Bad Mechanics was all set to open the show at the Auxiliary Arts Center in Chicago, but unfortunately due to a family issue, had to drop last minute. The promoters scrambled and were able to get a last minute replacement, Chicago’s very own squash master The Eradicator…’s grandpa aka The Grandfather of Squash. This would be The Grandfather’s very first performance ever and he came prepared with an acoustic guitar in hand, backed by a laptop computer. He serenaded the crowd with songs about how his grandson is a good boy and the best at squash. The Grandfather is bit longer in the tooth than most and had to take a break mid-set, letting it be known it was okay for the crowd to lay down for the next song. The entire room met him halfway, sitting on the floor as squash sounds echoed throughout the silent venue and The Grandfather took a quick power nap.
Bosley Jr was another band making their debut tonight. I mean, they have been performing in Chicago for a number of years, just under a slightly different name, Bosley Mongo. I have no idea what prompted the name change, but what I do know is they fucking ruled. It’s been a while since an opening band that I’ve never heard of made me actively search out their music the next day (Blood People is really the only other ones that come to mind since I moved to Chicago a year ago). Bosley Jr does in fact have an album out there, ironically titled Self Titled?, under the Bosley Mongo name on most digital platforms (Spotify or whatever you youths use to listen to music). It’s good. They’re good. Get into it.
The Grandfather of Squash and Bosley Jr. were both welcome surprises to the night, but the reason I personally was at The Auxiliary Arts Center was for Dollar Signs. We met up before the show with Dollar Sings’ Arion, Tommy, and Luke Gunn at Reed’s Local, a bar across the street from the venue that had a “special” of some bottom shelf shot of whiskey and a Hamm’s for four bucks. We had several. Dollar Signs were in town in celebration of their latest album, This Will Haunt Me, released last month on mother fucking A-F Records, playing a handful of songs off of it like “Shallow Pop Songs” and “Cry Hard.” The absolute highlight of the night was the last song they played, a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge.” The packed room went nuts, going as far as grabbing singer Erik Button and crowd surfing him around before tossing him back onstage and unplugging just about everything. It was a hell of a way to end the punk rock concert…
…Except it wasn’t over. Davey Dynamite was the last band of the night. I was hot and sweaty and having trouble still being in the dense crowd in the small room, so I went out back and smoked some cigarettes while Kendra poured cake flavored vodka down people’s throats. I watched a little bit of Davey Dynamite, but was having a hard time actually concentrating on the music. I watched them, but I didn’t watch them if that makes any sense. I was starting to get to the point where I was pretty socially spent and more or less just wanted to fucking go home. So, sorry Davey Dynamite. I tried, sort of.
I was just about to live my dream and go home when I got talked into heading down to Kuma’s Corner for a burger and late night last drink with Kendra and Dollar Signs. Kendra disappeared when she realized Mat Stokes accidentally took her phone home with him, and we sat around eating heavy metal inspired burgers and shooting Malort (Thanks for the drink, Erik!). I’m really glad I sucked it up and got to spend a little more time with the buds from Charlotte before they moseyed on down to their next stop in Kentucky. At least until I had to go to work the next day.