Dying Scene Show Review and Photo Gallery: Windy City Sensation w/ Flesh Panthers, Criminal Kids, Some Hearts, RMBLR and more

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

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg

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

Of course, the music was pretty damn good too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see below for more images from Windy City Sensation.

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DS Exclusive: Voice of Addiction – “Divided States”

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of […]

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of Dying Scene and with that honor comes some privileges. This is one of them. So, give it a few spins and tell all of your friends about it, then go preorder the album at Bandcamp. Also, the lads are hitting the road in support of the album, so if you’re in/near one of the cities they’re coming to (dates/stops below), go say ‘thank you’ to them in person for giving us such a wonderful gift!

Upcoming Tour Dates
7/22 – Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
7/23 – Oshkosh, WI @ Reptile Palace
8/5 – Detroit, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
8/6 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
8/18 – Youngstown OH @ Westside Bowl
8/19 – Rochester, NY @ Photo City Music Hall
8/20 – Holyoke, MA @ Apeland
8/21 – Boston, MA @ Midway Cafe
8/22 – Providence, RI @ Alchemy
8/23 – New York City, NY @ Heaven Can Wait
8/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland
8/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
8/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 222 Ormsby
8/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Mockbee

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DS Show Review and Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Tacos: A DIY 4th on the 3rd (Chicago, IL)

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.” 

What an outlet it was. Among the thirteen bands were No Dead HeroesThe RustixWAYDSBQuantumThe ThrowawaysShitizen, and Real Bad Real Fast

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?”

More Photos from The Fourth on the Third below!

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Dying Scene Resurrection Show – Chicago

Photos and Story by Meredith Goldberg One of the final installments of the Dying Scene’s “Resurrection” shows took place on Saturday, June 18, at Liar’s Club, in Chicago, IL. Herb Rosen, Liar’s Club owner and a founding member of Chicago legends Rights of the Accused, offered up the venue for the party. He included the […]

Photos and Story by Meredith Goldberg

One of the final installments of the Dying Scene’s “Resurrection” shows took place on Saturday, June 18, at Liar’s Club, in Chicago, IL. Herb Rosen, Liar’s Club owner and a founding member of Chicago legends Rights of the Accused, offered up the venue for the party. He included the whole door and a percentage of the bar, even some gift certificates. Bar manager, Gary Kessler, and his crew helped ensure attendees had a good time between sets.

To kick things off, a raffle was held with Liar’s Club denizens and others offering up gift certificates and services from their businesses, which included Twisted Scissors, Citizen Skate Shop, Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse and a two hour photo session with yours truly. The bands on the bill donated merchandise along with their sets. A few others brought miscellaneous items for the raffle. Said raffle ended up very successful as to funds raised. However, partygoers seemed much more interested in donating via raffle along with the nominal cover charge.  It took a while to get the prizes doled out due to winning actually being beside the point to those who participated. In fact, it seemed that many people took this break between the third and four to sit on, and by, the iconic front stoop right outside Liar’s Club.

Four very popular punk bands from Chicago immediately jumped on opportunity to help a publication that has covered them. One band did have to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances.  Good thing a visit to one of the top skate parks in the city happened because this is how B.R.O.K.E. caught our eyes. Barely had the offer of the set been uttered before the members said yes.

Chicago’s veteran blue collar stalwarts Squared Off, led by its founder Jo “Hoser” Villa, kicked off the night with a hard charging set of both older and more recent tunes. The band ended their time on stage with a raucous cover of Stiff Little Fingers’ Suspect Device.


Voice of Addiction was up next. Ian Tomele, founding member of VoA, also helped with some of the logistics of the night, with his experience organizing and promoting shows being of great help.  The VoA trio was very enthusiastically welcomed back to their first set at Liar’s since 2019. The band spoke of its new record, news which was excitedly received.

Aweful was the penultimate set of the evening and the trio was on fire per usual. Drummer Izzy Price added a dollop of sweetness to the sassiness by asking the crowd and his bandmates, guitarist Lucy DeKay (also of Mystery Actions), and Traci Trouble, lead vocals/bass, to join him in wishing his girlfriend Erin a very Happy Birthday. All obliged the shiny purple hot pants wearing drummer.

B.R.O.K.E. ripped through its set. One that was full of humorous and catchy tunes. A song with a reference to disgraced actor Armie Hammer wanting to eat people elicited laughs. This type of very dark, verging on gallows, ripped from the headlines, humor is embedded in the band. 

Liar’s Club stands up for so many in its community. On this night it stood up for those who cover the tight-knit punk rock community in Chicago. In doing this, it lent a hand for Dying Scene to cover punk rock communities from massive to miniscule, in Chicago and across the United States.

Check out more photos in the gallery below!

*If you’re interested in donating to our cause but couldn’t make it out to one of our shows, you can send your extra dollars and cents to paypal.me/dyingscene!


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