Lead singer/guitarist Marcus is a Chicago Fireman, His twin, E.J. commands the drums and is also a writer; Matt on rhythm guitar is a member of the Indiana Teachers Union; Dmitri on bass wears his blue-collar proudly as well.

Paulie Think brought his unique brand of Hip Hop Folk-Punk to Liars. This time on stage fronting Shots Fired Shots Fired, he sounded out on the President Trump and his administration. Needless to say, he is apparently is not a fan of the 45th President of the United States.

Sunday brought the 5th annual Punksgiving Food Drive and Benefit. Among the acts featured this night were the Anti-Trumpz and Squared Off. The Anti-Trumpz may be one of the first punk bands founded and focused completely on protesting President Donald Trump. They classify themselves as protest punk and their mission statement on Facebook is: “Playing loud music, Fighting the powers that be, Corrupting the corrupt system, Speaking the truth, Empowering the people, Sticking up for the downtrodden.” The founding date of the band is listed as November 8, 2016, as in the date of the presidential election. With a set list including: “Trump Nation,” “Thanx for makin’ me a Target”, “China is comin’ fo Texas”, “Uncle Sam’s a Peepin’ Tom”,“Up to Us”, “Do the Pussy Grab”, “Dump Trump,” and they are about neither political subtlety nor apathy. This is their punk rock version of right of the redress of grievances provided in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Chicago blue-collar stalwarts Squared Off are veterans of the stage at Liar’s Club and never fail to stir the crowd to full on chaos. Sunday night was another example of this as they performed a set including, “Haymarket Riots,”“ My World,” “As one”,“Instigator,” “The rail,” “B.C. Boys”; and “Blue Collar Cry.”

The night was a success in raising almost $200 and a many bags full of non-perishable food donations for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. It was also a terrific way to close out his holiday weekend. But hey, in a few weeks, there will be Christmas shows followed in quick succession by New Years’ to keep the holidays rocking.



DS Photo Gallery: JFA returns to Chicago (w/The Dwarves, The Bollweevils, I Attack, and Decent Criminal)

JFA returned to Chicago for their first Windy City show in more than 2 decades

Skate punk legends, with origins in Phoenix, AZ, and Southern CA, JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army) return to Chicago for the first time in more than two decades.  The Dwarves put on a great set as for first time live they ripped though their classic album “The Dwarves are Young + Good Looking,”and then rumbled through other songs as well as the night’s headliner. Local punks The Bollweevils got a rowdy summer send off; I Attack, another local punk band, attacked ferociously; Decent Criminal played a set far more than merely decent.

Taking nothing away from The Dwarves and their terrific set; however, it was JFA that appeared to garner the most excitement and whip the crowd into their most frenzied. And not just from fans in the crowd, but numerous fans in the bands sharing the bill as well. Some other musicians expressing that JFA was THE inspiration for them to get into the punk rock game.

Brian Brannon shares the mic with a fan.

JFA lead singer Brian Brannon frenetically covered most of the stage, dancing and jumping on every bit of stopping only for the briefest of moments here and there to catch his breath, this allowed band mates, Don Redondo on guitar, Corey Stretz on bass; and drummer Carter Blitch to shine in their own moments. The set was dominated by classics from their early days. JFA was officially (according to their cited history) formed just 10 days prior to the attempted but failed assassination of former President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. Hinckley Jr.  famously admitted the reasoning for attempting to kill Reagan was to impress actress Jodie Foster. Guitarist Don Redondo explained that they were partially inspired by the Dead Kennedys’ political tweaking in choosing a band name.  Redondo also added that the climate of increased political and social division also inspired a new track on their as of yet scheduled upcoming release. They played the new track “N/Tolerance” on Friday, with the simple credo of “Just Don’t Be A Dick.”

Corey Stretz of JFA

As noted, perhaps the biggest admirers were in the other bands on the bill, and Redondo spent much of the evening offstage engaged in conversation with drummer Pete Mumford. Mumford is a member of the legendary Chicago punk outfit, The Bollweevils, which lit the stage on fire once again immediately prior to JFA. Redondo and Mumford had a continuing dialogue about the best drummers and bass players in rock history, or at least their favorites (which included drummers Keith Moon, Neil Peart and John Bonham; and bass player John Entwistle.)  Redondo spoke of his belief in the best way to craft a new band, “Start with a great drummer and a great bass player and build from there.”

Don Redondo also spoke of the reasons for the long absence from Chicago: busy lives, other jobs (including Brannon’s other career, as Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy Reserve), families; and added that while the band is not changing its name from Jodie Foster’s Army, its motto as of late could be  thought of as Jodie Foster’s National Guard. That is, “one weekend once a month.”Judging from the reception they received at Reggies Rock Club, the crowd may be asking for far more than that, but were ecstatic and grateful for the band’s return.

As mentioned, The Dwarves and The Bollweevils both lit up the stage as expected. And in the case of Daryl Wilson, the lead singer for beloved Chicago legends The Bollweevils (and namesakes of a 2016 IPA  collaboration with 350 Brewing, “Weevil Wobble”) lit most of the area off stage on fire as well He repeatedly threw his 6′ 5″ frame into the welcoming arms of the crowd.

The Bollweevils are not scheduled to play again in their home region until they return from their journey to Blackpool, United Kingdom. They are confirmed for Rebellion Festival 2017, taking place in early August, along with their friend sin another Chicago favorite, 88 Fingers Louie.

Decent Criminal

Decent Criminal, from Northern California,  started the night off strong fashion with straightforward punk, proving that a show can be solid and rowdy from first note by the opening band to last note from the headliners.

Rob V. of I Attack

I Attack, led by the one man wrecking crew of Rob V. “Jak,” may have been be the cause of the most colorization of the crowd members, as in ending up black and blue; and purple.  Many showing their colorful souvenirs from the set seemed to have smiles on their faces, accompanied by expressions of half disbelief. If there was a Richter Scale equivalent in Circle Pits, the pure rowdiness whipped up by I Attack might, conservatively speaking, hit the 7 plus to 8 range.

This show had a bit of everything for from start to finish and may very well have thrown down the gauntlet for top to bottom billed, non-fest punk shows this summer. It is s summer is still in its infancy with many promising such events on tap, but judging from this night, it will hopefully be long and hot in the very best ways. Head below to check out our full photo gallery from the intense evening!



The Bollweevils perform “Predisposition” on Live From The Rock Room

Chicago punks The Bollweevils recently performed “Predisposition” on Live from the Rock Room, and you can watch the video below.

Live from the Rock Room is an ongoing webcast started by Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee, in which he has bands stop by his tiny studio just outside Chicago to play music and chat.

The Bollweevils last released their EP Attack Scene in August 2015 through Underground Communique records.



Video: The Bollweevils perform “Bottomless Pit” on Live from the Rock Room

Chicago punks The Bollweevils recently performed “Bottomless Pit” on Live from the Rock Room, and you can watch the video below.

Live from the Rock Room is an ongoing webcast started by Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee, in which he has bands stop by his tiny studio just outside Chicago to play music and chat.

The Bollweevils last released their EP Attack Scene in August 2015 through Underground Communique records.



DS Photo Gallery: Night 1 of The Lawrence Arms’ War on Christmas with Dead To Me & The Bollweevils (Chicago, IL)

For most of us, 2016 has been a pile of shit topped with a rotten cherry soaked in trash water. We’ve lost some amazing people this year (both on the celeb level and on a smaller, more personal scale). We have an Oompa Loompa posing as president elect who somehow Tweeted his way into the White House. There are still people out there who won’t stop posting memes or hashtags about that damn gorilla, Harambe. Now, I’m not saying that everything was all bad this year. But sometimes I couldn’t help but find myself thinking, “Give me a fucking break already.” However, with the bad times come the good and with them being so few and far between, they can seem even sweeter. When it was announced that the Lawrence Arms were holding a follow up to last year’s trio of shows entitled the War on Christmas, I was elated. During last year’s WoC, each evening had a theme ranging from Sadness & Despair to Drinking & Revelry to Love & Triumph. This year, the themes were taken from the Charles Dicken’s story A Christmas Carol. They included the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Last year’s WoC turned into what I started calling the War on Myself, a drunken ramble through a four-day weekend. I was eager to see if this year would top last.

Night 1 – The Ghost of Christmas Past

The Bollweevils opened the Second Annual War on Christmas with their fast, fun version of Chicago punk. The four piece have rekindled their musical endeavors over the last few years, quickly becoming one of the staple bands in the Chicago scene once again. Front man and resident giant, Daryl Wilson leapt, jumped and danced all over the stage as the rest of the band held down the music. While I have seen The Weevils countless times over the years, I never get bored of them or their stage presence. Each member is always pounding away on their instrument, showcasing their craft while still smiling, laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves. This is a feat that is not always achieved while onstage. While the members of the band may have been older than many of the Lawrence Arms fans in attendance that night, The Bollweevils’ energy and music still engaged the audience. My personal theory on why The Bollweevils was selected for the “Christmas Past” evening of War on Christmas: they’re a band that used to play with the Arms during the Fireside days. They’ve been around for years and going through an amazing resurgence right now. You get the idea, right? Great.

Dead to Me was next. Is there anything that I can even say about this band that has not been already harped on this year? Jack’s back. They put out a very strong EP entitled “I Want To Die in Los Angeles” on Fat this last October. No matter the members, the band has always put on a great live show. However, with both Jack and Chicken onstage, Dead To Me seems practically unstoppable. While the crowd was somewhat smaller since this was a Thursday night and all, there was no energy wasted during Dead to Me’s set. There were crowd surfers. There were sing-a-longs. From what I could see, everyone in the audience was giving it their all, as if they were right on stage with the band. “Ran that Scam”, “Arrhythmic Palpitations”, “Cause of my Anger” and of course “Little Brother” seemed to be crowd favorites. Fourteen songs seemed to fly by as I tried to remember to stop singing and dancing long enough to snap some photos. My personal theory on why Dead to Me was selected as part of the “Christmas Past” night of War on Christmas: While the band was always great, we can all admit that African Elephants is just not in the same tier as Cuban Ballerina, right? The band is reincarnated with Jack’s presence and are back to being themselves again, in a revamped self-confident way that is stronger than ever before.

The time had come for the Lawrence Arms to once again grace the stage of the Double Door in Chicago. As the three climbed the stage, the audience started shouting and clapping. Of course the “Hen-nes-sey” chant was soon to follow. What songs would they possible consider for tonight’s set? Well lucky for you, I was standing right next to the set list. Night 1 graced us with:

Necrotism

There’s No Place Like a Stranger’s Floor

On with the Show

Intransit

Alert the Audience!

Fireflies

Drunk Tweets

Minute

Lose Your Illusion 1

A Toast

A Wishful Puppeteer

Seventeener

October Blood

The Disaster March

ENCORE:

Beautiful Things

Are You There Margaret?

Although it’s been almost three years since the band has put out an album and extensively toured, their onstage chemistry this night made it seem like it could have been yesterday. While the set wasn’t flawless (is it ever though?), each mistake was taken with a smile and a laugh exchanged between the three friends. Maybe I was drunk – spoiler alert: I was. Maybe it was the amazing set list or because I’m feeling particularly festive this year. Maybe it was because they played “The Disaster March” which they almost never play no matter how much I pray and hope. Whatever it was, there was something almost palpable about the importance of the show, of these series of shows. To be see a band like the The Bollweevils – who used to play alongside the Arms – execute a set with so much vivacity and passion makes me almost embarrassingly proud to be part of the Chicago punk scene. Then, having Dead to Me – a band that was influenced by the Arms – showcase their regeneration basically reaffirmed my faith in new/current punk music. And finally, to witness the Lawrence Arms play to a crowd of avid fans and followers in their hometown of Chicago (no matter where their lives have taken them years after the band’s formation), is an experience all its own.

I know that I promised you drunken revelry earlier and don’t you worry. There is much more of that to come in Nights 2 and 3. Check back for that coverage later this week!

Check out the gallery for Night One below:



Weekend of Shows Review: MDC and Pegboy Headline, The Bollweevils shoot Anthem video

Pegboy’s “Skinny” Mike Thompson (left), John Haggerty (center), and Larry Damore (right) (with Joe Haggerty on drums, not pictured) played to a frenetic crowd at 1st Ward.

MDC kicked off their latest tour in Chicago to a packed Liar’s Club Friday night, April, 8, 2016, with strong support from Deathwish and Chicago area based groups Death and Memphis, and The Bollweevils.

Deathwish worked hard to get the crowd warmed up and the fervor built during Death and Memphis’ as always rollicking set.

Steev MF Custer (left) and Paul Garcia (right) with Larry Ohler and Devin Thomas, during a rollicking performance at Liar’s Club

The Bollweevils had the club at fever pitch as lead singer Daryl Wilson, whose day job is as an M.D. /EMS Medical Director at a suburban Chicago Hospital (thus affectionally known by friends and fans as the Punk Rock Doc) threw his almost 6’5 frame all over the stage and into the crowd. The low ceilings of Liar’s Club and the cozy stage space did not deter Wilson from making his customary chaotic jumps.  By the next day, it was a case of doctor heal thyself, as Wilson listed badges of painful honor in the name of punk on his Facebook page.

Daryl Wilson was not deterred from making one of his numerous jumps by cozy stage space at Liar’s Club

MDC, formed 35 plus years earlier and led by Dave Dictor, took the stage and started furiously with the sometimes eponymous song Millions of Dead Cops.  Nearly a dozen songs later, when they hit Chicken Squawk and John Wayne Was A Nazi, the crowd composed of many just a few years younger than Dictor himself, was fully enthralled. Despite the tight stage area, some still found the space to stage dive and crowd surf through the tight confines. The coziness of the venue seemed to only add to the level of energy generated throughout.

Dave Dictor and MDC kicked off their latest tour at Liar’s Club in Chicago.

The music continued Saturday night at 1st Ward Events at Chop Shop, and a good deal of the audience members at the Friday night show also were on hand for headliners, the Chicago outfit sometimes described as a punk rock supergroup, Pegboy.

The three earlier Saturday night groups, Dan Vapid & The Cheats, The Brokedowns and Dethwarrant all provided solid support.

Pegboy ripped through close to 20 songs, including a soaring cover of Naked Raygun’s Soldier’s Requiem.  Pegboy of course includes former Naked Raygun guitarist John Haggerty, so this was especially delightful to longtime NR fans.  Two other highlights of the set: “Revolver,” Pegboy’s cover of “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” by Mission of Burma and Hardlight. For the latter song, the show finale, Pegboy lead vocalist Larry Damore yielded the mic to Daryl Wilson of The Bollweevils, who had more space to catch air and did.

In fact, the entire weekend may have seemed to some as an extended party. Sunday at Liar’s found many of those in attendance to the previous two nights’ shows (including several members of the various performing bands) participating in the making of The Bollweevils music video for “The Bollweevils Anthem.”



The Bollweevils announce California tour dates

Chicago punk band The Bollweevils have announced a week of Southern California shows that will take place at the end of March.

You can see the full list of dates and locations below.

The Bollweevils last released their EP Attack Scene in August 2015 through Underground Communique records.



The Bollweevils (punk) stream new EP “Attack Scene”

Chicago punk band The Bollweevils have released their new EP “Attack Scene” through Underground Communique records, and you can stream it below.