Akimbo / Sweet Cobra / Lords / Elders - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Akimbo / Sweet Cobra / Lords / Elders

live in Chicago (2006)

live show

I don't know why the club is named the Subterranean when the shows are held upstairs.

Elders kicked off the night, starting it right, ain't no fights, just rock'n roooooooollllll. Four dudes with instruments played music. Right? Nahhhhh, that's not the way to do it. It was two dudes with guitars, one with drums, and one on a bass, like, you know, how bands should do it. But these guys did it better. Relatively young for a band (this being their fourth show), Francisco, Scott and Nick (and the dude whose name I didn't get) showed that they definitely had played in bands beforehand. As much as Fugazi is the thinking man's punk (that's a rip on a Mingus line, check it out), Elders are sort of the thinking man's metal. Their repetitiveness and beats matched that oh so angular post-punk act, but the riffs man, those were ripped outta whatever and slammed through those three-stringed instruments. Like, whoa dude's'n shitters. Brah. The change-ups came unexpected -- a chord, a harmony, a dual guitar noise-wash, a slip, a dip, an added note for subtlety's effect. This shit was good. But not like, I'm worshipping their feet already good. But GOOD good. You know, I'm easin' into it like a fat chick. I'm not too sure if my friends are gonna be all like, "OH yeah, it's cool, go for it duuuuuuude," or if they're gonna be all like, "Shaadddupp, that bitch's FAT." You gotta gauge it. Me? I'm sayin' Elders is gonna tear shit up. Watch out for these four fab young fellas.

LORDS MOTHERFUCKER. Trio de los Louisville. Biggest set-up ever and a wall o' sound (and not that Phil Spector "I'm throwin' bells over the top of this shit" kinda wall). They jammed out a couple three-hour long Dead riffs, and we were like, all groovin'. OR NOT. Brahs cranked out their two-minute thrrrrrashin' SST shit flipping out in knuckeball rhythms. I can't stress enough how much these guys slay. Stan, the drummer man is a Neanderthal skin smasher, dude's like rockin' the pounding. Chris keeps preaching at us with the scary eyes calling up to the "infidel God," asking for guidance. Killer stage schtick. Tony just plays it cool and plucks on his bass. Three long hairs, makin' their way back to 'frisco. Word has it they're going to try to get a new full-length out in March. They played songs I didn't know, songs off of Swords, and maybe one from their first EP.

Sweet Cobra. Haven't seen these dudes play in a while. Still got the most bad-assed big bearded guy shouting at the audience ever. I watched most of the set from the way back, and kept me ears peeled for songs I knew. No "Torn Knees," or maybe I just missed it in the set. Straight up now tell me do you really wanna crank those riffs forevva (ooh ooh ooh)? Nothing special to this formula. Riff Claven gonna jam it out in 4/4 and crush your brains. Dudes closed with "Leviathan," and you bet your ass that I was up there shouting that "motherfucker" line with everyone else, pretending that I knew the first part. Damn good set ender. At one point (second song?) the dude broke a string or sumpin', so he just dumped it and grabbed the mic and shouted his shit into the face of the audeince. A lot of monitor leg-ups. Tight shit.

No matter how much praise I slap onto the Akimbo burger (meaning their records, dumbass), I can't help but notice that these dudes just need to be seen live. You can't put on tape the sheer amazingness of the bass riffage and chordage that Jon digs outta that thing. Or the feel of the most gigantic (think of a marching band) bass drum kicked so hard that it blew the hairs on my arm up. Or those killer `70s solos that the new guitar player (didn't catch his name) threw into the older songs. Re-grouped as a three-piece, Akimbo's set is tighter than ever, and the new guitarioso is apparently like a string teacher for kiddos. Yeah dude, like I'm gonna send my six-year-old to some metal dude to get violin lessons. Like, teach the tyke how to shred! Lordy Christsakes Almighty Jesus! They rocked shit off of the latest album and "Circle of Hair" from City of Stars. Also a few new tracks. Think, hardcore band that plays nerd metal with the craziest screamed vocals and Bonham worship on the skins. Greatest set I've ever seen.

So go see this shit, asswipe.