Naked Raygun / the Briefs / the Bomb - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Naked Raygun / the Briefs / the Bomb

live in Chicago (2006)

live show

To start off, this was my first time at the Subterranean. It's a fairly odd building to go see a show in. I admit it would be a nice place to go and see a punk show if it wasn't sold out, but with it being a sold out show the place was packed and as more and more people showed up the harder it became to do simple things like checking out merchandise, going to get a drink, and taking a piss. However, the crowd didn't seem to mind; they knew that they were going to see Naked Raygun for the first time in years. With that in mind, along with it being a 21+ show, the older punks came out in full force to support one of their favorite bands of their youth.

Four Star Alarm started off the night. Personally I think Jeff Dean is a very talented guitarist and it is always fun to watch him play, however I don't particularly care for Four Star Alarm's vocalist; his voice sounds just a bit too whiny for my tastes. There's nothing offensive about the band, they sound like a very solid melodic punk rock band, but I just can't get into their vocalist.

The Bomb was next. If you don't know, the Bomb consists of Jeff Pezzati from Naked Raygun on vocals, Jeff Dean on guitar, and two members of the Methadones providing the rhythm section with Pete Miller on bass and Mike Soucy on drums. I've dug the Bomb since I first laid my ears on their album Indecision when it first came out in 2005 and I was addicted. I've seen them live two times before and they always put on a great show. Today was no different as they played a set full of great tunes from Indecision like "Burn It All," "Bring the Shotgun," and "Faith Anymore." Also included was the song "Space Man" from Thick Records' Hair compilation. They ended their set with "Up from the Floor," which was a perfect song to end their set with seeing as how the energy of tonight's show wasn't going to be wasted on the youth.

The Briefs were next. They were the surprise mystery guests on the bill and I was excited to find out that the rumors of them being on this show were true. I never had the opportunity to see the Briefs live before so this was such a treat for me. For those that don't know, the Briefs were in town at the Metro earlier in the day doing an all ages show opening for the Casualties. While one might think they'd be tired after playing a show just a few hours prior, they didn't look it one bit. The Briefs had a ton of energy and just plowed through a set of great tunes. It seemed that some of the older folks in the crowd weren't that impressed by the way the Briefs were dressed as the band was setting up their gear, but after a full set of non-stop action with song after song it seemed that the band impressed quite a few of the skeptics. I know I was impressed; they have this amazing energy live on stage that you just cannot recreate for a studio album.

Here's the Briefs' set list:

  1. Outer Space Doesn't Care About You
  2. Silver Bullet
  3. Poor and Weird
  4. Dolly Parton
  5. Antisocial
  6. Sylvia
  7. I'm a Raccoon
  8. Ephedrine Blue
  9. Move Too Slow
  10. Lint Fabrik
  11. Dead in the Suburbs (Los Reactors)
  12. Destroy the USA
  13. Stuck on You
  14. Knife
  15. New Shoes
  16. Todd Killings (Angry Samoans)
Next was the main event, Naked Raygun. Out came Jeff Pezzati, Pierre Kezdy, Eric Spicer, and Bill Stephens ready to entertain a crowd that was just dying to see them play one more time. I was right in front of the stage for this one and when they opened with "The Strip" I was suddenly crushed and everyone around me just went insane singing along. The crowd was so insane that after a while I had to jump on stage and sit between the monitors just to give my legs some circulation again. Well, that worked for a while until a crowd surfer landed on my head, so I moved and proceeded to watch the rest of the show from the right of the stage sitting next to the guitarist Bill Stephens. I never got to actually sit on stage before and watch a crowd react like this, so it was quite an intense experience; I watched everyone young and old together go insane and sing along to their favorite Raygun tunes. At some points the crowd were louder than Jeff, which he didn't mind one bit as he shared the mic to let everyone sing along.

It certainly will be something I remember for the rest of my life. The highlight of the show had to be when the band dug deep into their discography and played "I Lie." After that they closed with "New Dreams" and that ended a great night. I made sure to grab a set list before getting off the stage as a memento for this wonderful night since they were saving the free shit to hand out at tomorrow's show.

Here's the set list:
  1. The Strip
  2. Vanilla Blue
  3. Dog at Large
  4. Entrapment
  5. Roller Queen
  6. Surf Combat
  7. Knock Me Down
  8. Rat Patrol
  9. Walk in Cold
  10. I Don't Know
  11. I Lie
  12. New Dreams
Overall I have to say that this show was one of the most wonderful concerts I have ever been too. Despite the venue not being the best place for a sold out show, the performances were great, the intimacy was great, and it was so much fun seeing the older punks out in full force acting like they were kids again. It was almost as if they were seeing a Raygun show back in the `80s. All in all, this concert was insane and it left me pretty drained for Riot Fest the next day. It was worth it though -- this is one show I'll never forget.