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Review Tue Apr 05 2011

Review: Brendan Kelly @ The Beat Kitchen, 4/3/11

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Brendan Kelly (Photo by Katie Karpowicz)

Let's face it, if Chicagoans have bragging rights in one area (aside from our unfair ratio of cold to warm-weather months) it's our punk scene. With loads of local labels, venues, festivals and artists, in addition to a constant influx of national acts, it's not hard to find a good show around the city on any given night. As was the case Sunday night at the Beat Kitchen. Red Scare put together yet another great lineup combining both local great Brendan Kelly and national bands White Wives and The Haverchucks.

The Haverchucks, native to Richmond, VA, celebrated their first ever Chicago show last night. Judging by the sounds off their free demo and the sights at last night's show, The 'Chucks aren't reinventing the wheel when it comes to pop punk, but they're certainly staying on par with other up and comers in the genre. The band rocked their way through a fast-paced set and didn't seem to have much trouble getting the few dozen folks who showed up early to take notice.

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White Wives (photos by Katie Karpowicz)

White Wives played next with the help of an elaborate setup which included four guitars, two sets of drums and what appeared to be a small vibraphone or set of orchestra bells. White Wives are the creation of Chis #2 and Chris Head of longtime Pittsburgh political punk act Anti-Flag. The music is a definite step away from the pop punk the Chrises have been producing over the past decade towards a folkier, less abrasive sound (think Against Me mixed with later tracks from Crime In Stereo).

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White Wives (photos by Katie Karpowicz)

However, the energy that Anti-Flag fans have witnessed in years past was still very much present last night. Each song of the Wives' set — a combination of material off their Situationist EP and and array of covers — was an excuse for Chris #2 to dance across the stage taking out whatever mic or drum stand that got in his way. Though White Wives is still in its beginning stages and the two Chrises have other obvious musical commitments, I sincerely hope to see more of this band in the immediate future.

Finally, Brendan Kelly took the stage armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and his hilariously inappropriate sarcasm. Kelly has been a notable personality in the aforementioned Chicago punk scene for over 10 years as the bassist for The Lawrence Arms and guitarist for Chicago super-group The Falcon which featured members of Alkaline Trio and Rise Against.

Kelly's set was an entertainingly random smattering of Lawrence Arms' numbers, original solo material and covers. Kelly urged the crowd to aid him in singing favorites like "Necrotism: Decanting The Insalubrious (Cyborg Midnight) Part 7" and "The Redness In The West" off the 2009 EP Buttsweat and Tears. Other highlights included a thirty-second, three-chord masterpiece entitled "Dicks" written by Kelly and his Lawrence Arms counterpart Chris McCaughan during their pre-pubescent days and an acoustic version of The Falcon's "La-Z-Boy 500."

It's people like Brendan Kelly that make Chicago's punk scene more of a community than anything else. Shows feel less like concerts and more like gatherings of familiar faces. The music is good, the banter is friendly and relaxed and the PBR is always flowing. Sunday night's intimate acoustic set featuring Brendan Kelly's good nature and unmistakable rasp was truly an excellent way to end the week and the bursts of energy that The Haverchucks and White Wives brought to the stage was an added bonus. Once again, props to Red Scare for putting together a fabulous evening.

 
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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.

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