Bad Copy

Show Review

Night Birds, The Repos, & Tarantula in Chicago, IL

I don't know but today seems kinda odd, no barking from the dogs, no smog, and momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.

Photo: Brian Santostefano

I got on the train to head to the GMan tavern and I was absolutely alone. Even with the super annoying whistling sound of air getting into the beat up old doors and no one else on the train doing weird train shit to mask that sound, I still couldn’t help but smile like a goon all the way to my stop. For the second time in my life, I felt like Ice Cube. I woke up in Reach People Lake, Wisconsin. After a month, I finally got a job. And I was on my way to see one of the Night Birds last five shows for a while. Today was a good day.

Needless to say when I got to the GMan I needed a drink to celebrate. Even though it was raining out, I was still super sweaty, so I hid in the corner of the empty bar trying to dry out while I wet my whistle as an official contributing member of Chicagoan society. It should be noted, I had yet to even start working, let alone receive any sort of paycheck to justify spending any fucking money on anything short of maybe top ramen and peanut better and jelly. But nah dawg, $6 whiskey gingers were not going to drink themselves.

The venue eventually filled up a little, and the show got underway at 8PM Central Punk Time. This little detail will be important later. The first band of the evening was a newer Chicago hardcore band, Tarantula. Sometimes I take notes in my phone if something interesting happens during the show. Tonights notes only read, “Tarantula: if the Frankenstein monster started a punk band,” which I can only assume was in reference to the singers odd robotic movements onstage. Besides that, they apparently had their instruments turned up way too fucking loud for the tiny venue. I thought maybe the GMan’s sound was just complete garbage, but the other bands ended up sounding fine. But from the noise blasting out of the PA, Tarantula gets a solid “check them out again” from me.

I had time to go out and smoke a couple cigarettes and shoot the shit with the Bad Copy photographers, Brian Santostefano (whose pictures are featured in this review!), and newest addition, the amazing Patrick Houdek, before going back in to fight the crowd and get another drink. Are you keeping track at home? That’s a solid 20 plus minutes. Eventually I heard some angry white people yelling, and went back inside to be greeted by a mosh pit and The Repos. Suburban dads were able to let off about ten minutes of frustration as The Repos powered through twelve songs as fast as possible. I found myself back outside smoking a cigarette.

After a short set up, the Night Birds took the stage to the finally packed bar. A mosh pit erupted and never stopped as the Night Birds blasted through their surf infused punk discography. They let the crowd know this would be one of their last shows before they took a hiatus… until mid 2018 when they are planning on releasing a new album. When I was outside talking to singer Brian Gorsegner after the show, he said they were calling their six or so month long break from touring their “last shows” because this is the longest he has gone not playing since he was 14 years old. So when they come back with their new record, do yourself a favor and don’t miss the Night Birds live, because they honestly put on one of the best live shows. “Infectious energy” is what I think a lesser site might use to describe them play.

Heading outside after the show, I took a peak at the time and was in shock it was only 10PM. Anyone actually keeping track? The show started at 8PM punk time, so like 8:30/8:45PM. Three bands played. It was 10-fucking-PM. This might have been the shortest show I had ever been to. Not wanting to end this great day this early, I hopped in a Lyft and headed to Quenchers Saloon to catch as much of the Arms Aloft, Two Houses, The Penske File, and Dog & Wolf show that I could. But that’s a different story for another day…

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