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The Menzingers / Love and Squalor

The Menzingers / Love and Squalor: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2009)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4


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

For roughly five months I would walk past Ronny's Bar on California Avenue as I went into the city and on my return. Months into this I just thought it was just another dive bar, a Mexican hole-in-the-wall. One night coming home from work I saw a bunch of dudes and a couple girls wearing black hoodi.


For roughly five months I would walk past Ronny's Bar on California Avenue as I went into the city and on my return. Months into this I just thought it was just another dive bar, a Mexican hole-in-the-wall. One night coming home from work I saw a bunch of dudes and a couple girls wearing black hoodies smoking cigarettes. I'll be damned; Ronny's is also a live venue.

I arrived early, thinking I was late. I stood outside finishing up some French fries as some of the bands continued to load in. The inside of the bar was as expected: torn-up wood bar; pool table; one TV tuned to a Spanish-speaking channel; another tuned into cage fighting on VS; horrible, small bathroom with cut-up cans of PBR stapled to the wall. I'm not certain the toilet actually worked.

The music room looked like someone's unfinished garage. The drywall was put up but not painted, cords ran everywhere and a tiki-bar housed the mixing board. Of the two light fixtures used to highlight the band, only one worked.

The first band to play was Minneapolis's International Espionage!, a three-piece pop-punk band. Once they were finished with their soundcheck, they played a cover version of "Secret Agent Man" through one of the amps and ran off into the back. At the end of the song they came running back wearing tight black clothing, snowmobiling masks, little red lights wrapped around their heads and utility belts. They looked more like jewel thieves than spies. Most songs started off with a drum track playing along with the live drummer. I thought at first this would take me out, but the drum track provided a whole different dimension to the music. They played great with a lot of energy running around the room. Their set ended too soon for me.

Next to take the stage was Chicago's own Hawkbit. I couldn't really get into this band. I kept looking over my shoulder at these two drunk girls who had to have been dragged here by a friend. Not to mention they looked out of place (one was wearing a plain Cubs uniform). Not to mention I was distracted by one of the guitar player's beard that read "Appalachian" more than "Fest."

Love and Squalor, another Chicago band played next. The singer's vocal style sounded much like the Lawrence Arms to me. As much as I can't actually get into the Lawrence Arms, provided I keep listening Love and Squalor is a good band. They are a band that lies heavily on that relationship, which isn't bad. I look forward to hearing something new from them.

I might have actually missed the opening track by the Menzingers. I was in the bar watching a couple play pool as I waited for them to set up and soundcheck when I heard music start to play. Hopefully it was the first song. I walked back through the door and stood as close as I could. A natural three-foot barrier was in place until one of the band members said something. It then became a two-foot barrier. As uncommon as I was with their music, which I regret, the Scranton, PA quartet played amazing. Even though I didn't, I felt like I knew the lyrics to the songs and kinda sang along. Their cover of "Straight to Hell," originally performed by the Clash, felt like an original song. Not hearing their album before, I barely knew what song they were performing. Just like on the album that I've been rocking most of the weekend, it missed that vibe and replaced it with additional guitar, which worked. The Menzingers continued to play tracks off their record A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology, as well as some new songs. I assume those are off of Oh, Dodge, as I have not listened to those yet. At one point Brendan Kelly walked onto the stage as the short one (?) tuned another guitar, carried a tray of shots and beer for the band. They drank up setting the shotglasses to the side, leaving Kelly to shrug his shoulders and walk away. They continued a number of tracks until the finish, which by my count was far too short. The first band didn't take the stage until 9:15, and for the headlining band to finish at 12:15 was a disappointment. Still, the band was great.

As I listen to the album now, I don't hear anything different than when I did that night.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Lukeage (May 21, 2009)

The Menzingers: Best band of the 00's. No question.

niveK82 (May 20, 2009)

Good thing I didn't wear my Jerry Cola shirt to the show

bigwig1022 (May 20, 2009)

"I was in the bar watching a couple play pool....... "

not creepy at all

JerryCola (May 19, 2009)

I'm going to have to make a "Jerry Cola" shirt that way people will know who I am.

No asking for autographs please.

theonetruebill (May 19, 2009)

Dakey_Must_Go is an awesome screen name.

niveK82 (May 19, 2009)

Good thing I didnt wear my shook ones shirt to the show

CBSrocksteady (May 19, 2009)

fuck 21 shows. this review doesn't explain much to me. the menzingers are incredible. that is all.

Daley_Must_Go (May 19, 2009)

Sorry, I meant to ask in my post...what in the fck is a "fest" beard?

Daley_Must_Go (May 19, 2009)

Not to mention not to mention... Wait...what? Oh...nevermind. This show review is all over the place. Grammar sui anyone?

Dante3000 (May 19, 2009)

Fest 2007, 7pm@ 1982
Rocking out to the Menzingers with three other dudes (Brian was one of em). SUCK IT!
-Dante
P.S. I remember it well because they had absolutely no merch outside of their CD

JerryCola (May 19, 2009)

Jerry Cola what do you look like?! You're apparently at every show I am but I have yet to recognize you. Were you with a girl in a Shook Ones shirt?

No I'm not that ugly, that was my buddy Jason.

Baldy_Shale (May 19, 2009)

i love how everyone is sucking this bands dick now because of kelley's adoration on badsandwich. don't get me wrong, they're definitely a solid band... but sheesh people, use your own goddamn brains for once!

I'll have you know I started sucking this bands dick well before I knew Brendan Kelley was. Now that I know he is, I'm making sure to swallow with glee.

these_parks_are_lakes (May 19, 2009)

*Atlas Moth

(sorry, excitement)

these_parks_are_lakes (May 19, 2009)

*weren't wearing

these_parks_are_lakes (May 19, 2009)

Hey, we weren't any cubs uniforms, we were wearing Atas Moth shirts

J4M35 (May 19, 2009)

this was totally fun...IM DONE WITH PRETENDING TO LIVE

theonetruebill (May 19, 2009)

A real good friend from school who moved to DC was in town for the weekend so we threw him a belated birthday party, which was coincidentally about two blocks away from Ronny's.

Redscare (May 19, 2009)

And where the fuck was Bill that night?!?

red_eye_inc (May 19, 2009)

You people all missed King Khan and The Shrines to go to this show? Bad move.

theonetruebill (May 19, 2009)

Jerry is that girl in the Shook Ones t-shirt.

eyepatchguy (May 19, 2009)

Jerry Cola what do you look like?! You're apparently at every show I am but I have yet to recognize you. Were you with a girl in a Shook Ones shirt?

inagreendase (May 19, 2009)

i love how everyone is sucking this bands dick now because of kelley's adoration on badsandwich.

On the contrary -- my fellatio commenced when Go Kart sent me a promo of their full-length about two years ago.

theonetruebill (May 19, 2009)

And so the Love and Squalor hype machine continues to roll onward.

JerryCola (May 19, 2009)

Ahh Ronny's Bar, now with 15% more urine smell.

This show was sweet, BTW.

ffwoodycooks (May 19, 2009)

cant a guy just suck someones dick in peace?

Redscare (May 19, 2009)

Hey...I was there too!

That was a fun show. Gotta love those Ronnie's bartenders.

scientistrock (May 19, 2009)

I've been sucking this band's collective dick because it tastes like sugar.

mikexdude (May 19, 2009)

I've been sucking this band's dick because they write great music, I don't read his blog and you can check back on some of our comments -- They date before he mentioned them.

xshoutoutx (May 19, 2009)

i love how everyone is sucking this bands dick now because of kelley's adoration on badsandwich. don't get me wrong, they're definitely a solid band... but sheesh people, use your own goddamn brains for once!

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