Don’t Call Us No Wave Fest part one

This past weekend was a pair of shows I was looking forward to over at Beat Kitchen. It was the “Don’t Call Us No Wave Fest” and it featured five old obscure Chicago art/punk/noise bands, and one newer band that fit the same kind of mold. These shows that reunite old punks are always exciting to me and I loved that I’d be able to see a band I owned a record by, but knew very little about and that band happened to be the one kick-starting the event.


Ono


Ono


Ono


Ono


Ono

Bad weather and the general obscure nature of this show resulted in a pretty thin crowd which was a bummer because I thought for sure more “old-timers” from the Chicago punk scene would come out for the show. The selfish photographer side of me liked all the space to move around in though. I was setting up my camera gear when I heard the sound of sheet metal being hit and turned around to see the members of Ono filing in and heading toward the stage. They got on stage, put down the sheet metal and spent about a half hour playing some very interesting early-industrial/avant garde music. It was at times aggressive and in your face, and other times more ambient. Their singer/main gadget manipulator was a very charismatic front man and seeing this set has inspired me to go revisit their record which I own but haven’t touched in probably at least ten years! Having this opportunity to see an old band that I missed in my youth was a real treat for me.


End Result


End Result


End Result


End Result


End Result

After a brief equipment change, End Result took the stage. Unlike the band before them who had some degree of accessibility in at least the drum beats and rhythm in some of their pieces, End Result are an abrasive attack on the aural senses. Their avant garde/noise/jazz blend of music is an acquired taste and very confrontational in it’s presentation, but one I appreciated. I thought this time out they were a bit more “on” than when they played a year ago for the You Weren’t There premiere.


The Mentally Ill


The Mentally Ill


The Mentally Ill

After another fairly quick equipment change where actual drums were set up for the first time that evening, The Mentally Ill returned to the very club the reunited to play just one year ago for the same premiere as End Result. Their bass player was wearing his butcher smock again and this time the guitar player was decked out in a furry hat and long underwear looking like someone straight out of a backwoods part of the middle of nowhere you hope not to end up in.  Of the three bands who shared the stage this evening, The Mentally Ill were the most traditional of the punk rock being offered, but they aren’t without their share of quirks. This time out like End Result before them, they seemed tighter and more on their game. I know the band has played out at least one other time in the past year and I think that worked to their favor as they sounded great. The drums were heavy, the guitar abrasive and the singer was very animated and energetic. The small crowd in attendance seemed to be enjoying them most of all.


The Mentally Ill


The Mentally Ill


The Mentally Ill

After they finished, it was time to head home. It was late, it was cold, and the roads were icy, but it was all worth it for such an enjoyable show that was outside the norm and a trip back in time. Not only that, but there was a second night featuring three more bands to follow.

Check back tomorrow for part two.