Riot Fest 2006 pre-bash 2

Riot Fest 2006 pre-bash 2

Saturday night my lovely girlfriend and I went down to Subterranean for the Riot Fest Pre-Bash #2. I had the good fortune ahead of time to know what the surprise guests were going to be and I have to say it was quite a strong line up. By the time the week of the show came, many folks knew Naked Raygun (Chicago’s super heroes) were headlining this, but what many did not know was the other special guest was The Briefs, which as far as newer punk bands go, is as entertaining of a band as you’d want on a bill.

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

We got there early enough that is wasn’t too crowded. We set up camp right next to the stage so I could take photos. We were quickly joined by fellow daghousers Lewdd and Oddgrowth, as well as Sarah and Marty. It was fun chatting with them between bands and introducing them to my lady. It wasn’t very long before the first band, Four Star Alarm, took the stage. I saw them play two weeks ago (opening for a secret Naked Raygun show) and didn’t care for them, but this time I actually found them quite enjoyable. I think what ruined it for me the first time was not being able to hear much else but the bass due to where I was standing. This time I heard their power pop clearly. The singer has a very melodic voice that is dangerously close to an emo band, but the songs aren’t ladies stretch pants wimpy. My only compliant was the completely unnecessary Sugar cover they did. That aside, I wouldn’t mind seeing them again as long as they stick to the original material. Bonus points to their bass player for wearing a cool Swans shirt.

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

Next up were The Bomb, who feature Naked Raygun’s Jeff Pezatti on vocals and the guitar player from Four Star Alarm, so two band members were pulling double duty this evening which certainly can’t be an easy feat. The Bomb played a short set of their sing along punk/indie rock fusion to perfection. Though Jeff’s voice was bothering him, it didn’t stop him and the entire band from delivering the goods. I actually enjoyed them far more than I did the last time I saw them play a month or two ago. The crowd had filled in some more during their set and many of the crowd were singing along and enjoying themselves.

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

After what felt like a long set change during which time the crowd literally doubled, The Briefs took the stage. I saw them a couple years ago in CA opening for Youth Brigade and was rather impressed with them, but not enough to go out and buy their records. This time out, I think they sold me on going out and checking out one of their albums. They play a fast energetic style of punk rock that would sound more at home in 1970s England than 2006 America. The songs are short, sweet, and catchy and they never stop between songs. They just go from one right into the next, only stopping when they have no choice. Keeping up that non-stop pace for 45 minutes is an impressive display as it is and is only made better by the enjoyable tunes they blasted out from that stage. The bass player kept sticking out his tongue and making weird faces that made him kind of look like a lizard. I’ll definitely go see these guys again sometime, especially if they don’t do an Angry Samoans cover next time.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

I swear after The Briefs, the size of the crowd doubled again! If I had to guess there had to be around 500 people inside this club that probably really can only support about 300. There was no room to move and as the anticipation of Naked Raygun taking the stage grew, the crowd seemed to keep surging forward. I knew the place was going to go nuts when they took the stage and I actually starting getting really concerned for the safety of my woman. You see, 18 years ago I once attempted to take her to a Naked Raygun show at the Metro and she damn near got killed. The story was recanted in an episode of LFCM so those of you who are listeners of our show will be all too familiar with my “Naked Raygun story”. So since we were being pushed forward anyway, I we just ended up pretty much sitting on the stage which kept the both of us mostly safe.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

When Naked Raygun finally did take the stage, they weren’t even into the third chord yet when the place exploded. The entire crowd went crazy. In fact it was perhaps the most insanely excited crowd I have witnessed in years. The punk rock city of Chicago always seemed to worship this band as super heroes, even when the quality of the band declined in their later years and at this show, they crowd let the band know how much they were missed. People were flying all over the place and by the time they got to “Rat Patrol” it was a never ending sea of stage divers. The band played a rather short set but it was quality over quantity. Jeff probably didn’t have to strain his voice at all since the entire crowd was singing the songs louder than he was! They even came back for an encore and did “I Lie” which I haven’t seen them play since 1987! That alone made the fear of getting crushed or trapped in a fire should one occur all worth while! My lady might tell you it was even worth her getting kicked in the head at the show by someone getting flipped onto the stage (luckily it didn’t even phase her). That night Naked Raygun made be believe that they are in fact super heroes and are still something really special.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

At some point, I feared for the safety of my camera and packed it up and just watched and kept my arms out to protect us from flying feet. It was an amazing show and really got me (and I’m sure everyone in that room) excited about what was to come the next evening when Naked Raygun would play a full set. Seeing the band in such a small and intimate venue was quite a treat, especially considering even back in the day I never got to see them anyplace smaller than the Metro.

A huge thank you to Riot Mike for putting on this show, getting Naked Raygun to reunite for it, and for the passes for the lady and me.

More photos after the jump and larger versions up on my flickr page.

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm
Four Star Alarm

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

The Briefs
The Briefs

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun






10 comments

  • Seriously, dude, you need to get over the covers thing. I know you don’t like them but harping on it is distracting and gives your writing (which is generally very good) a snide and superior tone. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh but, to be honest with you, reading about this over and over again on your blog makes me not want to read it anymore.

  • I really wish I could’ve gotten into this one. I can spot about four familiar faces in the audience shots and from all accounts this was a much bettter (if shorter) set than the Sunday one. I heard an MP3 of “Rat Patrol” from this show and the crowd completely drowns out Pezatti on 75% of the song.

    I’m also glad to see you enjoyed The Briefs so much. They’ve been consistently great every time I’ve seen them and was bummed that I wouldn’t get a chance this time around. I’d reccommend getting their first album “Hit After Hit” and then moving on from there.

  • I can see my head in the last two pictures…

    That was one intense crowd that at one point I just decided to sit on the stage between the monitors where Pezzati was until some crowdsurfer landed on my head and I decided to move & sit closer to the side where Bill Stephens was.

    I have to say though that the pure magic of that night’s performance left me pretty disappointed when I saw them the next night at the actual Riot Fest. But this show was just a once in a lifetime experience so nothing could have topped it.

  • Unless you were there (though MXV gives a great description) you couldn’t possibly imagine the energy at this show. Couple Raygun with The Bomb (buy Indecision people!) and The Briefs (who are definitely one of the best active punk bands) and you have the makings for greatness. Riot Fest was a blast as well, but this was definitely the best show I’ve ever attended…

  • Oh yeah, when MXV said “After what felt like a long set change during which time the crowd literally doubled, The Briefs took the stage” – that was compeltely true on both counts. The Briefs had literally just arrived from their show at The Metro (gear in hand) and by the time they started I didn’t even have room to raise my arms!

  • Nice pics, great job. Your writing is better than most. Maybe we’ll meet one day (if we havent already)-
    Dan Agent- Secret Agent Bill & Riot Fest Crew

  • The Saturday show was the best show of my life and I have to agree with Mike about the Sugar cover. But I guess if I had a choice I’d want Jeff Dean playing a Bob Mould song.

    And I just want everyone to know that Lady MXV promised me all of MXV’s records.

    😀

  • Came all the way from San Diego with my wife and hung out with 5 friends that I have known for 22 years or so from the old days! Did not make it to the pre show, but the actual gig ruled! Naked Raygun, 7 Seconds and Flatfoot 56 stole the show in my opinion.

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