Dillinger Four / The Brokedowns - live In Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Dillinger Four / The Brokedowns

live In Chicago (2007)

live show

Before I start the review of the show at The Note I should probably mention the Dillinger Four in-store performance at Reckless Records. Since the show at The Note was 21 and over, Dillinger Four decided to throw a bone to their younger fans in Chicago by playing a free all-ages in-store show at Reckless Records a few hours before their show at The Note across the street. I've never seen any bands actually play inside Reckless before since the Queers in-store fell through and talks of a Teenage Bottlerocket in-store never actually came to fruition, so I figured this would be a pretty interesting experience.

Dillinger Four set up just a little late and to no one's surprise they were already drinking. Once the band was ready they played for maybe a little bit over a half-hour plowing through a quick bunch of songs. In between songs Paddy had some entertaining comments on various subjects as: Paris Hilton's eye; various music topics; playing in a record store without having an actual new album to release; the Minnesota bridge collapse; Chicago; some shit-talking; and so on. They even played a mock-cover of Against Me! which was pretty funny. The band actually sounded really good inside the record store, spare for the vocals being very low, but hey, it was a free show with a borrowed PA from Reckless, so it was workable. My only legit problem is that I wish the people at Reckless could have maybe moved their shelves that were in the middle of the store out of the way so more people could have made their way closer up front. Dillinger Four were also selling t-shirts that said "New Records Are Stupid" to celebrate them not putting out a new record.

Now onto the actual show at The Note.

First up was Dear Landlord from Carbondale, IL, which features two members from the defunct Rivethead and two current members of the Copyrights. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but they sound like a mix of Rivethead and the Copyrights, which basically means that they sound like a blast of wonderful high-energy pop-punk. They played through a pretty quick set, which makes sense since all they have out right now is a fantastic split 7" with Chinese Telephones. They also kept the talk pretty much to a bare minimum, spare for asking everyone if Tony from Victory Records was in the crowd and some other comments about Victory. Overall they were a lot of fun and I can't wait to pick up their upcoming 7" split with Off with Their Heads. If you're heading down to the Fest and you are a Copyrights fan then be sure to check them out.

Up next were the Catburglars from Chicago, IL. The best way I can describe them is that they sound like obnoxious punk rock mixed with a little bit of spazzed out garage rock. I have never seen them before or heard much from them but I was highly entertained the entire time, especially the singer who was all over the stage. The highlight for me had to be when they played a song entitled "Now I Wanna Be John Goodman." Seriously, how could you go wrong with a song about wanting to be John Goodman? Overall they were a lot of fun; I picked up their 7" with the John Goodman song, and I'll be sure to check out any future shows they have in Chicago.

Next was the Brokedowns from Elgin, IL. I've seen the Brokedowns quite a few times now and they were one of those bands that just caught my attention the first time I saw them play and been hooked ever since. They've been working very hard, playing a ton of shows within the past year with so many other great bands and I must say that they're the perfect fit on a show with Dillinger Four. Highlights included the songs "New Brains," "Pro-Gear Pro-Attitude Pro-Results" and "Year of the Hydra" from their new album entitled New Brains for Everyone, along with "The Song Remains the Same" and the set-ender "A Song for Peter Francis Gerasi to Sing" from their previous album These Colors Don't Run (The Musical). Overall, it was another great performance from the Brokedowns and I'm sure I'll catch them playing with a bunch of other great bands sometime very soon in Chicago. Check them out if you'll be at The Fest if you're a fan of bands like D4, Toys That Kill, Arrivals and Off with Their Heads.

Up next was the main event, Dillinger Four. Prior to the Reckless in-store performance, the only other times I've seen Dillinger Four was a show at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago last year around the 4th of July and a couple of months ago when they opened for Naked Raygun at the House of Blues. I thought both of those shows were fun but something told me that their performances could have been far better. I still had fun but other people I knew felt a little disappointed from those previous shows. This time around I don't think Dillinger Four could have played any better than they did. The band tore through their set and sounded spot-on the entire time. Paddy provided more entertaining stage banter which included topics such as: Paris Hilton's eye, once again; some serious Chicago Bears talk; some talk about various records and bands; and some talk about the smoking ban along with how people in the service industry are getting fucked. They decided to play one new song, which Paddy sang and played while standing on one of those cheap plastic 2-step ladders. I wish my memory wasn't failing me right now because I forget what the new song was called; all I remember is that it had the word American in the title but it sounded great to me. There's a bunch of other awesome stage banter from Paddy from both the Reckless and Note show that I've just completely forgotten about by now so hopefully others will chime in about things I forgot about in the comments.

Overall, this was the best I've seen Dillinger Four play so far and all the other opening bands were so much fun. It's been a few shows since I've been able to go to one where I've literally enjoyed every single band that played. I really feel sorry for the people who didn't make it into the show either because of age restrictions, because the show sold out, or because they were too lazy and stayed home to comb their cat instead. If this show is any indication how D4's performance will be at The Fest then all you Fest-goers are in for a treat. As for me, I'll be excited to see them again at Chicago's Riot Fest. Hopefully Paddy will be able to step foot in the same building with H.R. without Jah seeking vengeance on him.

Here's the set list for Dillinger Four. It should be in order but there's a slight possibility that I'm forgetting a song.

  1. Let Them Eat Thomas Paine
  2. Noble Stabbings
  3. Folk Song
  4. *new song*
  5. Mosh for Jesus
  6. A Floater Left with Pleasure in the Executive Washroom
  7. Fired-Side Chat
  8. Doublewhiskeycokenoice
  9. Who Didn't Kill Bambi?
  10. Maximum Piss and Vinegar
  11. #51 Dick Butkus
  12. Encore
  13. O.K. F.M. D.O.A.
  14. D4 = Putting the "F" Back in "Art"