Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Concert Review: The Bollweevils @ Brauerhouse Lombard, IL 4/7/12

The Bollweevils were one of those great bands to come out of Chicago that should have been HUGE! But it didn't happen that way. Like Naked Raygun before them, they put out stellar album after stellar album, played some now legendary shows and toured as much as they could making fans in every city they gigged in. But the albums were not big sellers and the mainstream media ignored them entirely. Then the band broke up leaving the true fans wanting more. Over the years the band would reform with a new drummer and play some more high profile gigs like Riot Fest in '06, as well as opening for Naked Raygun in front of sold out crowds at the House Of Blues and even a headlining show at Reggie's Rock House. Then it all just seemed to stop again.

 Spring ahead to November when out of the blue a band spanking NEW Bollweevils track appeared on the bands Facebook page and the blood started flowing, the energy grew, and the buzz started...Will they play out again?
Will they be just as powerful as before?
Is it for good this time? The answer to those questions is YES!!!! The Bollwevils are back with a new bass player and a new single ("Honesty Isn't So Simple"), but with that same old attitude! And that attitude, full of raw energy and passion for their craft, was in full effect at Brauerhouse this past Saturday (4/7/12) when they played a close to an hour set of classics to a packed house of die hard fans.

 The band hit the stage running with a blistering version of "Bottomless Pit" and the mob went wild. The band was in great shape playing hard and fast, thrashing their bodies along with each and every riff, and beat. Steve Brauer said it best when he said to me "It's like 1994 all over again!" I couldn't agree more. If you closed your eyes you could magically be transported back to a time when life was a little more simple and the Chicago punk scene was a lot less plastic and pathetic.

 Besides coming back to rip our faces off with spot on versions of "Dehumanize", "John Doe" and "Last Laugh" the band also brought with them some new blood in the form of new bassist Miguel. This show was Miguel's first gig as a Bollweevil, and he literally killed it! This guy has the chops and riffs that make him a perfect fit. Former bass player Bob has to be proud of the way Miguel stays true to the original songs. He was having fun playing even when he was dodging the mic as the crowd surged into and ONTO the stage every few seconds.

 Lead singer Daryl sounded just as powerful as he did back when the band were still new on the scene. Ken played those all too familiar riffs like he never left. Even though he had his old Fender Telecaster off to the side, he decided to play the whole set on a beautiful Paul Reed Smith guitar instead. But it didn't really matter. Ken has a sound all his own and that's what makes him one of the most underrated guitarists in Chicago. Drummer Pete kept the beat going all the way from start to finish making the songs sound just as fresh today as they did when they originally came out.

 The band tore through classics like "Bulletman", "The Failure Of Bill Dozer" and "99 Stoney", and the crowd ate it up singing along word for word. The Bollweevils left the stage dripping in sweat after giving their all to a crowd who gave back just as much energy as the band gave. It was a great night for everyone. When I spoke with the band before the gig Daryl told me there will be more shows this year. So, if you missed out this time, I suggest you make it out next time. It's a show not to be missed. Welcome back gentlemen! We missed you!

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