The Draft / Dead to Me / Gaslight Anthem - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

The Draft / Dead to Me / Gaslight Anthem

live in Chicago (2007)

live show

When I first saw the lineup for this show, I got incredibly excited. It's rare for three great bands to be together on one show, let alone five. Perhaps because the show was on a Wednesday night at a newer venue on the south side, this show was not as packed as it should have been. Anyone not in attendance missed a great show.

First, a note about the venue since I'm guessing many in Chicago have yet to go to a show at Reggie's: Hopefully this place will continue to have shows for a while as it's a pretty good venue, beer is relatively cheap ($2.50 cans of Schlitz), food is available next door, the sound is decent enough, and it's easily accessible by the Red Line. I drank enough cheap beer to ensure that I don't remember the order of anyone's set.

First up was Minneapolis's Off with Their Heads. OWTH is one of the best (real) pop-punk bands around right now and, because at this show they finally had somebody on stage capable of doing backups, this was one of the better sets I've seen them play. Stage banter was kept to a minimum and limited to self-deprecation, which makes a lot of sense if you're familiar with their lyrics. Their set list included:

  • S.O.S. (opener)
  • Die Today (closer)
  • That Must Be Nigel with the Brie
  • Your Child Is Dead
  • Hard to Admit
  • Janie
  • Closed Early
  • Call the Cops
Next up was the Brokedowns, who seem to be opening every punk show in Chicago. Fortunately, they're consistently entertaining live so that isn't a bad thing. If you like D4, Toys That Kill, and a little bit of Motörhead, you should be into the Brokedowns. By this point in the evening I was beginning to drink quite heavily, so I can't remember all of their set. I know it included "The Song Remains the Same," "Brains," "Year of the Hydra," and "Pro-Gear, Pro-Attitude, Pro-Results."

Next came the first of the three bands touring together, and one who I was quite pumped to see, the Gaslight Anthem. Bringing together a varied group of influences, their first full-length (Sink or Swim) is one of the best albums of the year. Their performance was tight as hell, the new songs played sounded great, and I can see these guys exploding in the next year or two. The set list included:
  • Drive (opener)
  • We're Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner (closer)
  • Boomboxes and Dictionaries
  • I Coulda Been a Contender
  • Wooderson
  • We Came to Dance
  • 1930
  • The Navesink Banks
  • I'da Called You Woody, Joe
Last time Dead to Me was supposed to play Chicago (opening for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes), a problem with their van meant that they showed up halfway through Me First's set and played only four songs. In their place, the Metro threw on a local opener -- the aptly named Inept. Inept went on to play one of the shittier sets I've ever seen (full of synchronized jumps and a sound somewhere between Hoobastank and Fall Out Boy) and I'm still not happy that I had to witness it. Thankfully, Dead to Me was in attendance to deliver a full set and knocked out a great one. They might have been the most energetic band band on the bill and they received a pretty good response from a crowd that was lacking in energy for most of the night. Along with a few new songs, the set included:
  • Don't Lie (opener)
  • By the Throat (closer)
  • Still Heartbeat
  • Something New
  • Special Professional
  • Cause of My Anger
  • Visiting Day
Finally, the Draft took the stage to close out a great night of rock. Their set was pretty much what you expected, which is to say that it was great. Jason Black is still the best bassist in punk rock and the only negative anybody can say about the Draft is that they're not Hot Water Music. Set:
  • New Eyes Open (opener)
  • Lo Zee Rose (closer)
  • Wasting My Time
  • Up All Night
  • Na Na Na
  • Alive or Dead
  • Let It Go
  • Wired
  • Not What I Wanna Do
  • Out of Tune
All in all, it was quite nice to be at show where nobody had to sit through any awful bands.