Oh the Lawrence Arms. Chicago's favorite sons come to Bernie's and this time I'm there to see them. For those of you that don't know what Bernie's looks like, imagine a basement bar. There, you're done. One half is a bagel/deli shop, the other half is a bar with a pool table in the middle of the floor, about 20 feet from the "stage" (a 6 inch upraised section in the corner, about 10'x10'). It's an amazing place to see any band, let alone one as intense and intimate as the Lawrence Arms.
But first, the openers!
Dogridge Drive (taken from the Bernie's website) opened us up, and they weren't "bad". But they weren't "good" either. Emo-pop-punk, with a couple of breakdowns where they showed off some guitar skill in the middle. The guy's voice was a little too high-pitched at some points, but overall, they entertained. Their set was a bit too long though.
Not nearly as long as Delay's however. Though I loathe to use this term, Tatecore took the stage in the dingy basement of Bernie's, and brought their own entourage of idiots with them. These guys were really just not great. The highlight to their far overextended set was their ending with a cover of The Bouncing Souls' Say Anything. They managed to play that song well, actually.
Now to the real bands! The Cardinal Sin hails from I don't know where, and are fucking awesome. They are a louder, angrier version of early Alkaline Trio mixed with early Lawrence Arms. Tons of emotion, tons of noise, and tons of guitar. Tons of hair too, I think the singer/guitarist is going for the Coheed look, but isn't quite there yet. OH! Not that this is that bizarre, but their drummer is an incredibly talented lass named Becky, proving once again that girls can play more than just bass in a band. I picked up their EP/demo for a buck in the back, and since they had just sold out and were burning more, I'd say they got a good reception. Their website isn't up yet, but rest assured, we'll be hearing more from these folks soon.
When the Lawrence Arms take the stage it's all business, straight ahead songs and no chattering over the mic. Okay, maybe not. They walked up, Brendan babbled a bit, then they charged into one of their more diverse set-lists I've heard. Playing everything from their first recordings to their split with Mike Park's Chinkees to their newest effort, it was quite amazing. The highlights for me included playing Brickwall View (I've waited four shows to hear it, it's my favorite song), What Time is Pennsacola Wings Gold on Anyway?, Right as Rain pt. 2, and their super special "not an encore, but had more time than they thought" closer Quincentuple Your Money. Brendan introduced it with a normal rant, but I think he'd had too much to drink, and was actually pretty serious, about how you grow up in a place and all your spots get turned into Quizno's. It was an amazing close to an amazing set, and the band looked pretty happy with the response.
I omitted some parts, like the big drunk guy calling them bitches, repeatedly stealing and fucking up Chris's mic and guitar pedals, and then calling my brothers fags. Oh, and some guys felt the need to play pool during the Larry Arms' set. What?
It was a good show, and as any fan knows, you should go see them. And The Cardinal Sin was a damned fun time too. For seven bucks and a chance to go see one of my favorite bands with my two brothers and my best friend, it was an evening well spent.