Tag «motoblot»

DS Photo Gallery: Pegboy, The Crombies and The Beer Nuts at Chicago’s Motoblot 2017

Motoblot 2017 was held at Cobra Lounge/All Rise Brewing again this year, June 23-25th. This is the 4th year since the event evolved from the decade long Mods vs Rockers Chicago. Motoblot celebrates motorculture, especially inspired by that of 1960’s Great Britain, per festival assistant Nick Goodwin, a self-described petrol-head. Co-Founder Lawrence R. Fletcher estimated the total weekend attendance at 12,000. He told me it was their biggest year to date. “The weather was fabulous and I am sure Sean (McKeough) something to do with it.”

Sean McKeough, who joined founders Fletcher and Martin Cimek, as a partner the 2nd year of Motoblot, and was also the co-founder of Riot Fest and owner of Cobra Lounge, passed away last November.This year’s event was another chance to celebrate his life. A patch reading “McQ,” as McKeough was affectionally known, adorned Motoblot shirts worn by organizers and staffers. Saturday evening, before that night’s headliners kicked off their set, a group of bagpipers played, as friends and family gathered around and revved McKeough’s collection of motorcycles for what was described as one last time.

The music was the centerpiece of the festival. Saturday’s lineup included, among others, three Chicago based bands with varied styles and devoted following inside the city and out: The Crombies; The Beer Nuts; and Pegboy. The Crombies’ performed mostly covers of 2 Tone classics with a few originals sprinkled in. Their rollicking set transformed the parking lot in front of the stage into a dance floor. Among the highlights were “English Civil War” (The Clash); “Lip Up Fatty” (Bad Manners ) and “Monkey Man” (Maytals via The Specials); The Crombies’ original “It’s Not You”; and a reworked version of “Mad at the World” originally written by lead singer Mike Park for his former band Deal’s Gone Bad. The set also included: “Plastic Gangsters” by The 4-Skins; “Hooligans” by the Wailers “Hey, Little Rich Girl” by Roddie Radiation and The Specials, “Wash Wash” by Prince Buster, Gangsters by The Specials; “It’s You” by Toots and the Maytals, “Blood and Fire” by Niney the Observer; “Little Bitch” by the Specials.

The Beer Nuts is described in their Facebook fan page as “Chicago’s most notorious party band.” and advises fans to “Bring a raincoat and Silly String for a night of maximum rock and roll and random sex with strangers.” The band’s mission statement could read simply, “fun” but the group is composed of veterans of Chicago’s punk scene, including: Joe Kelly (Ministry), Herb Rosen (Rights of the Accused; as well as the founder and owner of Chicago’s Liar’s Club), Leanne Murray (Pig Face), Louis Svitek (Ministry), Mike O’Connell (ROTA). At Motoblot, official members of Beer Nuts were joined by others including Vee Sonnets (The Crombies; The Sonnets); Dave Simon (Deal’s Gone Bad; The Crombies; Anger); and Scott Lucas (Local H; Scott Lucas and the Married Men). Beer Nuts shows consist of such songs as “Who’s Got The Yea Yo,” “Blow Me For Beer,” “Woke Up Tied Up” and “Pro Vag.” If you’re interested in neither having fun nor getting doused from flying cups of brew, and continuously flowing bongs, it’s best you head to the rear of the venue or festival grounds to wait for party’s end. And if you are documenting the show or for any other reasons have gear, take cue from the sight of the plastic covered speakers on stage and protect your equipment.

Headliner/Chicago legends, Pegboy gave what seemed to be one of their most highly energetic shows of late. Lead singer Larry Damore, dispensed with the guessing game familiar to Pegboy fans in recent years— at which song would he sit down on stage (and on occasion take his own pulse)? At about the second song he joked to the crowd that they would just get it over with. Damore would return to that position throughout the set, at times dangling his legs over the side of the stage, or lying flat on his back. However, he also repeatedly jumped off, or, slid himself off, the stage to pace in and sing from the photo pit. Numerous times he returned to the makeshift barricade to sing at and within the crowd and, on at least one occasion, surf above it. The barricade held Damore, the photographers scrambling for shots; and the crowd, though it was in continuous sway throughout the set.

“Skinny” Mike Thompson roamed furiously over much of the stage, slinging his bass up and bowing low, in seeming perpetual motion. His bass work; and Joe Haggerty’s ferocious drumming, along with Joe’s brother,  guitarist John Haggerty’s propulsive playing provided the hyperdrive heartbeat to Damore’s gritty and growling vocals.Their setlist did not disappoint, including “Strong Reaction” near the start and closing out with “Hardlight.” The group propelled through others such as “Superstar”, “Through My Fingers,” “Field of Darkness”; and the song Damore joked was responsible for making him independently wealthy, that is, “Revolver,” Pegboy’s driving cover of the Mission of Burma classic “That’s When I reach for my Revolver.” The rest of the set included: “Still Uneasy,” “Not What I Want,” “Locomotivelung,” “Witnessed,” “Fade Away,” “Time Again,” “Never A Question,” “Dangermare,” “Walk On By,” and “Line Up.”

Full Gallery Below!

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DS Show Review: Motoblot 2016 – featuring Flatfoot 56 and Naked Raygun

Eric MacMahon of Flatfoot 56 performs at Motoblot 2016

Two of Chicago’s most popular bands, both with  fervent U.S. and international fan bases, Flatfoot 56 and Naked Raygun, were among the many acts performing at Motoblot 2016. Both took the outdoor stage, set up outside of  Cobra Lounge, Saturday June 25th, with the legendary Naked Raygun headlining.The Flatfoot 56 set began with “Brother, Brother” from Toil, a song name seemingly appropriate for the southsiders’ recently slightly revised lineup. Two, not three, Bawinkel brothers, Tobin Bawinkel on lead vocals and guitar and Kyle Bawinkel on bass and vocals, remain as official members of the quintet. Drummer Justin Bawinkel exited the group to focus on his studies and fatherhood as he and his wife welcomed their first child within the last year. Conrad Allsworth is the new drummer. Eric McMahon (bagpipes, guitar), Brandon Good (mandolin, guitar) round out the line-up.

Tobin Bawinkel (L) and Kyle Bawinkel of Flatfoot 56

Flatfoot 56 are known for their high-energy, to the point of near exhaustion, sets. Some highlights of their Motoblot performance included : “The Rich, The Strong and The Poor” and “I Believe It”  both also from Toil; “Chinatown Jail Break,” from  Jungle of the Midwest Sea; and “We Grow Stronger” from Black Thorn.

Flatfoot 56 closed their set out the way they often do, with one of the classics hymns of which they have recorded covers. “I’ll Fly Away” has been described as one of the most recorded gospel songs and has been utilized by several different Christian denominations. And to some, as of yet unfamiliar with FF56, it might seem a curious choice to be covered by a punk band. Yet their version maintains the power;  and as with their version of  “Amazing Grace,” movingly transforms their always very active circle pit into a fellowship session akin to a Revival, with punks, skins and every other conceivable description of fan, regardless of  personal religious beliefs or lack thereof, joyously singing along in unity about life, love and the Hereafter.

Conrad Allsworth of Flatfoot 56

Upcoming for Flatfoot 56, per Tobin and Kyle: “We hit Atlas Studios to record a new album with Matt Allison. We are looking to track at least 14 songs. This will be the first full length album that will we will have written with our new drummer Conrad. It’s going to be an amazing record. We are also planning a west coast tour in September.”

Post-Punk legends Naked Raygun capped the night to a frenzied crowd. Pierre Kezdy, Jeff Pezzati, Eric Spicer, Bill Stephens, and Fritz Doreza gave the crowd what they wanted, classic songs such as “Vanilla Blue”, “Rat Patrol”, and “Home of the Brave”.

Naked Raygun’s Jeff Pezzati. NR headlined Motoblot 2016 in Chicago

Naked Raygun, formed in 1981, has been cited as the primary inspiration for many bands to follow. Dave Grohl has famously recalled Naked Raygun as his first concert experience, at The Cubby Bear, and repaid them for their inspiration by having NR join Foo Fighters’ 2015 bill at a venue in close proximity to The Cubby Bear: Wrigley Field.

Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun

At numerous points during their set, Lead Singer Jeff Pezzati, stepped away from continuously stalking the stage and stepped halfway onto the barricade, which had been pulled close to the stage, to give the fans an assist on the vocals. This was especially effective on “Home of the Brave” and “Rat Patrol”, with the frenetic, swaying crowd, grasping for the mic, to join in on “Whoa oh oh oh oh oh, Whoa oh oh oh oh oh” on the latter song.

Bill Stephens and fellow members of Naked Raygun headlined Motoblot 2016 in Chicago,IL

In what was the easily the most fun moment of the strong set, Naked Raygun dedicated Coldbringer to their close friend Steev MF Custer and teasingly jumbled the name of Custer’s band, asking if it was Death IN Memphis? Death OR Memphis and various other possibilities.  Custer, who makes no secret of the fact that Naked Raygun is his all-time favorite group and inspiration, (and on at least one occasion stepped in on guitar  with Naked Raygun) was spotted grinning widely at the side of the stage, seemingly in partial disbelief. This moment was especially fun for the crowd as well, as many are also fans of Death and Memphis and present for their rollicking set just a few hours earlier. Naked Raygun is scheduled to headline at The Smooth Fox in Elgin, IL on Saturday July 23rd, with support by the Biscaynies, The Bungdoons, and The Usuals.

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