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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Review Sat Feb 12 2011

Review: Hollerado and Gang of Four at Metro 2/11

To Encyclopedia Britannica "Gang of Four" is a notorious faction of the counter-revolutionary forces to the Chinese Communist Party who were responsible for massive societal chaos. To a Friday night Metro crowd "Gang of Four" is THE politically motivated post-punk band from the late '70's early '80s who were responsible for an hour and a half set of fervor- inducing, hard-angled music.

Despite their graying hair and softened bellies, the remaining two of the original Gang of Four members, singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill, reassured the packed house that they haven't lost their edges and angles. Leather outfitted King jerked around the stage with almost reckless abandon, gyrating against the microphone, arms crossed overhead. Antithesis to the antics of King was Gill's deadpan backing vocals, steely persona, and familiar, aggressive staccato.

And, like 70's post-punk Gang of Four, modern Gang of Four still writes politically and socially charged lyrics. They opened with single off of new album Content " Never Pay for the Farm" - about the irony of drudging along on the treadmill of life to "pay for the farm" but by the time you pay for the farm you've "bought the farm" e.g. you've died. But really, the Metro crowd wasn't there to hear anything from Content. The crowd, spanning from the pierced and tatted to the tatted and receding hairlined to just graying, were there to hear anything from the band's 1979 album, Entertainment. And King didn't make them wait long for it.

Gang of Four's second and third songs were the immediately recognizable "Not Great Men" and "Ether" - both from Entertainment. With beads of sweat trickling down his temples, and a leather jacket zipper moving rebelliously downward, King worked all three stage microphones dominating each song. It was a labor intensive effort and, following "Ether", King took a much needed a break. Jacketless (and shirtless), he popped a squat and a beverage behind a speaker while his band mates entertained the crowd. It's safe to say Gang of Four isn't 23 anymore.

Happily, the break afforded King another hour of angsty theatrics and two encores. Swinging the microphone over his head swaggering across the stage to new song "A Fruit Fly in the Beehive" and through the heavy feedback of "What We All Want" while screaming ahhss under spasming arms waves. And during "I Party All the Time" he leaned over the crowd pointing to the second level while crazy-eyed yelling the lyrics. At one point King even hug-tackled bassist Thomas McNeice.

Gang of Four played two encores which included classic crowd favorites "At Home He's a Tourist", "Return the Gift", "Naturals Not in it" and finally, finally ending with "Damaged Goods" to fervor, fervor, fervor. Overall, the tempos were slowed down but the rebellious performance was everything the crowd hoped for; Gang of Four hasn't lost their edge.

Opening up for Gang of Four was Canada's Americana-esq rock band Hollerado . The fourtet started out with a folky vocal harmonization that later broke into energetic power pop and even later into electric rock n' roll. Hollerado has an affinity for long jam sessions (and they are really good at it) and jumping around in unison. They also really like confetti. The reason to see these guys is definitely guitarist and bassist or if you like hot sauce. Apparently, Hollerado sells their own brand of hot sauce along side the usual shwag on tour.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
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Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
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Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
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Dark Jive
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Gowhere Hip Hop
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Oh My Rockness
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
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