Overall a fun time, but unfortunately, some stuff really lacked.
First off, the venue Locked Out is a DIY art space with a 350 capacity. Yeah, sounds super rad, right? Kinda not really. The PA totally sucked (it got completely blown during Raw Nerve's set) and I don't think they really knew what they were doing. Also, I felt a little uncomfortable with their politics on how the door money should get split up, but I won't get into that here.
Boilerman opened the show and sounded as good as they could given the terrible sound issues they were having. The clueless "sound guy" had them check levels for about 20 minutes before they started, and the vocals cut in and out the entire set. The crowd really didn't care about them, as everyone was there to see RN, Lemuira or Paint It Black, but they should have, because these dudes rock. For fans of early Alkaline Trio, Screeching Weasel and Jawbreaker. Definitely a solid set.
Poison Planet played second and by this time the PA was figured out more or less (although it still cut out every once in a while...ugh) and they commanded the stage pretty well. I'm not an expert on Chicago hardcore at all, but from my understanding, these guys are kind of veterans to the scene, and they played as such. Pretty standard hardcore, but awesome commentary on animal cruelty and government issues (they even played a Dead Kennedys cover!). Great set, the crowd got into it, and I'd definitely see them again.
Raw Nerve played after Poison Planet and one could feel the buzz in the room before they started. Raw Nerve has been getting a good amount of attention lately after signing to Youth Attack Records and has been really hyped everywhere. As far as their set went, however, I didn't really understand what all of the hype was all about. I mean, yeah, it was good hardcore, but what the fuck else is new? It's real easy to be a hardcore band and sound like everybody else. I was pretty disappointed on their set, as I was expecting something new, but it was just the same shit.
After RN, Lemuria hit the stage and let me down even further. A couple years ago, right when Get Better came out, I was a huge Lemuria fan. They were definitely on "favorite band" status and I had always wanted to see them live. This show was the first time I had ever seen them, and i was pretty bummed on their set. The PA at this point was barely functioning and Sheena's vocals were barley even audible, so I could understand some frustration coming from the band, but they did absolutely nothing to try and propel their set past a lackluster, muffled performance. They seemed to just be going through the motions and not really giving a shit. On top of it all, they played a couple really slow songs in the middle of the set that just dragged everything down. It was obvious that this was a standard set that they probably practice and play at every show, but given the circumstances that this was a predominately hardcore show, I think some quicker songs would have benefited them a ton. I really, really want to have faith in this band, but I am slowly but surely losing it.
To headline the show, Paint It Black took the stage. Thank non-existing God. PA sucks? Fuck it. Who cares. Let's rock. Paint It Black have a stage presence that few bands can ever achieve and ended up winning over everyone in the room. Sing-alongs and stage-dives were abundant, and the show was saved. Paint It Black is one of the best hardcore bands out there today, and I have no doubt that this is a band that will go down in legendary status 20 years from now. Thank you, Dan Yemin, for saving this show from a somewhat boring, muffled mess and turning it into a ton of fun.