The Mighty Mighty Bosstones / Simple Plan / Bigwig - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones / Simple Plan / Bigwig

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

Ahh, Friday night after two weeks of working at my new job, how to celebrate? I already celebrated getting my job with Dillinger 4 and Boris the Sprinkler two weeks ago, and now to celebrate that I'll have a check coming in a couple of weeks, I can think of no band better to do that to than the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. It was at the Vic Theater which was a cool venue for a show because instead of having the stage higher than everything, it was lower and there was a series of levels, probably held seats at one time, so even standing in the back a short person, like my girlfriend (whose first reaction to walking in the place was "I can see the stage for once"), could see the stage perfectly.

I arrived at the show late and missed the first band Slick Shoes, sorry, but traffic and everything, so can't say anything about them. I walked in during the beginning of Bigwig, and it brought back memories of seeing them, years ago in a small coffeehouse in Springfield, I guess they have gotten bigger since then, but they stilled played a highly energetic set composed of melodic punk that would fit in on the Fat roster. Some of the songs that they played included "Cheers", the excellent hardcore song "Sink or Swim", the hilarious "Freegan" and they closed with "Sellout". Good way to start off the show.

Next up was Simple Plan. Jumpin' Jesus On A Pogo Stick People! How the hell can this band be considered A. any form of punk and B. good. Lets start from the beginning. First the crowd demographic changed rapidly with most of the older people who had come to like Bigwig moving from the front and middle to the back, while a mob of kids no older than 15 all wearing Good Charlotte, Blink, Sum, and NFG excitedly shoved their way forward. This annoyed me, if not for the high pitched screaming as the members walked on stage, but for the line of about 10 kept walking around and managed to bump into me each time they passed almost spilling my beer. On the lighter side they were all holding hands and it look like they were talking to some lady who looked old enough to be my mom. Anyway back to the band. As the members walked onstage, their was a great deal of screaming, and they began playing and performing synchronized jumping. I can just imagine the backstage rehearsal: "Ok everybody, we are going to jump three times with our legs straight and then bend at the knees and back to straight!" They proceeded to play a set of pop/emo trash that was really boring except for the heckler behind me who shouted every time there was a pause of quiet part "You Fucking Suck!" Sad to say the highlight of the set came when the singer asked everyone to clap their hands in the air and the heckler replied "Grab your ankles homo!"

After that I need something to get me back in a good mood, but I knew that the impeccably dressed Bosstones would do just that. They came out to a round of thunderous applause and again I noticed the demographics of the crowd switching as many of the older members around me moved towards the front of the venue in order to skank out to one of the best ska bands. MMB played a set that ranged from some of their earliest albums to their newest one. I can't remember the names to most of them, it's been awhile since I listened to them, but I was surprised that they played "The Impression That I Get" so early in the set. I think it was about the fifth or sixth song in. Of course it got a huge response, but I expected it to be one of the encore selections. I also remember "Rascal King", "Jackknife to a Swan", "Sugar Free", and many others. Many members danced around during the set and encouraged the crowd to sing along and dance. During the encore Dickey came back in just a tee shirt, loosing his traditional suit and tie. Overall Bigwig played a good set, and if you're into melodic punk that still has some edge and wit. Simple Plan sucked. And the Mighty Mighty Bosstones played an incredibility fun set that had me dancing and enjoying myself for the entire time.