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Show Review

The Fifth Annual War on Xmas: Night 2 – Lawrence Arms, Red City Radio, & Arms Aloft in Chicago, IL

Welcome to the first annual War on Candles

Photo: Kendra Sheetz

Look, I got very drunk before and during this show. It started with our work Christmas party. It was a Friday and “We are not drinking during the party” soon mutated into White Claws and vodka. Then I kept it going when we got home with Vodka and Orange Cream seltzer water which was leagues better than the White Grape seltzer water from the night before. Soon, I found myself puking in the bathroom of Estelle’s, a bar near the Chop Shop, and apparently waging a solo War on Candles according to tales of those more sober than me.

So in lieu of an actual write up of night 2 of The War on X-Mas, may I present to you War on X-Mas Facts: A 5 year retrospective:

  • “Great Lakes/Great Escape” and 100 Resolutions” are both tied with being played the most time at WOX with 7 each.
  • The Lawrence Arms have never Played “Navigating the Windward Passage” off of Apathy & Exhaustion, which was the first track I ever heard from them thanks to the 2002 Vans Warped Tour compilation (ha).
  • Excluding Intro tracks, The Lawrence Arms have only played one album in it’s entirety over the course of the three day party, The Greatest Story Ever Told.
  • A Guided Tour of Chicago is the most ignored album in their discography. They have only played 3 songs off of it in 5 years.
  • The only song never played off of Oh! Calcutta! is “Requiem Revisited,” if you don’t count the secret track.
  • They have never played any of the ‘secret’ tracks off of their albums, including anything that was released on the News from Yalta EP.
  • The first year of War on X-Mas was the only year they played some of the same songs on multiple nights.
  • The best song ever about ruining a wedding, “Demons,” has only been played once at WOX 1.
  • The first and third WOX featured cover songs! TLA covered Teenage Bottlerocket’s “Stupid Games” in Year 1 and Crimpshines “Fucked up Kid” and Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge” in Year 2!
  • Chris McCaughan is the sad singer.

These facts have been brought to you by compiling information from Setlist.FM. I’m very sad I got too drunk to function because that site also says this year The Lawrence Arms played “Necrotism: Decanting The Insalubrious (Cyborg Midnight) Part 7” AND “Presenting: The Dancing Machine (The Robot With the Monkey Head),” two of my very favorite long winded songs from the boys in the Arms.

Oh well, we are all allowed one fuck up, and there is always Saturday.

Photographer’s Note: Kevin isn’t the only one who celebrated their work holiday party on Friday. Mine was conveniently located near the venue and I was damn sure I would have enough time to catch most of Arms Aloft, sneak away and make an appearance, and head back without missing a beat. If you happen to be privy to any of the challenges that I’ve been facing at my work over the last year, let’s just say that got in the way and I wandered back into Chop Shop a few TLA songs in and a LONG way away from the stage. Hey, we’re all allowed one fuck up, right Kevin?

Check out our Day 1 while you’re at it!

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