Last Friday was an eventful evening here in the city. There were at least three amazing punk shows simultaneously going on in Chicago’s North Side. But there was only one place I would be and that was Burlington Bar. Longtime friends and fellow drunk punks Not Half Bad were on their way into town (despite a broken van issue that was tackled earlier in the day) and they were bringing along Genius Christ. To make a stacked show even better, San Francisco’s CUT UP also got added to the bill. The local support were two bands that I had never heard of before – Bosley Mongo and Acceptor.
The show opened with the noodley sound of Genius Christ from Denton, Texas. The four piece traveled far and had suffered through the broken van crisis and played a great set. While Friday night shows are always well received in the city, tonight seemed to be bringing in a larger crowd much earlier than usual. I soon found that Bosley Mongo, the next band up, apparently travels with a pack of fans. And it was easy to see why. The four piece ticks every musical box from folk punk to garage to rock to whatever punk is nowadays. Rotating lead vocals, large and energetic stage antics, and memorable choruses are just some of the reasons that I was captivated by this band. Despite frequenting shows every week, I somehow had never heard of this band. Never again, Bosley Mongo. You have made an avid fan out of me.
CUT UP was next. They had made the trek across most of the US on their way to Vehicle City Fest in Flint, MI. They’re a band that I’ve heard but never gotten a chance to see. Based on their sound and their live show, CUT UP is the West Coast version of The Copyrights… or they should be. They are that great!
Now that singer/guitarist/guy I love yet pick on via social media Matt Scifries was good and liquored up with plenty of Malort shots, it was time for Not Half Bad. They opened with crowd favorite “Burrito Drive” and also played “Newports”. But I feel like the highlight of the set (besides Matt going around and kissing the band members and some crowd members on the lips) was when Matt traded his electric guitar for an acoustic, dismounted the stage, sat down in the middle of the crowd and belted out “Punk Rock is a Full Time Job”. It is important to note that two of the members of Genius Christ joined NHB’s rotating cast of characters (this time on bass and guitar) and they executed so much energy and contributed so much, that this set was really like no other I’d seen by the band.
I was tired and losing energy fast as the final band, Acceptor, took the stage. They’re relatively new; their first show was March of this year. But you would never know it based on how they performed. I found out later that they even had a new member playing that night and, from what I could see, their set was seamless.
The show ended and the night began to crawl into the following day. A group of us spent far too much time outside bidding farewell to CUT UP and bickering over where everyone should eat – 24 hour taco shop versus GrubHub delivery. GrubHub won and I walked bitterly back to the my car to head home AKA I was tired and was craving one thing more than tacos, my bed.
Check out photos from the show below!