Naked Raygun, Hot Water Music 1/2 at House of Blues

Naked Raygun, Hot Water Music 1/2 at House of Blues

The city of Chicago got to start the new year right with a pair of shows that saw Naked Raygun and Hot Water Music team up at the House of Blues. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Naked Raygun fan (and who is Chicago isn’t?!), but I also enjoy Hot Water Music to a much smaller degree and never saw them play before.


The Copyrights


The Copyrights

The show started pretty early so luckily I was off work that day so I could arrive on time. The Copyrights were the first band to play this evening. They hail from Carbondale, IL which is a college town in this state that I’ve never been to. They played some melodic punk that was farily catchy but not overly original. As far as opening bands go however they weren’t bad at all.


Shot Baker


Shot Baker


Shot Baker

Shot Baker were next. I’ve seen them a few times in the past and this time wasn’t much different, which is to say they played their “Chicago sound” version of mid-tempo punk pretty well. This is another one of those bands that has sort of been forced upon me so many times opening various shows that they are growing on me. That or they are just becoming a better band. Either way, they presented a half hour of rather ear-pleasing tunes .


Hot Water Music


Hot Water Music


Hot Water Music


Hot Water Music

At this point I thought the place would be a lot more crowded than it was. I suspect with the holidays and the somewhat high ticket price that it kept some people away, plus there being two nights to choose from probably saw people picking just one to attend.  The club was about 2/3 full when Hot Water Music took the stage. While I own a few of their records, I will admit to not listening to the band enough to really know their material well at all. In fact I only recognized one song they played the entire night. The crowd however were very familiar with them and there was a core group of fans singing along to most of the songs. They played with a lot of passion and energy and they were pretty good, however during the course of a full hour many of their songs started sounding similar. I was glad to finally get a chance to see them and thought they were pretty good.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

The curtains closed and a screen was lowered and as the stage was being set up for Naked Raygun, they reinstated a very old tradition of showing cartoons before their set! I swear the last time they did that was around 1986! While many in attendance may not have caught the relevance, I sure as hell enjoyed it. When they were through, the curtains opened and the band opened as usual with “Home of the Brave” The crowd cheered with delight and the band proceeded to bang out hit after hit, until after a few songs they stopped and Jeff made and annoucement.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

“This is something we haven’t said in a long time, we’re going to play a new song”. Had I not been tipped off earlier in the evening that the band were working on new material and planned on debuting some of it my jaw would have hit the floor. It was one thing to never think I’d be seeing Naked Raygun again until they reunited a couple years ago, but them recording new material didn’t cross my mind either. The new song they played fit in perfectly with their other material and it sounded like the band no only didn’t break up, but reverted to the Naked Raygun of a couple albums before their end because I enjoyed the song a lot more than I thought I would.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

After that it was back to the norm for awhile, with Jeff strapping on the guitar for the one-two punch of “Treason” and “Peacemaker”. Later in the set they played another new song that was as good as the first one they debuted. They of course stopped half way through their set to dispense some “Free Shit” which consisted of kazoos (sadly at this point I was too far away to get one). Highlights of the set included “I Lie” (any time they play something from Basement Screams I smile from ear to ear), “Rat Patrol”, “Vanilla Blue” (one of the best songs they’ve ever written), and “Surf Combat” which saw practically the entire crowd singing along. They busted out “Wonder Beer” in their encore and closed as usual with “New Dreams”.


Naked Raygun

When the show let out, I left the House of Blues a very satisfied man from witnessing a very enjoyable show that was solid from start to finish. I was looking forward to seeing the show again the next day (this time with two different opening bands).






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