Avail/Hey Mercedes/The Reunion Show - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Avail / Hey Mercedes / The Reunion Show

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

It's been a while since I've seen a good show in Chicago. Upon leaving the city, I've found some great stuff, but Chicago had been letting me down until Avail came to the Metro. This show was absolutely amazing. I'd seen the Reunion Show and Hey Mercedes live before so I knew what to expect from them. The Curse and Avail stood up to the tall expectations I had for the evening. Hands down, Avail is one of the top five live bands I've seen this year.

The Curse from Philadelphia kicked off the night. It was their first time in Chicago and the crowd didn't seem to encourage them all that much. Even without crowd support, the Curse managed to play a good seven-song set. Their songs were loud and fast. The vocalist/shouter seemed a bit uncomfortable on the stage but hopefully after the set ended, people changed their tune towards The Curse.

The Reunion Show played second. The crowd seemed to warm up to this Long Island quartet with their catchy guitars and poppy keyboards. The band's new EP "Kill Your Television" is out now on Victory Records. They played an eight song set featuring the songs "Star Training," "Drop it," "The Art of Nothing," and "Dedication." Overall, The Reunion Show really got the evening started.

Hey Mercedes was the last opener of the night. I can't deny it; they're also on my top five live bands of 2002 list. Eleven songs later, they still had me smiling. The band kicked it off with "St. James St" then plowed right into "The Frowning of a Lifetime." HM also tested out a couple new songs that I believe are entitled "It's Been a Blast," and "Stop." Both songs are great and take HM in a bit more of a rocking direction. The band also pulled out "A-List Actress," "Every Turn," House Shook," "Our Weekend Starts on Wednesday," "Bells," and "Go Blue." Even though the band members weren't all feeling physically up to par, the performance was still stellar. The show could've ended with HM and I would've been happy.

Luckily, the night didn't end there. I hadn't heard much of Avail's music before and wow, have I been missing out. People said "Megan, you're not going to like Avail, they're not your style, it's too hard for you." I was lied to! This band completely blew me away live. I honestly don't know what to say about Avail other than they were amazing. They had more energy than any other band I've ever seen, more intense crowd interaction and a more exceptional performance than I've seen in ages. The band never let up and the sound never faltered. I still can't get over the fact that Tim Barry and Beau Beau spent so much time right in the middle of the crowd. The hour long set of twenty songs turned me from a skeptic into a fan. The first thing I plan on doing with my next paycheck is buying Avail CDs, if you don't have any, you should do the same. And do yourself a favor; go see this band live, as many times as possible, they'll blow you away.