Bad Copy

American Steel
Show Review

The Fourth Annual War on X-Mas: Matinee – American Steel, The Lillingtons, & The Reaganomics in Chicago, IL

Photo: Mat Stokes

The icy grip of death still had a strong hold on Sunday morning, accompanied by a slight fog from too much partying. I woke up around 11AM and by the time I got up and made myself a cup of hot honey-lemon water, it was noon. As I sat on the couch without a care in the world, I decided to double check what time the War on X-Mas Matinee Show was supposed to start. I had a vague recollection of Kendra drunk yelling at me it started at 3PM, but I had this odd sense of dread that was not right. I pulled up the event page that said noon. I looked at the time again. 12:03PM. I looked at the event time again, then once again at the actual time. My brain was still trying to jump start itself, but eventually it clicked. We were supposed to be at Cobra Lounge right now.

I called Kendra and got them to get a move on while I got ready myself in a hurry. We made it to the Cobra Lounge as The Reaganomics was finishing up their set. I was looking forward to seeing them play, but alas, the weekend had other plans. We sat in the back bar trying to force down drinks in the hopes that the feeling of being a human would come rushing back. Plus Skyler had some good ass fish tacos that he let Mat Stokes and I share, Lady and the Tramp style.

The Lillingtons were once again playing next. I was just going to copy and paste my review from last night, but I’m “better” than that. I stayed in the back bar for most of their set. It seemed like they played for-fucking-ever, and by the time I dragged my ass into the venue room, they started in on that infamous “L-I-LL-IN-G-TONS” song. I want to reiterate, I don’t hate The Lillingtons. I just don’t care about them. They are just not for me. Whatever.

What I do care about is American Steel and they were great. My sick face might not have shown that I was stoked to see them again, but I was. I watched them rip through a set that was comparable to their War on X-Mas set a mere few days ago, but since this was only my second time seeing them, it didn’t fucking matter. When they got towards the end, American Steel declared they don’t play encores, they play “non-cores,” as they all gathered mid-stage to figure out what to play next. The crowd kept yelling out songs they wanted to hear, but Rory Henderson could be heard saying, “I know what to do,” before playing the intro riff from… honestly, I don’t remember the exact song. I almost never do. Setlist FM has failed me with the American Steel matinee set list. I know they played a lot off of Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts and Destroy the Future and they definitely closed with “Maria.” And I know I had a goddamned good time the entire time. It’s good to see American Steel back in action, and hopefully after these two weekenders of shows and a brand new EP, they stick around for a while longer.

After the show, our goal was to do some Statue of Liberty shots, aka Rumple Minze and setting yourself on fire, but we were told that Toby Jeg had consumed all the Minze AND the Fireball. So a group of us settled for heading for The Rocking Horse for a meal and a couple more drinks. As if the weekend wasn’t already ridiculous enough, we had one last stop to go… sugah, baybeh.

Check out our official Fourth Annual War on X-mas coverage featuring A Wilhelm Scream & Canadian Rifle, American Steel & Ramona, and The Lillingtons & The Lippies.

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