Wax Trax Records was Chicago’s best and favorite record label and it was also the best and most revered record store in Chicago history. The punk rock, industrial, and alternative music scene in Chicago was pretty much birthed at that store on Lincoln Avenue and it made the world a better place while spawning and giving a home to countless amazing bands over the years before its sad demise in the 1990’s. The store may be long gone as was the label (until now) but it has never been forgotten and the legacy it left still lives on.
A few years ago, the legendary Metro here in Chicago hosted a three-day “Wax Trax Retrospectacle” which celebrated the label (and to a lesser degree the store) with some of its top former artists gathering to put on performances of their Wax Trax era material to a packed house. It was the class reunion you wanted to attend and was an amazing and special event. The event seemed to reignite a spark in people’s minds and hearts and they never let it go and that has now led to not only a documentary film that is in the works but the label has been resurrected for a forthcoming EP from Cocksure, a band that features former Wax Trax alumni.
The Metro and Wax Trax have teamed up for another special event on June 15 where in honor of the first new Wax Trax release in decades, they will have a pop-up Wax Trax store right there in the club! 18 years after the store closed it will be resurrected for one day only inside the venue that hosted so many of the label’s bands over the years.
The event promises to be a shopping extravaganza with not only the new Wax Trax release but plenty of rare, original Wax Trax releases they unearthed from storage, posters, shirts, memorabilia, etc. There will also be DJ’s playing the music the store made famous. Early birds who want to camp out before the 11am opening will be given a treat as the first 40 people through the door will be giving a Wax Trax goodie bag.
“This is an opportunity to remember the store and label’s history and celebrate the new release by doing something fun and memorable,” said Wax Traxʼs Julia Nash. “The Lincoln Ave. store vibe was incredibly vibrant. As with the original store, we hope people will use the day to just hang out, meet up, and listen to some great music from that special era.”
Some of my most fond memories of the Metro include going to see many of the Wax Trax bands play shows their during their prime and they still rank as some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. This will be a can’t-miss event for me and should be for anyone who was a fan of the label and the store.
The Wax Trax pop-up store at Metro will take place Sunday June, 15 from 11am – 4pm. The Metro is at 3730 N. Clark Street in Chicago, IL. For more information check out the Metro website and the Wax Trax website.