Total Chaos - Live in Denver (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Total Chaos

Live in Denver (2018)

live show

Someone on this site once told me they wanted to hear the whole story of a concert in a live review. So, here goes nothing:

It all started when the new girl at work invited me to my favorite bar, Ratio, the one that names all its beers after punk, indie, and post-punk songs and albums and occasionally has small concerts for artists like Matt Pryor and Dan Andriano in the back room. After my fifth beer named after Against Me!’s fourth album, we were really hitting it off (platonically) and she invited me to go with her and one of the many guys she’s casually dating to go see a concert for a band called Total Chaos the following night. I wanted to keep this drunken adventure with my new best friend going, so I decided to come along.

We went back to Ratio to get drunk again the next day before Lyfting over to her FWB’s house. He told me the story of how, when he was a teenager, he met Total Chaos at their booth at Warped Tour and they let him sit down and talk with them like equals. He was a nice enough guy and had good taste in punk, but he also had a Phish poster on his wall, so I advised my friend to dump him the next day.

When we got to the show we had already missed the first opener, Almataha, but caught the nearly disastrous second opener, Kaustic. They made a bad joke comparing communists to Nazis as equals, then after the audience was properly alienated they asked the crowd to start a pit, which ended up being the saddest pit I had seen since the time I saw Harvey Danger start a pit to a Flock of Seagulls cover. I had never seen a band that had more obviously met on Craigslist than Kaustic, which wasn’t a bad thing, but it was a little funny that the guitarist was older than the rest of the band put together. They closed out with a Vibrators cover and then mercifully got off the stage. The following band, Clusterfux were remarkably unremarkable.

During the break before Total Chaos, my new friend and her dude went outside to smoke and met someone who was carrying their pet rat. They came back with video footage of the rat crawling all over her face and into her mouth. I told her “I realize this is a new friendship, but I get the impression I’m going to have to say this a lot: don’t put that thing in your mouth!”

Okay, so Total Chaos finally came on, and they were pretty generic hardcore. Somewhat Rancid-esque, but not as good. They had a good energy and all, but their music didn’t stand out as anything particularly special that would catch my interest. As my new friend and her FWB gave up halfway through the set and left me there (thanks) I did notice something I appreciated about Total Chaos: they were directly interacting with and bantering with the people closest to the stage, and I thought about the guy’s story earlier about meeting Total Chaos at Warped Tour. While they’re not the most musically interesting group, I have to give them some points for their dedication to their fans and treating them as equals. Aside from that, though, I didn’t see anything about them that would make me want to check them out again. But it made for a good adventure.