An Intense Night At Reggies In Chicago
By: Ryan Winters
This past Thursday night was a loud and crazy one, certainly, one to remember at Reggies on State street. I began my night with a small, self-appointed tour of the space and found the layout of the venue to be rather confusing and a little difficult to navigate due to low-lit hallways, lack of signage, and small, narrow entryways. The atmosphere was intimate, yet gloomy, but all together still had a nice level of grunge and angst to it.
The interior is comprised of exposed brick and cement, further driving home the grunge and industrial vibes. Walls were plastered with punk-rock stickers, heavy metal icons, and hard rock iconography, to let you know damn well that this is a venue for hard-rockin’ and head banging. The atmosphere that emanated from the stage to the sidewalk was thick with a uniting fervor that held through all four bands, with breakdowns and tempo changes almost guaranteed to start a mosh pit in the center of the floor.
The opening act, Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre was the perfect band to kick off a night of heavy metal, and head-bangin’ fun. The irreverent and brutally comical nature of songs like “Michael Bay Ruined My Childhood” & “Busey Up Your Ass” was a great first course for the night of metal that would follow soon, as well as a good juxtaposition to ease the slight discomfort and fearful mood that metal-heavy venues can often unintentionally bring on to newcomers.
I would completely recommend this band to people wanting a gentler introduction to the heavy metal genre and it’s metalcore subgenres. Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre frontman and vocalist, Josh Kandich, was also a pleasure to be around. The frontman interacts genuinely with fans and audience members alike between songs and off-stage, creating a comfortable and engaging audience experience.
The night’s line-up also included performances by NYC band, Overdose who describe themselves as “Motör Charged rock’n’roll”, no doubt inspired by the band Motörhead, a band with which they share many sonic similarities. Definitely recommend giving this band a look if you’ve ever jammed out to Motörhead or been a fan of metal legend Lemmy, who is immortalized in a beautifully touching mural on stage-left.
Virginia extreme metal band, Deceased, was also in attendance with their unique brand of brutal vocals and unapologetically graphic lyrics that rattle you to your core. The addictive rhythms and riffs in bangers like “Morbid Shape in Black” or my new favorite “The Silent Creature” snuck up on me and kept me fiercely headbanging and hair flipping through their set. Certainly not a band for light-hearted individuals who aren’t used to monstrous growls or ruthless screams.
Lastly, The Accused A.D. took the stage to round out the night but not before some minor technical issues made themselves apparent. The mics gave some nasty feedback a couple times at the start and there was an issue with the guitarist’s faulty power supply, which stopped a song early in its tracks 4 times before being fixed but that is all easily forgiven. What I DO take issue with is the mics on the drum kit, specifically the snare and hi-hat.
I don’t know what caused it but the snare and hi-hat were ridiculously loud as compared to the acts before, whether it was a conscious choice or unintentional, the screaming highs from the snare were oppressive enough to muddy the sound of The Accused A.D. near-completely at times. This was more than upsetting because guitarist Tommy Neimeyer made it clear with his speedy and tonally consistent riffs that he is worth halting a show for. The speed and accuracy of The Accused A.D. as a whole is something to be truly admired and respected, especially coming from a veteran thrash-core band that’s still alive and kicking with ferocity.
To conclude, Reggies on 2105 State St is a great source for your rock and metal fix, but if you are planning on thrashing at Reggies, earbuds are essential. So essential that I could talk your ears off about it as soon as mine stop ringing.
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The Accused A.D.:
Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre: