Riot Fest 2006 part four

After the amazing performance that 7 Seconds put on, I was really excited to witness the reuniting of the best post-1989 Chicago punk band, one who I saw play a handful of times during their existence and who always put on a great show.

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils set up their gear and got going. Not even two minutes into their first song it was evident that the band still had it, even though they haven’t played a show in years. It was like they never quit. They were full of energy and they played one great song after the next. Their style of music was definitely inspired by Naked Raygun, which is part of what made them so catchy. When they played “Dehumanize” I had a grin from ear to ear. Their singer, Dr. Darryl, was all over the stage and even did a stage dive off the monitors inside the barricade into the crowd, which was a pretty far jump! I didn’t want them to stop playing and when they were done, I was a little sad that it could very well be the last time I ever get to see them unless they decide to do any more reunion shows. Darryl said “never say never”, but made it seem unlikely that they’d do it again. It was a real treat to get to see them one more time in my life and I’m really happy to have been there.

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

There was only one more band to go before the main event and it wasn’t a band I was a fan of or very familiar with. The Blue Meanies got on stage with their large ensemble and got to work. As the band started playing, their singer came strutting out and around the stage. They had horns, and keys and were pretty upbeat and they didn’t really sound much like the other bands that played before them. While musically they weren’t my cup of tea, they were quite the showmen and I found them to be very entertaining to watch despite not being a fan of the songs so much. The singer sang a lot through a megaphone which I thought made for a pretty cool effect. For the last song, they had a couple of drag queens come out and sing and that song was easily the most entertaining of the lot, and I found myself starting to like it. They definitely surprised me in how entertaining they were. I’d go so far to say that I might even want to see them play again sometime should they ever do another show like this.

The Bollweevils
The Crowd of Riot Fest

After they were done, anyone who may have been sitting it out in the lobby or the bathrooms came pouring into the theater and the place was packed from wall to wall, front to back. People surged forward trying to get closer to the action they were anticipating. I saw the poor people in front of the barricade practically being smashed thinner from the force of the people trying to pack themselves into the main floor. I knew the security inside the barricade where I was were going to have their hands full even more than they had the entire evening up to that point. It seemed like an eternity waiting for the band to get on stage and start the show.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun got up there picked up their gear and upon the first notes of “Home of the Brave” the place went crazy. Not even 90 seconds into the song, the band suddenly stopped playing. Apparently something had gone wrong. Jeff was complaining about the microphone stands and the microphones themselves. He wanted a regular mic stand with a heavy round base, not the flimsy tripod gimmicks that were set up and he wanted a mic that wasn’t cordless. He looked pretty annoyed and the rest of the band seemed to be a bit of the same. My initial thought was “oh no, this could be very bad”.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

A couple minutes and only one replaced mic stand later, the band tried again and restarted. This time every thing seemed right. In fact, it was more than right, it was great. They played hit after hit. By the second or third song they seemed to hit their stride and everything was sounding tight and perfect. I had already seen them twice in the past two weeks doing warm up shows for this big event so I had high hopes for them this evening and so far they were not letting me down. Songs like “Vanilla Blue”, “Knock Me Down”, “Surf Combat”, and “Gear” sounded as good as they ever did. The crowd were going insane, there was crowd surfers flipping over the barricade every couple of minutes and the large security force was catching them carefully and safely escorting them out the side of the barricade back into the crowd.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

A handful of songs into the set and the crowd starting chanting for “free shit”. For those who are not familiar, Naked Raygun had a tradition at their shows of throwing free shit into the crowd such as combs, flyswatters, pens, key chains, etc, all emblazoned with the Naked Raygun name on them and sometimes a clever message. At the handful of shows I saw back in the day, I never once caught any of the free shit as people would get violent trying to get it! This evening since I had the luxury of being inside the barricade up in front of the stage, I was hoping my chances of snagging something would be good.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

So when the chant for free shit started getting louder than people requesting songs, the band decided now was a good time to give away something…

To be continued!

More photos after the jump.

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

The Bollweevils
The Bollweevils

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Blue Meanies
Blue Meanies

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun