Sunday, August 23, 2009
Them Krooked Vulvas/A Perfect Circus featuring members of Alkaline Trio and Kill Hannah with The Coldspace at Debonair (8.18.09)
It was a nice Tuesday night in the city and I didn't expect to see my favorite band. The day before, 97.9 The Loop went to commercial so while I was driving, I switched over to Q101 and to my surprise, found Matt Skiba and Derek Grant of Alkaline Trio, Scott Lucas of Local H and Greg Corner and Jonny Radtke from Kill Hannah being interviewed by one of Q101's DJs. They were talking about forming a cover band for Tuesday night for RedHairMatt's birthday party. RedHairMatt is a bartender at Debonair in Chicago and has bright red hair.
So the DJ says call in to talk to any of them so I gave it a shot and after a minute or so of ringing, the DJ answers and I ask him, "Hey, can I like...talk to Matt Skiba or something?" Little did I know they were all listening in and Matt says, "This is Matt Skiba or something."
"Hi Matt Skiba or something!" I said like a stupid girl.
I asked him what covers they were going to play at Debonair and they chattered and said you had to show up to be there. They said something about liking Alkaline Trio and I was like, "You are my favorite band. See you there" or something along those lines.
Anywho, I get to the venue and get the $5 PBR and Jameson shot special to ease my nerves. The first band of the night consisted of Scott Lucas from Local H and three other guys and they were called The Coldspace.
They did all covers by Black Sabbath, Kings of Leon, Iron Maiden, Kelly Clarkson, Daft Punk, The Stone Roses and finished with Local H's "Wolf Like Me." They put on a great set - not so much if you came to see punk but what a bunch of talented musicians. Scott Lucas remains to be one of my favorite musicians/entertainers to this day.
Another beer and shot of Jameson later, Matt Skiba takes the stage with Derek Grant and Greg and Jonny of Kill Hannah. They start to play "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol and Matt Skiba even does a little dance. The set continued as follows:
-Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol)
-Waiting Room (Fugazi)
-Reach For My Revolver (Originally by Mission of Burma and covered by Moby but this was the Pegboy version-Larry Damore from Pegboy came and sang it)
-Then they gave Red Hair Matt a birthday cake and sang happy birthday
-She Sells Sanctuary (The Cult)
-Lucretia My Reflection (Sisters of Mercy)
-People Who Died (Jim Carroll)
During "That's When I Reach For My Revolver," Larry Damore from Pegboy came up and sang it, a big influence of Skiba's. It was a lot of fun - as Pegboy always is live. After that song, everyone sang happy birthday to RedHairMatt and gave him a cake. He was jumping around having himself a good old time. How could you not with Matt Skiba singing happy birthday to you? There was only one other time I heard Skiba sing happy birthday to someone and that was at the Metro at a Trio show - the whole crowd sang happy birthday to his dad who was sitting up in the VIP balcony.
Anyways, "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult was next, followed by "Lucretia My Reflection," which Alkaline Trio actually covers on a Suicide Girls compilation CD that I believe was released in 2005. I think that was the first time I've ever seen them play that live thought, which was awesome. Oh and I almost forgot to mention - after the cake business, Matt and Derek traded places so Derek sang and played guitar to "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Lucretia My Reflection."
Matt took the drums - not everyone knows he was actually a drummer before he was a singer or a guitar player in Chicago bands like Blunt, Jerkwater and The Traitors.
Anyways, Scott Lucas came up and sang "People Who Died" by Jim Carroll with Matt Skiba. Scott was his usual self, climbing shit and rocking out. After the song, Skiba said, "So that's what punk rock feels like."
They finished their set with a cover of The Misfits' "Skulls," which is covered a lot by The Methadones and The Lawrence Arms as well.
Strangely, Greg and Jonny stepped off the stage and what I wished to myself came true. Out of the corner of my eye, Dan Andriano took the stage with his bass and the crowd of about 200 went nuts and I was within an arm's reach of Skiba. Not even a stretch of a reach. They played "Cringe," the first song off their first album, "Goddamnit." Which is just as well, taking it back to the roots, especially since the Trio is in town recording a new album at Atlas Studios with Matt Allison.
After the crowd (and RedHairMatt) urged them to play just one more - they did, and it was "My Friend Peter" off the band's self-titled 2000 release. The crowd went insane. If they had played a full set, the venue would have surely collapsed, leaving only the energetic crowd standing amidst the rubble rocking out and singing along to their favorite band, Alkaline Trio.
I dunno if there's a better picture of Matt out there than this one: