I woke up at 7AM on Saturday the 17th of February and cursed the newest settings of my internal clock. New job. New hours of personal operation. It took only one attempt to sit upright in bed to notice my splitting headache, stuffy nose, and sudden bout of nausea; I was sick. I spent the remainder of the day in bed, trying to sweat out whatever evil had taken hold of my insides. Luckily, my fever broke and I felt just well enough to fulfill my plans for the evening, seeing Turnspit celebrate the release of their debut full-length album, Desire Paths.
I made it to the Gman Tavern early and spent the time talking with a few friends from far away who were in attendance for the night. I also spent that time gnawing on ice in hopes of keeping my core body temperature below what felt like a million degrees. While Third Twin Sister took to the stage, I started to worry. When I feel bad or when I’m tired, it tends to show in my photos. “Don’t fuck this up,” I thought to myself. As lead singer Chel Boren wailed both vocally and on guitar, I snapped some photos but started to soon sweat. Nothing was coming out right and where the hell did I leave that cup of ice?! I stood impatiently in the bathroom line so I could splash water on my face. And when I came out, the trio was wrapping up. Well, the night was going according to whatever the opposite of ‘plan’ is.
Next up was Blood People. I’ve heard a ton about this band over the last few months, but somehow I’ve always missed them. And as a person who can admit when they’re wrong, I messed up. Blood People is, without a doubt, one of my favorite bands in Chicago based solely on their performance from this show. It’s impossible for me to not hear the vocal similarities between lead singer Aly and Brody Dalle (The Distillers, Spinnerette). But the music leans more on hard rock than punk. It’s good. It’s real fucking good.
Third in the lineup was Retirement Party. Their chill, indie vibe was exactly what I needed to regroup and re-energize before the main event. Gimme that ice cube cup! The room had been packed since Blood People and more people just kept filing in. Friends, family, loved ones, and fans were all in attendance. Turnspit took the stage to cheers, both drunken and sober. Singer/Guitarist Gillian gave a short speech about how much this day and this album means to her before the band powered into their set. The rotating vocal leads between Gillian and Jason kept me on my toes, as did the friendly pit that opened for the last two songs. While the night was full of highlights, my favorite moment came down to a tie. Bassist Brad announced to the crowd that he is going to be a father and followed up the boisterous applause with “I had sex! Someone let me cum in them!” What could possibly come close to topping that? Only the most sultry almost-kiss of the night between Brad and drummer Dan Tinkler (see gallery for photographic evidence).
All in all – and despite the virus raging through my body – the night was an enormous success. My photos… eh, 50/50. And while the night was meant as a celebration for Turnspit and their successes, it also held additional importance. The entire bill did not consists of a single band that is comprised of all males members. And while I do not know if this night was the catalyst for this, GMan is now holding a monthly musical showcase featuring femm-identifying and non-binary artists. The first show will be on April 11th featuring Beach Bunny, So Pretty, and Engines.