Suicide Machines headline night of ska, hardcore and folk punk at Reggies

Phil Collins - October 10, 2013

Friday night at Reggies Rock Club, Suicide Machines headlined a great show stacked with talented acts from top to bottom. Suicide Machines are best known for their debut album, "Destruction by Definition," which came out during the height of the third wave ska revival. They are the epitome of skate punk. "New Girl" was featured on the original "Tony Hawk" videogame and they wrote a whole song about how much they like Vans, a brand which is forever associated with skating. Their ska-punk and hardcore songs are their most vibrant and they largely stuck to those songs on Friday night, as they did the last time they played Chicago, at Riot Fest in 2011. They played "New Girl," "S.O.S.," "Too Much," "Islands," "War Profiteering is Killing Us All" and "DDT." Two of the biggest highlights had to be two songs that they did not play at Riot Fest a couple years ago. "Hey" is my favorite song of theirs and finally seeing them play it live was a blast. Check out this video of them playing "Hey" at The Fest in 2010:

I ran to the front as soon as they started playing their cover of Minor Threat's "I Don't Wanna Hear It." Suicide Machines switched frequently between ska and hardcore throughout the set, the crowd alternated between skanking and moshing.

Dead Ending, a local hardcore band featuring Joe Principe of Rise Against and Derek Grant of Alkaline Trio, took the final opening slot. Derek Grant, as it happens, played drums for Suicide Machines between 1992 and 1998. I am sure Dead Ending does not play very often, since all the members are in other bands. Check them out when the chance comes around. The show started off with folk punk from Dirty Kid Discount and The Goddamn Gallows. I caught a drumstick from The Goddamn Gallows and managed to keep it in my pocket through all the mayhem of Suicide Machines' set. Dirty Kid Discount earns a lot of points with me because of the frequent vocal tradeoffs that lead their songs in all different directions. Accordion helps too, and The Goddamn Gallows were covered on that front as well. These bands are not to be missed.