While there were a number of possible shows to attend last week Thursday, March 15th, we somehow managed to gather five Bad Copy contributors at Emporium in Wicker Park for a few (too many) rounds of drinks, a few sets from bands, and a really strange photobooth session.
The night started out in true old punk form, with all of us getting there just before or at the start time listed on the Facebook event page. Luckily, Angela had an in with the bartender who slid us a few tokens for the arcade. I watched Kevin attempt to play BurgerTime but instead seemed to be focusing most of his energy on stringing together phrases consisting of key Kevin words like “fuck,” “fuck you,” “jerk,” and “goddammit.” With a quick swat at the machine’s screen, he gave up and the show started.
Hi Ho opened the night with songs that were both sweet and sad and powerfully soulful and strong. For those of you unfamiliar, Hi Ho is the solo project of Gillian from Chicago powerhouse Turnspit. Gillian played a variety of songs, some of her own and some from the band, including personal favorite “To the Moon and Back.” The tone of the stage was set by the giant projector playing The Dark Crystal. Between the bittersweetness of the acoustic songs and the strange ethereal scene from the movie, it was a bizarre and enchanting experience.
Next up was Decent Criminal, but not before we decided to refill our drinks and attempt to shove all five of us into a photobooth. Our antics only ended because the band took to the stage. The last (and I believe only other) time I had seen Santa Rosa’s Decent Criminal was at Fest last year. I showed up to their set a bit late and walked into pure madness as singer/guitarist Brian began smashing his guitar all over the stage. Tonight, the set was a little calmer, but just as good. It was also great to find out that Jesse Hernandez (Caskitt) was recently added to the band’s lineup. He’s not only an epically amazing bass player, he’s also almost as sarcastic as Kevin. And let me tell you, that is no easy feat!
Our crew, joined by Decent Criminal post-set and soon-to-be-Chicago-resident Garrett Dale, sauntered over to the bar for more conversation, more drinks, and more games. Braver Days began their set as I was deep into my Ms. Pacman game. “I’ll head over there the next time I die” turned into “Just one more game.” But I was able to pull myself away from my female protagonist laden game just long enough to enjoy a few songs. The band’s sound is reminiscent of throwing a handful of those early hard hitting Fat Wreck bands into a blender – No Use for a Lagwagon FX to Face.
The music portion of the evening came to a close, and we all hashed out our plans for the rest of the evening. It was a school night, so I lost most of my cohorts. But I was determined to soldiered on, side by side with Decent Criminal, to GMan for ‘just one more drink’. And that is the story of how I ended up waking up at the end of my bed wearing one boot and no pants, almost late for work.
Check out photos from the less blurry part of the evening below!