Riot Fest 2006 part three

The Stern brothers set up their equipment on stage and I was getting pretty excited about seeing them again. After some fiddling around with equipment for what felt like longer than the last few bands, they were finally ready to play.

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade tore into their set and quickly had the now extremely large crowd moving around. It’s pretty amazing that they haven’t really stopped playing in well over two decades and that those older songs sound as good now as they did back then. They also threw in a fair amount of newer material and occasionally between songs, Shawn Stern would say some things regarding the Bush administration and how things are as fucked up now as they were back when Youth Brigade started. They closed with “Sink with California” and the crowd wanted more. One song they didn’t play was “Men in Blue” which happens to be the first song I ever heard from them back when I was a freshman in high school and still remains one of my two favorite Youth Brigade songs. Had they included it, I would have said they played a near perfect set. Still, it was a very solid performance that left the crowd and myself smiling.

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Next up were Mustard Plug who continued what seemed to be a pattern of every other band being a “horn group”. Another ska/punk fusion. This was the first time I’ve heard their music and to be honest there wasn’t much in it to differentiate it from the other horn bands of the evening but again trying to get me to judge their music is about as futile and effort of me trying to describe and judge classical music; it’s just not something I know about or have an interest in. For what it was they were just fine. I snapped some pictures and then went to take a walk. By this time the place was even more full and the stream of people coming in just seemed to be endless. It was a good thing the Congress Theater is so large because they were going to need the space to hold this massive crowd that just kept growing.

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds took the stage next and I was looking forward to seeing them again as it has probably been 10 years since I last saw them. Since the last time I witnessed them, Kevin grew a beard and was looking kind of rugged, and they added a guitarist which left Kevin to just sing and not play guitar (the last time I saw them I’m fairly certain they were a 3 piece, however Gentleman Jim may have been playing with them, I can’t recall). The guitar player had a huge 7 Seconds logo tattoo going down his forearm so I would imagine he must be a permanent fixture in the band, that or he was a huge fan and landed his dream gig of being in his favorite band!

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

The band played with a fury and power that I don’t think they’ve had since the early days. They played a ton of old material and Kevin was all over the stage and down on the floor singing with the crowd who were going crazy climbing all over each other and singing along to all the songs. I swear these guys must have somehow tapped into their youth because you’d be hard pressed to believe it was guys in their 40’s up on that stage and not a bunch of teenagers. I was completely blown away by their set as was everyone I talked to. I thought Kevin’s constant beckoning for the crowd to move around was a little unnecessary and borderline cheesy because the crowd were pumped up and going crazy thanks to their spot-on performance. I’m still in awe of the intensity that came off that stage during their set. At one point some dude named Toby from the band H20 came out and sang a song with them. The crowd went especially crazy for “99 Red Balloons”, and the closer, “Walk Together Rock Together”. Much like Youth Brigade, when 7 Seconds were done, the crowd wanted more. They easily could have come up for an encore had time permitted. I popped big time when they played “Regress No Way”.

At this point in the show, I was quite happy as I had just witnessed a few long-time favorite bands play some great sets and one of the best newer Chicago punk bands who I saw a bunch of times before they broke up in the 1990s was about to take the stage and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Tune in next time for part four!

You should know the drill by now, more photos can be seen by clicking below.

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Youth Brigade
Youth Brigade

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

Mustard Plug
Mustard Plug

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds

7 Seconds
7 Seconds