1) The Misfits (part of Danzig Legacy show/Riot Fest), Congress Theater, Chicago
I will one day have pretend misfit children with guitar puncher/designer Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Local music junkie Jake Austen from Rocktober wrote a live review for Time Out Chicago and mentioned that guitar sounded muddier than it should have, but whatevs!, he wrote:
“The Misfits’ 1980s (and Glenn-free 1990s revival) guitarist Doyle took the stage, and while I will never complain about a giant with corpse paint, a devil lock, and gay porn muscles playing buzzsaw punk rock guitar, the fact that Doyle played in addition to the Danzig guitarist rather than instead of him meant the sound was muddier instead of sparer and punkier. Couple that with Glenn’s voice not having the timbre of his younger days, and the songs really didn’t sound much like the Misfits. Which didn’t matter at all! The mass of Misfits-tattooed humanity was almost orgasmic hearing Glenn present these sacred songs.”
The pit was a swirling sweat bowl. (I didn’t get super-good footage so check out this clip of him playing from 2007.)
2) Wild Flag, Empty Bottle, Chicago
Best cover of “Beast of Burden” that will ever happen in history ever. Unless the Raincoats give it a shot. Here’s some decent footage from a show in Philly in March, I like its rawness.
By the way, they had some rad T-shirt designs, like this one — courtesy of director/artist Mike Mills (“Thumbsucker”), who’s married to director/artist Miranda July.
3) Weezer/Riot Fest, Congress Theater, Chicago
One of the hardest things for any performer is having to go on stage after the death of a loved one, and Rivers Cuomo opened the show by dedicating the show to former Weezer bass player Mikey Welsh, who was found dead in his Chicago hotel room from a suspected drug overdose the night before. Welsh apparently tweeted “Dreamt I died in Chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep),” on Sept. 26, two weeks earlier.
Rivers was obviously pretty distraught. Welsh was working as a painter in Vermont, and from the looks of his stuff, he was pretty damn good. The image below is titled “an incendiary lovechild goes up in flames of its own fire.”
On a more musical note, when discussing what band Weezer would cover best, a friend of mine threw out the Pixies — and I had to bow to that suggestion. I realized how much I dislike the song “No One Else”: “I want a girl who will laugh for no one else/ When I’m away she puts her make-up on the shelf/ When I’m away she never leaves the house…” Fuck that!
I also danced and screamed to “Undone — The Sweater Song” with a recently-reunited high school girlfriend like we were back in high school, and felt like a total dork in a total good way.
More to come later, probably some crappy iPhone video because I wasn’t real close to the stage (if I could get a decent zoom on that thing, and a larger aperture, I might pay with my first-born My Little Pony).
But on a serious note, I need to be thankful that I had an amazing time with good friends. And that a band is mourning the loss of one of theirs.