Teenage Bottlerocket / Cobra Skulls - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Teenage Bottlerocket / Cobra Skulls

live in Chicago (2009)

live show

As a result of my group taking a food break, we missed most of the Kobanes set. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not. Their music was catchy pop-punk and good to listen to. However, there was a movie that was playing in the background and it was incredibly off-putting in its disturbing content. Every time I looked up there were either people banging or an awful-looking fat man eating on the toilet and taking a shit. I thought it was unbelievably distracting because I can hardly remember their set.

After they cleared the stage, the Scissors were up next. They put on a great set. Their pop-punk sound was strong and original in a sea of bands that saturate the genre. The highlight of their set was when the singer, Darren, and the female guitarist, Yvonne, switched roles for a few Halloween-related covers. I don't recall all of the songs, but there was a Ramones one, a Misfits one, and some others that rocked. Yvonne has an amazing voice that needs to be heard more often. If you don't know this band, I highly recommend you check them out.

The Hallow took the stage dressed as state troopers á la Reno 911 or Super Troopers. I thought they were a strange choice for this show as they are more hardcore than the other bands, but they play a ton of shows, so I couldn't see something like being the odd band out stopping them. They took the stage and erupted into the classic Misfits song, "Halloween." They did a great job with the song. A majority of their set were covers since they had a loaner playing guitar for them that night. When they said they were going to do a Rancid cover, I did not expect them to play "Rejected." Surprisingly, their bassist pulled it off. It was also nice to see Jason from Love and Squalor take over Matt Freeman's vocal parts.

Up next was the main reason I came out to the show: Cobra Skulls. This was their third performance in Chicago in a very short amount of time. Due to either previous engagements or lack of funds, I missed the first two, however. After seeing them this time, I will make sure not to miss them again. Sitting Army and American Rubicon are two of my favorite albums and it was beyond wonderful to hear their tracks live. A majority of their short set was from Sitting Army, with a few from Drawing Mohammed and Rubicon. The crowd seemed to give the strongest reaction to Cobra Skulls as it was one of the few times I recall a mosh pit breaking out. As soon as they started, it seemed like it was over. There were a few more tracks I would have liked to have heard, but what they played will hold over until the next time they come through.

Teenage Bottlerocket closed out the night. Maybe I'm missing out on something or maybe it's because I have never been a big fan of the Ramones, but TBR has always just been "okay" to me. They came out in KISS makeup and even introduced themselves as said band. I was hoping they were going to toss in some KISS covers into their set, but nothing. Not that that really should make a difference, but it would have made their set a little more fun. Their playing was tight and they had great stage presence, but it just wasn't doing it for me. The crowd was giving them a great response and having a great time and that's good.

With it being Halloween, a good amount of people were dressed up and TBR hosted a little competition for a skate deck. I went as Stephen Colbert and was picked by the merch guy to participate. I was up against Dan Precision as his Facebook page, GG Allin, The Crow, Mike Ditka, Michael Jackson (Adam Beck of Cobra Skulls), and Tony Montana. It was based on crowd response and I'm proud to say that I'm pretty sure I got the least applause. Afterwards, Devin Peralta came up to me and said he really liked my costume and that it was a shame I didn't win. That made me smile.

Overall, the show was a lot of fun with some great performances to make for an awesome Halloween.