Tag «naked raygun»

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.

 

 

share on: Comment

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.

share on: Comment
Web Design - WordPress Development - WooCommerce Websites