The Effiges / I Attack / The Manhandlers - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

The Effiges / I Attack / The Manhandlers

live in Chicago (2004)

live show

I walked up just as the doors of the Bottom Lounge were opening at 10 o'clock, gave the door woman my name (didn't even ask to see my receipt or ID), and got in. I sat around in the bar for a half an hour, a quarter short of being able to play pinball. It was an intensely long half hour.

The Manhandlers came on around 10:30. They were alright, but nothing special. They were pretty much a second rate Lunachicks, with annoying vocals. If you're into dirty girl glam punk, you'd love this band. They were entertaining though, and more fun than looking at the floor.

I Attack were next and were a throwback to early 80s hardcore bands, right down to the scowling singer with a shaved head and boots. They could've been a lot better had the singer not been spitting out beer all over the front of the crowd, but I digress. If I had more money with me I probably would've bought their album, but alas, seven dollars wouldn't do it. I hope to see them again at some point. Generic, but fun.

Before the Effigies came on, there was a guy doing absolutely horrible comedy and songs. They were so bad it was good, and they were getting so much shit thrown at them. He made horrible jokes about funeral parlors ("watching TV with the stiffs") and sang a song about the Dave Matthews Band bus shit dumping incident. Another guy then came out to read off a few future shows, and announce a new Effigies album early next year!

Finally at 12:15, the Effigies took the stage. They started off with "Below The Drop" and played just about everything you would want to hear. It took a few songs, but after a little while the band was absolutly ripping, John Kezdy and the new guitar player Robert McNaughton in particular. Robert had more energy than most kids half his age. Some of the highlights were "Strong Box," 'Smile," "We're Da Machine," and "Mob Clash." They played three or four new songs, all of which were a bit slow but definitely had energy to them. Another thing that I didn't expect was that they played at least four or five songs from their later LPs Fly on a Wire and Ink, which sounded very fresh. They ended the set with "Body Bag" and left, but not for long.

After seeing the show, I cannot wait to hear the new album. I hope it gets a good label to release it, hopefully Touch and Go. And now I'm even more curious to hear the later LPs from the original era. My search will resume again. See the Effigies if they come near you. Who knows how long this reunion will last.