Sloppy Seconds/Parasites - Live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sloppy Seconds / Parasites

Live in Chicago (2016)

live show

I haven’t been shy about expressing my love for Sloppy Seconds. (The band, not the deviant sex act.) Unfortunately, they only play out for a week or two a year and rarely make it up to my neck of the woods. For the last few years, I’ve tried to take a couple days of vacation to catch up with the boys from Indianapolis. As a matter of fact, for three of the last four years we’ve caught the first two shows of each tour. When I say we, I’m referring to myself and my partner in crime whose name I won’t mention to protect his innocence (guilt?). We’ve seen Sloppy Seconds all over the midwest in cities like Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville and Cleveland. Last year we missed them entirely, so this year we decided to add a third show (and even considered a fourth).

Day one started about noon on Friday, August 26th as we made the three hour drive from Grand Rapids to Reggies in Chicago. It’s one of my favorite clubs in one of my favorite cities. Reggies is a big complex near Chinatown on the south side. It has multiple bars, a full service restaurant, and even a record store in addition to the separate rock club. We got into town plenty early to jump on the train and go get our fill of deep dish pizza and Old Style. We were in fine spirits before the doors for the show even opened.

I was happy to see that Chicago’s own Eradicator had been added to the lineup. I’d seen them (him) six days earlier and enjoyed it quite a bit. For those unaware, Eradicator is a band based on a skit from the popular 80’s Canadian sketch comedy show Kids in the Hall. The whole thing is absurd, but also highly entertaining. Technically this was a solo show for The Eradicator, the band’s frontman. He enters from the back of the crowd and works his way to the stage. He dresses in white shorts and a polo shirt, and carries his squash racket and a duffel bag. Oh, and we can’t forget that he always wears a black ski mask. He sings and plays guitar along with pre-recorded tracks. He tore through all five (real) songs from the band’s debut ten inch Eradicator, and even threw in two new ones. Between songs he ranted and raved about making it to the top of the D squash ladder. It’s pretty funny and the music is pretty aggressive punk/hardcore. When it was all over he grabbed his racket and hurried back out through the crowd. Reggies was only about a third full at that point, but most people seemed to enjoy it. A few other people just looked confused. I found it to be a thoroughly engrossing 20 minutes.

Next up was The Symptoms, a trio that also calls Chicago home. Their thing is that they have two bass players and drums. (That’s right kids, no guitar.) I would describe their sound as chunky, no-frills punk rock. The Symptoms weren’t bad, but they probably played too long and weren’t really a great fit on this mostly light-hearted bill.

Parasites were another nice addition to the lineup. (It’s probably worth noting that Dave Parasite runs Kid Tested Records, the label that released Sloppy Seconds’ most recent LP.) They are one of the great pop-punk bands from the golden era of the genre. (The 90’s, duh.) Parasites are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and they deserve more recognition. Dave Parasite has always been an underrated songwriter. It had been a few years since we’d seen them last, and they’ve added a second guitarist and are back to being a quartet. We found ourselves right at the front of the stage and had a fantastic vantage point for their 45 minute set. They ripped through their greatest hits including “Ronnie is a Psycho”, “Refuge” and “Hang Up” before closing with the classic “Crazy”. They also played one of my personal favorites, “Young and Stupid”. I asked Dave before they went on if they were going to play “Drunk and Stupid”. He playfully mocked me about it from the stage, but I didn’t mind. I was just glad to hear the song. (In my defense, we were many Old Styles deep at that point.) Parasites are doing quite a bit of touring to celebrate their 30 wonderful years of music. You should definitely go see them if you get the chance.

The room was full by the time that Sloppy Seconds came on. We stood right up at the stage, in the shadows of the great B.A.,Ace, Bo and Steve. For those of you who don’t know their music, it’s poppy and punky and raunchy and funny and undeniably catchy. They played songs from all four of their proper studio albums as well as some deeper cuts. Not surprisingly, songs from the 1989 classic Destroyed received the most rabid response. The band seemed tight and well rehearsed, especially considering this was the opening night of the tour. (Like so many bands these days, the guys live all over the country.) I’ve seen the boys many times now and have never experienced a bad show, although some are sloppier than others. (Pun intended.) More importantly, Sloppy Seconds has never failed to deliver a good time. This night was no exception.

When the show was over they eventually kicked us out of the rock club, so we went upstairs and drank on the rooftop patio. When they kicked us off the roof, we went and drank at the main bar. Eventually that one closed too. Day one was a roaring success and ended with the two of us crawling back to our dingy hotel room in Chinatown.

Parasites Setlist:

When I’m Here With You

All the Time in the World

Real Real Good Time

Never Mean That Much to You

Ronnie is a Psycho

Young and Stupid

Stuck on You

What a Day

I Don’t Believe You

What Should I Do

It’s Getting Hard

Top Secret

Hang Up