Subhumans / The Tossers - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Subhumans / The Tossers

live in Chicago (2003)

live show

It's the Subhumans. I've been looking forward to this since the news first broke. I've had my ticket for well over a month, and it's been haunting me. The day arrived, and what a day it was. 6:45, Cabaret Metro, The Subhumans, The Enemies, and the Tossers.

I leave my house at 5:00 to pick up my friend who was going with me. After a lengthy drive, I knock on his door, and he appears. Apparently, he has the flu. He's not coming, and he hands me his ticket. I panic. I start driving home, and call people to come with me. Lady luck is on my side, and someone's willing. Why not, it's a free show. So I drive home (another 30 minutes down the drain) and pick him up. By this time, it's past 6:00, and lots has gone wrong. We hop in the car, blast up the Dead Boys, and haul ass to the train station. We get there, fumble around to find the stops, and hop on the L. Time goes by. We transfer down to the subway. It's now 7:00. Finally, our stop comes up. Running to the Metro, we get in the doors at 7:30.

We walk up the stairs, just as the Tossers are starting. The Enemies were missed, and I was peeved, but still thankful I was there. My opinion on The Tossers was already set. Hometown boys playing Irish music isn't my cup of tea. They played almost exactly the same set as last month opening for The Bosstones. Not exciting in the least. The guy was drunk enough to screw up a song not once, but twice, so he eventually stopped. They closed out with an ode to the city, which was nice. Thier time was up.

I move in to the floor area, and tensly wait. The 20 Years of Dischord box set was playing, and some nice kids were around, so the down time really didn't seem all that long. When no one's paying attention, Dick walks on stage, followed by the rest. No one notices at first, until Dick's unmistakable voice comes over the amps. The crowd roars. I'm ready, and so is everyone else.

The band was on the dot for every single second they were on the stage. Fuck being a "reunion," they would blow any current band away. They rip through classics like "Apathy," "Drugs of Youth," "Parasite," and "Joe Public" with ease. They graced us with a new song called "This Year's War" which was definatly a highlight. An hour of presicion later, they exit stage left. The house lights and sound don't come on. It was obvious an encore was on the way, and I was happier than a pig in shit.

After what seemed like a gratutitously long time (probably wasn't) our heros retake the stage. The crowd explodes. For the encore, they run through "Subvert," "Religious Wars," and "Mickey Mouse is Dead" amongst others. Twenty minutes later, they again exit, this time for good. I mosey my way to the merch booth, and buy up a T-shirt, an Enemies 7", and an authorized bootleg from July 2001 for the low low price of 5 dollars. Amazing is the word that comes to mind.

The train ride home is worth a mention too. A very proud Mexican American took out his wallet, showed us all pictures of his grandaughter, and told us about her exploits in the army. For the next 20 minutes, we're serenaded with his stories from 'Nam, about how he was "The best boxer in the world" back in East LA, why he liked to start fights, and repeated "you disrespect me, I (punches air) fuck you up." I lost counts of how many times he called me a hillbilly and shook my hand. My favorite quote from this man went "I only respect Mexicans. No one else. No Negros, with them big lips, or jews, with thier big noses. Or hillbillies like you." Just thinking I'll never see him again brings a tear to my eye.

All in all, this ranked as one of the most interesting days of my recent past. One hell of a show, and a nice story to tell as well. I'm content.