Recap: Burger Records Caravan of Stars and Red Scare FestPhil Collins - October 29, 2014
Three days. 20 bands. This was a festival weekend of sorts with the Burger Records Caravan of Stars pulling into town on Friday and Red Scare Industries' 10th Anniversary festivities happening on Saturday and Sunday. For reference, I saw 27 bands at Riot Fest this year. So this weekend, known as Industry Weekend (by me,) stacked up against any major festival.
Burger Records brought their touring showcase, the Caravan of Stars, to the Logan Square Auditorium on Friday. This was my first show at this venue. It is a cool high-school-auditorium-like space inside a large brick building at the roundabout intersection of Logan Boulevard and Kedzie. It does not seem that they have shows there all the time, based on the listings on their web site and the makeshift bar that was set up on Friday. It is, however, a good size venue in a hip neighborhood. The crowd was at its peak, both in volume and energy, by the time Cherry Glazerr came onstage. They were the third of five bands to play that night and the main reason for my attendance. The overwhelming majority of the crowd was young and ready to rock. I had not anticipated much moshing during Cherry Glazerr's set. I had not anticipated any moshing, in fact. Cherry Glazerr's music is fairly chill indie rock that leans into punk from time to time. The crowd moshed and slammed and stagedove so much so that the sometimes venue found somebody to throw on the stage as an impromptu security person, who mostly glared at people as they dove off the stage and into the crowd.
Together Pangea is another of Burger Records' most promising bands. Their 2014 release Badillac is going to make my longlist for 2014 and may well make it further than that. The Coathangers, a three-piece all female punk band, closed the show. All three band members did vocals and they each had their own distinct vocal style. The songs with the drummer on vocals were hardcore while others rode along old school pop lines. The openers AJ Davila & Terror Amor and Mozes & the Firstborn both showed talent and rounded out a solid bill.
The main event of Red Scare Industries' 10th Anniversary weekend was on Saturday at the Metro. 13 bands played from 3:45 in the afternoon until well after midnight. It was an ambitious schedule with only 10 minutes planned on between each band for set changes, but the festivities never really got off schedule. There was a decent crowd there right from the beginning and the place was of course packed by the time The Falcon played. The Falcon rarely play shows and this was an even more rare occassion with Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio fame in the lineup. Dave Hause of The Loved Ones played guitar and Neil Hennessy of The Lawrence Arms played drums. Brendan Kelly, of course, handled lead vocals. They played most of The Falcon's songs (the band has only released one full-length and one EP.)
The Falcon naturally drew one of the most active pits of the day. Of all the bands that played, The Falcon, The Lillingtons, Masked Intruder, Teenage Bottlerocket and Direct Hit! were the ones to really get the crowd moving. The lineup spanned the length of Red Scare's existence so there was a kind of old guard/fresh blood dichotomy. It was telling that Direct Hit! and Masked Intruder elicited such enthusiastic response. They are the "it" bands right now, and rightfully so. Masked Intruder announced that they will play a New Year's Eve show at Beat Kitchen. Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds, one of Kelly's many music projects, put on a great show. Neil Hennessy, who heard many "Hennessy" chants" during the marathon show, also played drums for the Wandering Birds. Their music is a little more low key than The Falcon or The Lawrence Arms but it translated well onstage. The Methadones, Enemy You, The Holy Mess, Elway, Reaganomics and The Sidekicks also played on Saturday.
Sunday was a laid back affair at the Gingerman Tavern. Brendan Kelly played an acoustic set, as did Devin Peralta of Cobra Skulls and special guest Dave Hause. The Gingerman, of course, is the small bar right next door to the Metro. It was an intimate, chill Sunday show. Brendan Kelly was entertaining as always. I have seen him perform now with The Lawrence Arms, The Falcon, The Wandering Birds, Slapstick and solo. His witty banter is always among the highlights of the show. While everyone waited on a fix for a broken guitar string on Sunday, he rapped the first two verses of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" to the surpise and delight of the crowd. Devin Peralta put on a fun show of Cobra Skulls songs. I never saw the band while they were around, so it was cool to see the songs played live. The special guest of the evening was Dave Hause, who had played with The Falcon the night before. He declared toward the end of his set "I made it into The Falcon!"