Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / The Tossers

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / The Tossers: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2004)
Lookout Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Well, the show started earlier than advertised, or it was just advertised wrong. In any case, we got there at 9 right as A-Set (I think that's who they were...) finished. Oops. Natural History was up next, and they played their own version of power pop that was decent, but forgettable. Nothing.

Well, the show started earlier than advertised, or it was just advertised wrong. In any case, we got there at 9 right as A-Set (I think that's who they were...) finished. Oops.

Natural History was up next, and they played their own version of power pop that was decent, but forgettable. Nothing special, although Ted Leo later claimed to absolutely love every band on the tour. Maybe it just wasn't my thing.

The Tossers were up after that. Lemme tell you, sweaty fat guys and angry young skins were stoked. They are another Irish folk/punk band, like Flogging Molly, but they've been around for 11 years, so nuts to anyone trying to call them on riding a popular scheme. They played well, and generally played simpler songs than Flogging Molly, more centered around traditional Irish folk. Songs were short, and melodies simple. I probably would have enjoyed it better if I was in the mood for that, but I came to see Ted Leo, not angry Irish drinking music. Tons of kids seemed to love it, and it makes sense since they are a Chicagoan band.

Finally, Ted Leo took the stage with Chris Wilson and Dave Lerner to perform as Ted Leo/Pharmacists. I do have to admit, I was a little sad about the lack of there being keys, but Ted and the gang made up for it. And lemme tell ya, he slayed the entire crowd. People of all different shapes and sizes and ages (seriously, there were some fortysomethings rocking out next to me) were there for him, and everyone was going nuts. They had good reason to. Ted Leo is the man. He blazed through tracks from all three albums, and although I don't have the set list, I know he played "2nd Ave, 11AM," "Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?," "The High Party," "Hearts Of Oak," "Biomusicology," "Under The Hedge," "Parallel Or Together," "Timorous Me," "My Vien Ilin," "Stove By A Whale" and a few tracks from his latest album that I have yet to pick up, so I don't know song titles. Earlier in the night he talked about how for some reason he feels close to Canada in Chicago, so it makes him want to play Rush songs. Then, for the encore, he played a much shortened version of "The Spirit of Radio" by Rush. He also played an amazing cover of Stiff Little Fingers' "Suspect Device," a song which really only me and the forty year old guys next to me recognized. Other songs were played in the encores (yeah, there were two of them) and during one of them a kid from the crowd got to come on stage and sing/dance around, since he requested the song. All in all the rock was brought, and Ted's voice is even more melodic live, not to mention that he's an amazing down to earth performer, entertaining the audience in between songs as well with his talking.


People who liked this also liked:
Jason Collett - Here's to Being HereThe Makai - The End of All You KnowWarren Ellis - Crooked Little Vein [book]Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't It FunnyBlonde Redhead - 2331 Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything AnywhereOf Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical)Joe Lally - There to HereTin Armor - A Better Place Than I Have Been

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 28, 2004)

If interested, you all should check out Long Dim Road by the Tossers; as i believe it tops anything flogging molly or likewise has done.

Anonymous (November 26, 2004)

--- did he play ballad of the sineater?

In Cleveland - yes

Jesse (November 25, 2004)

Nope, he didn't.

Anonymous (November 25, 2004)

did he play ballad of the sineater?

niveK82 (November 24, 2004)

"He also played an amazing cover of Stiff Little Fingers' 'Suspect Device' a song which really only me and the forty year old guys next to me recognized."

I was at the slf show at the metro a few months ago and i was surprised at all the younger kids there. The entire place went ape shit for 'Suspect Device', but it probably helped that they dedicated the song to Naked Raygun.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

yeah, but scott's fat

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

Great review ! I caught the Cleveland show, and gotta second Scott that this was Ted at his best ! Wonderful show, all three bands put on great performances !!


Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

score is for lifeless douche bags who nitpick reviews, for the sake of being the opposition.

this is a good review of a great band. shut the fuck up and move on.

-Strewtho- (November 23, 2004)

Sounds like a good show although I can't imagine Ted Leo doing Suspect Device, great song.


Jesse (November 23, 2004)

Whoa there, buckaroo. You're getting angry. I was just stating a fact that many people didn't recognize it as a cover. I never said that it made me cooler than anyone. Shit man, it put me in with a group of 40 year old bar scene guys. Why would I think that made me cool?

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

First off the show was 18 and over, So I have know idea why you Aare trying to act like some elitest prick....everyone there had to be born in '85 latest. When did "Suspect Device" come out '78/ '79 maybe. Wait, that was so fucking long ago 7 fucking years...no one would know that, no one has any idea who the Stiff Little Fingers are, only you cause your apparently fucking awesome, and some old guys. Secondly two the kid who said Ted Leo and the Tossers were a weird combination...your beyond fucking stupid if you don't hear a clear irish influence in his music. And yes the Tossers do fucking, rule...best Chicago band ever besides maybe APOCALYPSE HOBOKEN.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

I know SLF is huge, which is why I was mostly confused about why I was one of the only ones who knew the song when I saw tons of skins around for the Tossers show.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

No... SLF is huge. A lot of kids listen to them. Skins eat that shit up. It's just not something the young Ted Leo crowd would know about...


niveK82 (November 23, 2004)

there are so many shows i forget about, this was one.

I'm a fat sweaty guy and i love the tossers

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

i had heard he played a stiff little fingers song on tour, and i figured it would be suspect device, but he didn't play it at the denver stop

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

Ted Leo is the man, and there is a great interview with him over at www.sayrah.net. This is the same webpage that was trashing on him earlier, but they seemed to put their differences aside for a little while to talk about some really interesting and in-depth things.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

the tossers and ted leo is an extremely odd combination

boldredletters (November 23, 2004)

By the way, I hear that A set band rules.

boldredletters (November 23, 2004)

I wish Ted would tell the crowd what he plays as covers in his encore.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

Hey man, it was true. Yeah, I forgot to mention that Ted sang Dirty Old Town at this show, and the guy from Tossers sang on Suspect Device.

Imposs1ble (November 23, 2004)

"...a song which really only me and the forty year old guys next to me recognized."

You're going to get shit on for that one.

sickboi (November 23, 2004)

The Tossers own Ted.

maverick (November 23, 2004)

Saw this show in Cleveland on Saturday, and couldn't believe how packed the place was. The Tossers are the most heckle-friendly band ever; every song we'd yell out, they'd attempt to play. They played "Dirty Old Town" and Ted came out and sang it with them, The Tossers even got some people moshing, which really angered the scenesters.

Teddy was on fire. He played for almost 90 minutes, and just destroyed all. Best I've ever seen him.


Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go