Bad Copy

Show Review

Dillinger Four, Modern Life is War, Arms Aloft, & C.H.E.W in Chicago, IL


Photo: Kendra Sheetz

I was drunk by the time Dillinger Four took the stage, this much I know. All I wanted to do was make D4 proud, or at least my idea of what making them proud would entail. We kept sneaking out of the venue and over to the G-Man to take shots of Peanut Butter Whiskey and have White Claws, not to mention the Kombucha bottle of PBR Whiskey and Dr. Pepper I consumed on the way to The Metro in the first place. It was going to be one of those nights.

Kendra was there taking photos. The photographers usually have a hard “3 songs and you’re out of the photo pit” rule, a rule that I drunkenly decided should be applied to the writer as well. Why do they only have to “work” a fraction of the show and not me?!? So I mean, I was present for the opening bands… as present as you can be while you’re in the sweating phase of being drunk and more concerned with how good that Peanut Butter whiskey is. I saw the openers for as long as I wanted to see them.

C.H.E.W., who is from Chicago, was pretty good. But we showed up towards the back end of their set. I’ll see them again at Ian’s Party. Arms Aloft is a band I feel like I’ve seen a million times and cannot get into, mostly because of a shitty ex but also because I just don’t care for their musical stylings. I’ll ignore them again at War on X-Mas. Modern Life is War is a hardcore band. I haven’t liked hardcore since high school. I’ll probably never see or hear them again. Boom, reviewed.

Dillinger Four was great, and was out here celebrating 25 years of being a band. They played a handful of songs off Midwestern Songs of the Americas with a couple thrown in off of every single one of their other releases to round out their set. This was my fourth or fifth time seeing D4 live, and I guess I’ve missed out on the legendary rowdy days of Paddy getting naked drunk and wandering off during the middle of the show, for better or worse. But I guess when you’re a band pushing 50, it’s better to just go the Against Me! route and wear matching plain black shirts and just play your fucking show. At least Paddy still talks a lot between songs. And that’s not a dig on D4, they are just as entertaining playing a straight forward set as they would be being drunken Midwest goons, probably. At least that’s the way it seemed judging by the crowd’s rambunctious reaction to their set, as I watched from the balcony above, lording over the mosh pits and crowd surfers. I did get sort of emotional during one song, not really knowing what was happening until I finally realized they were playing “doublewhiskeycokenoice.” RIP Brittany Strummer, you’re still missed.

Back to the G-Man after the (ugh) encore songs for more Peanut Butter Whiskey. I sat there shooting the shit with Kendra and Jon Phillips until I remembered, “oh yeah, it’s only Thursday night and I got to work in the morning, and the last bus for the night is coming in 10 minutes, 10 minutes down the road,” and I split. Don’t worry, I made it. And don’t worry, Friday morning was nightmare. Worth it though. Congrats on 25 years of being a band Dillinger Four, can’t wait to hear the follow up to the decade old CIVILWAR maybe someday.

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