The Adicts 10/28/05 at Wheaton Grand Theatre

Last night I went to see The Adicts, Bang Sugar Bang, So Unloved, and a bunch of other bands play at the Wheaton Grand Theatre. Now Wheaton is only about a 15 minute drive from Combustion Manor, so it was nice that a show was so convienent to get to. Lewdd picked me up and we headed out to the venue. Sadly, no members of the klown army made it to the show for various reasons.

When we got there, it was around 6pm and the show was supposed to start at 5:30, however the doors weren’t open yet and there were lines going in both directions from the front doors. After about a half hour wait, they finally opened the doors. By the time we got through the disorganized line and into the venue, the show had already begun.

The venue is a really old movie theatre and stage that was built about 80 years ago. The place is either in the beginning stages of being rehabbed, or it is on life support as the place was a real mess. Stuff falling off the walls, scaffolding, half walls, and shifty wiring. In fact, I was stumbling over power chords all night. I was just waiting for the place to catch fire at any moment and both Lewdd and I had both taken notice of where the fire exits were as this place looked like disaster would strike at any minute. The makeshift barricade in front of the stage was also completely inadequate as the entire security force, plus recruits, had to push it against the crowd during The Adicts entire set to keep it from snapping off and having half the crowd tumble into what probably was once an orchestra pit in front of the stage.

I also question the logic of having a seven band bill at an all ages venue with a strict curfew. Unless you have an all day festival, there is never a good reason to have that many bands on one bill, it is just fatiguing to have to sit through that much stuff to see the band you came for, which is nearly every case is the headliner. Also, if you are going to overload your bill, open the fucking doors on time! Thanks to their poor booking decisions in having that many bands, and not getting their act together to open on time, all the bands except The Adicts played really abbreviated sets. Well, I will say most of them did, it seemed that some of the first acts were given way too long to play, and then some of the later ones got the shaft. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Rebel Angels
Rebel Angels

The first band that was playing when we walked it was called Rebel Angels (at least I am pretty sure they were). They didn’t’ do much for me, though they weren’t awful, and I honestly now can’t even remember what they really sounded like, and it wasn’t due to any drinking since there is no drinking in Wheaton (it is the most religious town in IL), not that I could afford it these days anyway. I don’t know how long they played since they started before I got in the door, but they could have easily trimmed a few songs off their set to make time for some of the later bands.

the ass of bang bang
Bang Bang (Lewdd requested this shot!)

bang bang
Bang Bang

bang bang
Bang Bang

Next up were Bang Bang, a local act. They were fairly entertaining and featured a lady singer/bass player who was easy on the eyes. Props to her for her emblazoning the band name on her ass so no one would forget the name of their band. The crowd seemed to enjoy them as well as some of the young folks looked like they were trying out “moshing” for the first time. Now the problem with the kids these days is they learned how to do this archaic form of dancing by watching Pearl Jam and Blink 182 videos. They don’t follow the guidelines of the counter-clockwise circle, they just haphazardly ram into each other like they are human bumper cars. They will also ram into the crowd in the perimeter of their chaos zone for no apparent reason, perhaps thinking they’ll entice others to join in their “fun”, but usually it just results in them annoying the people around them.

Detholz
Detholz

After Bang Bang, next up were Detholz. They played 4 songs, one of which was a cover of a Cher song and the other a cover of “Faith” by George Michael. I’m assuming their whole gimmick was that it is supposed to be comedy, but the people weren’t buying it and their short set just seemed to drag on and on. Why these guys were picked for this lineup is a mystery to me, and with six other bands, it was completely unnecessary to have them there at all. If I was booking it and knowing I was short on time, I would have cut them to save time. Then again, I’d never book a seven band bill in the first place, especially when there is a curfew.

Methadones
The Methadones

Methadones
The Methadones

The Methadones were next and they were instructed that they get a whopping 15 minutes to play. They were instead given about 11. Now had you cut down on the set time of the first two bands, you could have given this band, who people really cared about seeing, ample time to play a set or at least more than three songs! The crowd were way into them and were screaming for more but it was not to be. The band were pretty pissed off about this too and rightly so. The three songs they played were very enjoyable melodic punk, which is exactly what you’d expect for a band that features ex-members of Screeching Weasel and Sludgeworth. I felt bad for them, not to mention I was enjoying their music and would have liked a few more songs.

So Unloved
So Unloved

So Unloved
So Unloved

So Unloved followed and half way through their set, they actually turned the lights on to illuminate the stage. You see, up until this point, the only lights on the stage were a few overhead white lights which meant all the bands were playing virtually in the dark. I heard one of the security guys mention that The Adicts mandated that the local bands didn’t get to use the lights. If this is true, that was a pretty assholish move that I’d expect from someone like a big rock band like Bon Jovi or even Danzig, but wouldn’t expect from a punk rock band. This meant I had to use the flash for all these opening band photos.

So Unloved
So Unloved

Anyway, back to the band. So Unloved consisted of 3 young girls on guitars and bass and a male drummer. These kids could rock too. Fast-paced punk/hardcore tunes that were full of energy. I was enjoying it but also felt a little like a dirty old man watching these little ladies tear up the stage. They played about 20 minutes and quickly left to make room for the final of the opening bands.

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang knees
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang were up next (yes we had a Bang Bang, and a Bang Sugar Bang, and both were three piece bands and both featured a lady singer/bass player) and they really put on a hell of a show. I was really enjoying their drinking inspired, somewhat 70’s inspired punk rock with the dual vocals of male/female. They were kind of like X on speed at some points. The girl in the band is also quite the looker, she looks like a punk rock Dawn-Marie (from ECW/WWE but without the breast implants) and I have to say she captured my attention for almost their entire set. The problem was that the crowd were so beaten down and impatient having to sit though so many bands waiting for The Adicts, that they didn’t’ seem to give Bang Sugar Bang a fair shake. Had there been four less bands on the bill, I think they would have gotten a much warmer reception. I for one appreciated them and would certainly go see them again.

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

This only left what the entire crowd, all a good 10 years or more younger than me, were waiting for, The Adicts. As their gear was being prepared, the crowd was packing themselves in, and more and more people were trying to squeeze up front. I found myself having to push these kids back as they were practically trying to stand ON me to get closer to that barricade. How an extra 2 feet closer to the stage equates to enjoying the show more (at the expense of those in front of these idiots) is a mystery to me. I sensed that these people were gonna go nuts, and I feared for my camera, and the back of my head. When the band hit the stage, it was chaos. All these assholes were surging toward the front and I was being smashed into the poor guard railing, which the security was frantically trying to keep from bending and snapping. I snapped about three usable pictures before so many people were bumping into me, pushing me and squeezing around my legs and all over me that I figured I had to get the hell out of there before my camera, and likely me, is crushed. If that rail snapped it would have meant death for the both of us. After the second song, I had enough and literally had to push and bulldoze my way through the crowd to the side between songs. Having made it in one piece, with camera in hand, I found a good spot on the side to take photos, but it wasn’t as ideal as the spot I got robbed from by the monkeys crawling all over each other.

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

On top of playing pretty much everything the people would want to hear and then some, The Adicts are quite the showmen. They claim to be the entire original band, and for being some old dudes, they sure held up well. They must have started the band when most of them were in high school because they certainly don’t look to have aged as much as some of their peers. They opened with “Viva La Revolution” and the place went crazy. The band were all decked out in their Clockwork Orange inspired attire and at times the singer, Monkey, would change part of his costume, shoot silly string, shoot confetti and streamers, and throw frisbees into the crowd. The crowd ate it up and most of them were singing along to all the choruses to their more popular songs.

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

Behind them, they had a screen showing images throughout the entire show. At one point they invited a whole bunch of girls on stage to sing along and dance to one of their songs whose title escapes me at the moment. They played over an hour, it may have been closer to 90 minutes and they were so energetic and entertaining though the entire set, that it would have been impossible not to enjoy the sights and sounds, despite nearly getting trampled by a bunch of the crazed youth.

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

It would have been cool to see them at a venue a little better suited for a punk show, and one that wasn’t run in such an amateur fashion. I was supposed to have a photo pass, which in theory should have enabled me to get on the other side of that makeshift barricade to safely take photos, but no one seemed to understand what that meant, and the security guards wouldn’t let me back there when I asked. While they were polite about it, they also didn’t clue me in on to who I could ask running that show to make that happen for me. The whole things with the lights was just ridiculous, and when they finally did use them, they just left the red ones on all the time. They also could have rented a bigger light rig that had more than 4 on each side, and some different colored gels. Also the fact that there were power cables all over the floor around the front of the venue probably isn’t really up to code. Despite all this, and the sheer insanity of a seven band bill, The Adicts, Bang Sugar Bang, So Unloved, and The Methadones really all played some good sets, and was the lineup that should have been booked without all the other unnecessary filler (though Bang Bang were also pretty good, but it was just draining to sit through that many bands). It was still a good time though and a fun night out.

Even more photos after the jump.

So Unloved
So Unloved

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

Bang Sugar Bang
Bang Sugar Bang

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts

The Adicts
The Adicts