The Dollyrots / The Von Tramps - Live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

The Dollyrots / The Von Tramps

Live in Chicago (2023)

live show

Long running power pop punkers The Dollyrots kicked off their Hey Girl tour of the Midwest this past Thursday night at Reggie’s in Chicago. My band Space Age Zeros had the extreme pleasure of playing on the bill as well. Kelly and Luis are touring in support of a new 7-inch single “Hey Girl” featuring a cover of the Divinyls classic “I Touch Myself” as the b-side. The Dollyrots are bringing the high energy ska punkers The Von Tramps with them along for the ride. This is just what Chicago called for on this cold and rainy evening.

The Von Tramps from Minneapolis are vocalist/guitarist Jenny Enemy, guitarist Chelsea Oxborough and bassist Krissandra Anfinson on bass as their core. They are accompanied by extremely competent musicians on drums, trumpet and trombone. The set began with Jenny atop one of the booths on the side of the club. This got the crowd going from the get go as the band kicked into their energetic set of ska infused punk rock. I would not personally classify them as a true ska-core or ska-punk band. The Von Tramps first came on my radar when they got signed to SBAM who are quickly becoming one of my fav current labels. I highly recommend checking out their “Go” album if you haven’t. They performed a number of tracks on that album including my favs (“Go” and “Live Fast”). Their trumpet player Jessie had more energy than the Energizer bunny! The crowd was more than warmed up by the end of their set.

The Dollyrots came in hot and ready for the hungry Chicago crowd. The band drew an impressive sized crowd for a Thursday night. The Dollyrots first burst on the scene almost 20 years ago. Many pop punkers took note quickly from Panic Button/Lookout releasing their debut album “Eat My Heart Out.” Given their longevity, this was my first time seeing the band live. They did not disappoint. Kelly and Luis do a great job interacting with both the crowd and each other. Their discography is a record collectors dream (or nightmare). Since this was my first time, I was extremely pleased to get to hear their better known songs such as “I Know How To Party,” “My Best Friend’s Hot,” and “Because I’m Awesome.” As usual, a Dollyrots show is a family affair. Kelly and Luis brought up their children Ryder and Daisy. Daisy rocked the drums as Ryder strummed a guitar in the middle of “Jackie Chan.” After this short jam, Ryder did a short and sweet stand up routine. He definitely has a future in entertainment! After this break, the band completed “Jackie Chan.” The Chicago crowd was introduced to their new single “Hey Girl” for the first time ever performed live. This single will please fans old and new alike and fit well into the set.

I would highly recommend catching this tour if you can. “High energy” is the best term I can use to describe the tour package of The Dollyrots and The Von Tramps. Aside from the great performances it should be noted that both bands made themselves easily accessible for fans for photos, signatures and/or a casual chat. These little acts of kindness go further with fans than people even realize. This was a night of good fun and high spirits all around.