Ah, Thursday shows. That magical day when you still have to work the following morning but honestly who gives a fuck because it’s going to be Friday. But also, it’s the day before payday so if you live paycheck to paycheck like 80% of Americans, you might not have the funds to go as hard as you want. A real scumbag Catch-22.
My original plan was to just not drink at this show. I pre-gamed by working my second job until the last possible second, then headed out to the Beat Kitchen. I got a No Drink Jim Michalik special – a soda water with a splash of bitters. It’sa solid drink if you’re not currently partaking but want something to hold in your hand so everyone isn’t questioning you all night. Plus it was only $2. Dope. I met up with David Holtz, Kendra Sheetz, and Jon Phillips and we all went to check out the openers, Dark Thoughts from Philadelphia. I was told I could only review this show using one of three words: Bops, Slaps, or Fucks. With that being said, Dark Thoughts definitely bopped, Blitzkrieg Bopped. Because they had that vaguely Ramones-ish twang to their sound. I watched a few songs, before I decided to dip out to buy a Bad Cop tour poster and smoke a cigarette even though I’m supposed to be quitting.
Let’s be honest, I was at this show for Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I have known these ladies for a very long time and they are some of my very favorite people. The first time I say BC/BC play was many many moons ago in Los Angeles at some shitty dive bar that was not the Redwood. They were the opening band and Linh Le hadn’t even joined yet, I’m pretty sure Jen Carlson was playing bass. I was amazed at not only their talent and catchy fucking pop-punk songs, like the cleverly titled “Joey Lawrence,” but also the fact that Stacey Dee was fucking shredding even though she was in a leg brace that was half the size of her body because she “fucked up her shit playing soccer” or something. But the moment that will always stick with me was after they were done playing. I was pretty new to the LA/Pomona punk scene, and didn’t really know anyone yet. I also wasn’t a great social interactor, so I was pretty much standing in the back drinking a tall can, not talking to anyone. That’s when Stacey Dee approached me, said hello, gave me a hug, and talked to me for a few minutes like she had known me her whole life. I was sure she must have mistaken me for someone that she knew, but after getting to know Bad Cop over the years, that’s just the way they are. They are amazing, caring human beings who fucking rule. I didn’t see them play for a while after that show. But when I saw their name on the Awesome Fest 7 line-up a year or so later, I made sure I was fucking there… and at almost every single show anywhere near me since.
So here we are now in 2019 and after releasing two full lengths on Fat Wreck Chords and touring a good chunk of the world several times over, Bad Cop fucking slaps harder than ever. Their set list these days consists of a majority of their last full length Warriors, which is their strongest material to date, so that works for me. It seemed to be working for the massive sold out crowd at the Beat Kitchen as well. I was told that after they played “Support” I should head to bar and buy some shots of Jameson for the band before they played “Cheers.” Judging by the size of the crowd, it was going to be impossible to get there and back in time, so Jon and I left during “Brain is for Lovers.” The way the Beat Kitchen is set up, the stage is in a separate room from the bar, separated by a single swinging door. So when people go between, the door swings open and you can hear snippets of the band while the door settles shut. Well, Jon and I ran into Kiran Mehendale and did a quick shot of whiskey with him. Well, the door opened and I could hear Bad Cop playing “Cheers” so either they skipped “Support” or we took way longer than I thought buying the Jameson.
Screaming Females ended the night and totally fucked. They are a three piece band that when you watch them play make you say “how the fuck are they making all this noise with only three people?” Guitarist Marissa Paternoster shreds fucking hard, that’s how. I took my leave to the back of the room for most of Screaming Females set and watched in awe as they completely controlled the sold out room. It honestly made me feel stupid for sleeping on this band after I discovered them at Fest a few years back. Fucking idiot. Angry at myself, I made my way back to the bar since the whiskey shot I took earlier opened the flood gates of drinking. Luckily, Linh was at the bar and offered to buy me a drink and a shot and catch up for a bit, since I don’t get to see the Bad Cop ladies as much since I left the West Coast.
A+ solid Thursday show. Both Screaming Females and Bad Cop/Bad Cop were playing at the Wicker Park Fest the following day with the unstoppable Blood People, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make that for personal reasons. But I’m glad I got out when I did to see my friends and find out I was fucking up by not listening to a certain band. I’m very proud of the Bad Cop and everything they have been able to accomplish over the years and can’t wait to see what is in store for them next. They deserve all the success in the world.
And yes, I am listening to Screaming Females right fucking now.