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« This Little Bird Told Me... Preview: Sharon Van Etten (opener for TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone) @ Double Door 10/17/09 »

Review Wed Oct 14 2009

Riot Fest: Congress Theater 10/9/09

The Dead Milkmen

All photos by Brian Leli

The Butthole Surfers were fantastic Wednesday night at Metro, but the shows just kept getting better as Riot Fest raged on. Friday night at the Congress Theater, the packed-in crowd was noticeably younger and wore more outlandish outfits than Wednesday's Metro show. Riot Fest offered many Friday night options, but the Congress Theater's outstanding line-up of Murder City Devils, Dead Milkmen, Apocalypse Hoboken, Riverboat Gamblers and The Frankl Project ultimately won me over.


Apocalypse Hoboken

Unfortunately, Fridays are late nights at the office for me so I didn't arrive until the tail end of Apocalypse Hoboken. However, the crowd seemed to be digging them and I immediately regretted not being able to make it over to the Congress Theater a bit earlier to catch their whole set. The band's been broken up since 2001, but have done a few one-off shows in 2006 and 2008, and two others (besides Riot Fest) with the original line-up in 2009. I'm hoping they'll book a few more dates in the near future so we'll all have another chance to experience their live show.


Riverboat Gamblers

Next up was another reunited act, The Dead Milkmen. I first got into this band in high school, about 7 years after they had broken up. After a 13 year hiatus, the band is not only playing live shows but also recording new material together. Needless to say, they were one of my most highly anticipated acts at Riot Fest. It seemed many at the Congress shared my sentiments, considering the giant surge of people to the mosh pit when the band played "Punk Rock Girl" at the beginning of their set. They played all my old favorites, with the exception of "Instant Club Hit", and during their entire set singer Rodney Linderman never stopped moving, between jumping about the stage and running down into the crowd. Rodney messed up the lyrics to one of their biggest songs, "Stuart", a fact he just couldn't get over for the rest of the night. He interrupted the next song to exclaim, "I fucked up Stuart. Now I have to live with myself. I'll make it up to you people. Does anyone need a kidney?"


Murder City Devils

Next up were Murder City Devils, who've been defunct since 2001, with the exception of a few one-off shows. Singer Spencer Moody's raw power in his vocals hit you like a brick wall, and he'd often stick the microphone inside his mouth for some hands-free screaming action. It's all a bit shocking from a thirtysomething who runs an antique shop in Seattle. I'll admit I'm not as familiar with the Murder City Devils as I should be, but they completely floored me. They seemed like a group of debaucherous nerds who write dirty punk rock songs. As I am also a debaucherous nerd, I could relate.

Check back for more photos and updates from Saturday and Sunday's Congress Theater shows.

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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
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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