Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2011 BIRTHDAY FORTNIGHT: PART V: Face to Face

Pathological Hate

It's rare for bands to ever get back together and make new music and go back on tour.  Many bands decide to go on hiatus and ultimately break up and call it a day.  That's what Face to Face was facing back in 2003 when they decided they were going to call it a career.  Since "The Only Goodbye Tour" of 2004, the band has not performed on a regular basis since then--a span of 6 years.  During that time span though, rumors circulated that a reunion was not too far off, but each time that it appeared that the band would get together again soon, it would never come to fruition.  Lead singer Trever Keith would do local acoustic shows, sometimes with bassist Scott Shiflett.  There would be reunion shows, here and there, but never a full reunion.  


Nevertheless, optimism among fans would shine bright with each rumor of possible reunion and it finally became a reality when it was announced that Face to Face would be touring the entire leg of the 2010 Warped Tour.  This was followed with the release of a new album in 2011, Laugh Now, Laugh Later along with a spring/summer tour with support from The Darlings and Strung Out.  The band had officially gotten together; thousands of punk fans were pleased.


It is with this backdrop, that Pathological Hate, embarked on a journey to Milwaukee, WI to catch a show that was 6 years in the making.  

May 6, 2011: THE EAGLES BALLROOM, MILWAUKEE, WI--


We were excited to see this band--unfortunately we had to drive to Milwaukee.  It's only a two hour drive, but getting to this city is anything but bearable. However, once the drive is over and you're in the venue.  The Eagles' Ballroom is a HUGE place.  They have multiple floors with the higher level playing dance music (that floor is called THE RAVE), and the 1st floor usually hosting live music.  There's a bar that's adjacent to the main stage that plays live music as well--so there's something for everyone at this place. Basically, on some nights, the only form of entertainment in Milwaukee.

We were certainly ready for a show that's been anticipated for six years. The crowd and energy from Face to Face really left an impression on us. The mosh pits didn't feel quite the same as the ones that we were used to in Chicago.  The differences between the Milwaukee and Chicago crowds at these shows are subtle, but tangible.  They're a bit--ummmm, lame?  It is our opinion that Wisconsinites are dorky and strange to begin with and those are the people on the surface.  So imagine how much weirder the local underground scene is. Plus there's certain unwritten rules that should be followed in the mosh pit that these people have no clue about.  If it happens once, it's an isolated incident, but if it happens multiple times, then it becomes a pattern.  Trever Keith, when he first came on stage, noted that there was "a small, but crazy crowd here in Milwaukee!"  Yes, "crazy" sums it up pretty well.



Regardless, it was great to experience a great night of punk rock.  Up and coming band, The Darlings were very impressive and were able to perform a cover of the Misfits' song, "Astro Zombies" with guest vocals, Jason Cruz from Strung Out.  Speaking of Strung Out, they performed right after and after years of not following this band, we became fans.  Their fusion of melodic punk rock and heavy metal precision is just infectious.  And listening to punk rock, 1990s staples "Firecracker" and "Matchbook" live was a treat in itself.  

Face to face started off with "You Lied" and "You've Done Nothing" and a whole slew of old songs.  They played a couple of their songs from their new album, but that night was all about the oldies: 


  1. Walk the Walk
  2. Blind
  3. A-Ok
  4. Pastel
  5. Velocity
  6. Disconnected
Not only are these few, select songs Face to Face essentials, but these songs are essential, punk rock in the 1990s and have withstood the test of time.  It's just perfectly idoneous to Southern California: the perfect sunny days, spending time at the beach, driving your car on the freeways, spending an afternoon skating--yes these are all cliches, but these are the connotations that these songs bring up.  It's just a good, fairly universal feeling of nostalgia.  

The real treat of the night came when Trever Keith admitted to the audience that breaking up was the biggest mistake that they have ever done and that part of the reason of coming back was to perform these "fun" songs again.  


To close the concert out, "It's not Over" was played on the encore set. Leaving the concert we felt this air of optimism as we walked out of the concert venue.  Maybe it was the cool, but pleasant spring breeze that was prevalent in Milwaukee that night--as if the band brought some of that good California weather with them.  But finally seeing Face to Face live for the first time, after that notion seemed to be all but an impossibility of a dream, sparked much hope that the band will continue creating more music and touring together as a band for many years to come. 

To check out the rest of our music page and read about previous shows we've attended, click here.

Check out another punk rock band from the 1990s, 88 Fingers Louie.

For everything Bad Religion, click here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

THE CURIOUS CASE OF: Joe Paterno


Felipe M

BACKGROUND: Joe Paterno, in terms of wins, is the most successful college football head coaches in NCAA history.  He coached at Penn State University for generations, putting the sleepy town of State College, PA on the cultural map.  If you're a college football fan, you don't need me to tell you the accomplishments and accolades he brought to the university.

A CLASS OF ITS OWN: All these accomplishments brought Joe Paterno immense power.  And what better guy to possess all this clout?  He stood for moral righteousness.  He encouraged his athletes to "do the right thing."  The NCAA thought the same thing as it is very hard to find any NCAA violations--which we all know, everything in the NCAA is a violation: you can't buy your players pizza or ice cream after a game could also be deemed a violation.  If one were to think of all the big time violations and scandals in college athletics in the last 30 years, one has to marvel how this particular school was able to have such a relatively clean record.

A GENERATION OF SCANDAL: Name another collegiate institution with a successful football or basketball program (the top revenue machines at the big universities) and in all likelihood they have been marred with NCAA violations and legal scandal.  Schools like Nebraska who have had multiple players in domestic abuse and sexual assault scandals, Florida State with players stealing from a sporting goods store, Iowa with harboring a known rapist in basketball player Pierre Pierce, Baylor covering up a murder involving basketball teammates, and most infamously Southern Methodist University getting the "death penalty" for paying their football players to play at the school.

Through it all, Joe Paterno has been able to keep his football program away from such scandal and people can say with confidence "that at least they're doing it the right way at Penn State."  It turns out, however, that they were just as sleazy as any other institution of higher learning, if not more so. 

THE TRAGIC TRUTH: And then it turns out that Joe Paterno had a pedophile on his coaching staff in Jerry Sandusky.  It is hard to pinpoint when and if Paterno knew that his friend and top assistant had any notion that he had a sexual predator on his staff, but these are the facts:
  • Pedophiles are known to have an average of 100+ victims in their lifetime.  The current allegations involve incidents that go back to 1994. Nevertheless, it's safe to assume that Sandusky has been molesting and raping children well before this time period.
  • Public Record shows that Paterno should have known about Sandusky as early as 1998 (I strongly believe that Paterno knew about Sandusky well before 1998).  Instead of ousting this monster, the university forced him to retire and gave him "unlimited access to all football facilities, including the locker room."  How much was Paterno involved in keeping his friend and former top assistant out of the football program, but still remain at the university as a full time employee?
  • It was believed that Sandusky would not only be the heir apparent to the Penn State head coaching job, but was also a hot commodity to be the next head coach at any other top-notch university.  Nevertheless, it was rumored that during interviews for other head coaching vacancies, Sandusky looked to have no desire to really coach at another university and always brought up the topic of his Second Mile foundation, ad nauseam.  
  • Why was Sandusky forced into retirement at the age of 55 years-old in 1999?  Was it for the safety and well-being of Paterno's football program?  Furthermore, why did the University insist on keeping this predator around campus where he used school resources to hold events and activities for his Second Mile organization? 
  • Paterno was known to have clashes with school professors and administrators and despite symbolizing the true spirit of amateur/academic sports and putting "student" first in "student-athletes," many of his players still, ironically, received a lot of special treatment at the school. 
  • Rabid fans around 2002-2003 protest the potential investigation into the matter.  Among fear of an ensuing chaos and rioting, local police dismiss investigation.
  • 2004, Penn State officials ask Paterno to step down as head coach of the football program.  Paterno refused to do so and continued coaching until he was fired in 2011 after the child rape scandal was uncovered.
  • Paterno was the moral authority and had more power and clout at Penn State than any other school administrator, dean, president, and any other higher-up imaginable.  As a school employee, he also had the duty to report such incidents to the proper government authorities, NOT THE PENN STATE CHAIN-OF-COMMAND, that there was a sexual predator on campus that preyed on young children.
  • Penn State gave Paterno a massive funeral ceremony fit for a King or a dictator.  Not bad for, as many of his fans would defend, someone at the bottom of the Penn State Chain-of-Command totem pole.  
A LEGACY OF HYPOCRISY: Despite the accomplishments and the many high school athletes he turned into men after participating in his football program, his legacy is forever tarnished and will always be remembered as the guy who was too busy with his precious football program to save any young boys from a known child rapist.  Many of his defenders will say that 99.99999% of Joe Paterno's time at Penn State was positive and that the rest of the small percentage was negative and just a "mistake."  But when the "mistake" involves the known endangerment of children into the hands of a child rapist, it is unforgivable and cannot be justified with his past achievements.  To paraphrase THE SCORE's Dan Bernstein, a Chicago radio sportscaster, "400 wins does not justify little boys getting raped."    

Just like Paterno told Penn State, countless number of times by the way, that he was Joe Paterno and he refused to leave the head coach position, he could have easily gone up to this issue and scream out, "I'm Joe Paterno and I am about doing what is right and at this point, I don't think it's right for a known child rapist to be running around my campus chasing little children around under my watch!  I WANT HIM OUT AND WANT AN INVESTIGATION TO BEGIN TO PUT THIS CRIMINAL IN PRISON WHERE HE CAN BE WITH OTHER CHILD RAPISTS!" The fact that he did not do this, is what will forever define his role at Penn State.  

IN CONCLUSION: It turns out that Joe Paterno was a hypocrite, just like the many right-wing, moral conservative Republicans he supported throughout his life.  The people who scream the most about moral righteousness are the ones who usually have the most to learn about the subject matter.  Joe Paterno and Penn State was just like every big time, college football program in America: money and athletics are priority #1, everything else is optionally unnecessary.  Paterno's program was as corrupt as the Catholic Priests at Notre Dame and as criminally ridden as the Miami Hurricane convicts he defeated for a meaningless football title.  Joe Paterno will forever be known as the man who enabled and harbored a child rapist to run loose at his program.  Why?  Because those are the standards that he supposedly instilled at his precious football program.  The images of him being a mentor, educator, and father-figure who happened to be a football coach are just myths.  Let us never forget this so we don't get suckered into believing such deceitful lies, deify these morally conflicted football coaches/players, and really hold these universities to a higher moral standard where they're not harboring, enabling, and protecting murderers, drug dealers, rapists, money whores, and pedophiles.

Pathological Hate would like to thank the Boers and Bernstein radio show (THE SCORE, 670AM) for being the voice of reason amid the Penn State child rape scandal.  We urge you to listen to their podcast.  

We also highly suggest to listen to the Boers and Bernstein "Who Ya Crappin?" segment from January 26, 2012.  The segment has become a Chicago, sports staple and had a lot of listeners calling the program to show their disgust at Penn State and their handling of the child rape scandal and Joe Paterno's funeral. 

ESPN has provided a timeline for the Penn State child rape scandal as well.  

To read the child rape scandal Grand Jury testimony, click here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011 BIRTHDAY FORTNIGHT: PART IV: Chuck Ragan

(From left to right)
Joe Ginsberg, Chuck Ragan, and Jon Gaunt performing live at the
Mayne Stage on the north side of Chicago.


Felipe M


Former Hot Water Music member, Chuck Ragan is one of the more revered figures in punk rock and it's not surprising that even though he's remade himself into a folk/bluegrass/country/acoustic singer, fans of the band and the punk community still come out to support his shows.  Even though the music might not be punk music in the traditional sense, there's still a punk rock attitude and ethos that dominates every one of his shows.  


MAY 5, 2011: MAYNE STAGE, CHICAGO, IL--Cinco de Mayo in Chicago is an unofficial holiday and it might just be as big as St. Patrick's day.  Just like everybody is a bit Irish on March 17th, everybody is a Mexican on May 5th.  So what does Pathological Hate do celebrate Felipe's Mexican roots?  How about going to a show on the north side of Chicago?  That's what I did as I dragged a couple of co-workers to come with me to see the great Chuck Ragan


The last time I saw Chuck Ragan perform was a couple of years ago at Reggie's Rock Club as part of his Revival Tour.  To summarize this wonderful touring act, it's basically the Warped Tour of acoustic/folk music.  That night, Chuck Ragan performed a solo set in the middle of the show (there is no headliner on this tour), as Jim Ward was the one who received the honor of ending that show (although the show continued impromptu style at the bar adjacent to Reggie's).  Past members of the Revival Tour include Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Frank Turner, Austin Lucas, Audra Mae, and Tim Barry (Avail), just to name a few acts.

Chuck Ragan doing guest vocals with Sharks--
"but for now I'm finding myself/
Up here standing on a rooftop SCREAMING!"
On this night, Chuck Ragan and U.K.'s Sharks took advantage of a day off on their tour in support of Social Distortion to perform at the Mayne Stage in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the north side of Chicago (there's a "good" side of Rogers Park and a "bad" side.  Thankfully, this venue was located on the good side).

Sharks looks like the male version of The Runaways if they were to clash with, well, The Clash.  They're a very young band, but their melodic, street punk sound actually makes them look and sound older than they really are and you can't help, but continue to root for their success.  The obvious highlight of the show was when Sharks were finishing up their set when Chuck Ragan decided to show up and make a cameo appearance and sing-a-long with one of the band's songs.  The coolest part was when during the middle of Sharks' song, they mashed it up by adding the first verse to seminal, underground punk rock anthem of the last decade "Rooftops."  If you don't know the song "Rooftops" do yourself a favor.  Might just be Hot Water Music's defining song.

Chuck Ragan then went on stage along with stand up bassist Joe Ginsberg and cult legend, fiddler Jon Gaunt and were simply amazing.  The crowd was pretty tame as I was hoping for an Against Me!, acoustic set crowd, but crowd was pretty civil and continuously moving which was pretty ideal for this kind of music.  Most importantly, the crowd was very supportive of Ragan, despite being a small crowd, they were very boisterous as requests flew from the audience like ballistics shooting at a besieged city and Ragan was too happy to oblige them (i.e. playing "Rye Whiskey," "Ole Diesel," and "Do What You Do" upon request).  Meanwhile, Ragan played what seemed to be his entire solo collection.  "Do You Pray," "Valentine," "The Boat," "For Broken Ears," "Rotterdam," Let it Rain," and "California Burritos" all made it on the setlist that night and each song was sang with a passion and desperation that only Chuck Ragan can deliver--like he's constantly screaming from the "Rooftops" for the whole world to hear and listen to the message he's trying to portray.  It is a thing of beauty when a musician wears his heart on his sleeve and truly believes in the art that he has created on his own and sharing it with an all-too-willing audience who constantly begged for more.


Also on the night, Ragan played new music from upcoming album Covering Ground.  My best estimation is that he played three songs from the album and they all sounded epically amazing and I left that night thinking that I just heard his best composition to date.

The real gem of the night however was exploring a new venue as the Mayne Stage is a beautiful, small, intimate establishment for live music with a great view of the stage, no matter where you're standing.  It's unbelievably clean and fancy on the inside, while the neighborhood outside has all the amenities and aesthetics of an ideal and imagined urban setting.  

This show is definitely a front-runner for Show of the Year--2011 (and maybe top 3 favorite show of all time) and I am constantly looking for the next time Chuck Ragan stops in town once again.  


To read the 2010 Show of the Year wrap-up, click here.

To read more articles on the band Against Me!, click here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

THE CURIOUS CASE OF: Tyreke Evans


Felipe M

BACKGROUND--IN THE BEGINNING: When former Memphis Tigers' combo guard Tyreke Evans was selected #4 overall in the 2009 NBA draft, it was at the apex of youth basketball developing explosively quick, fast, strong, and athletic guards who can play both point and shooting guard positions at a moment's notice and the NBA's willingness to eagerly acquire these players.  The 2008 NBA draft, saw a plethora of talent at this hybrid position as 5 out of the 11 first picks of that draft were players that fit that mold of the super-fast, score-at-will guards, including future league MVP, Derrick Rose

HITTING THE BIG TIME: Evans became just the 4th rookie player in NBA history to score 20 points per game, and have 5 rebounds and assists per game, joining a very exclusive class of players who achieved that feat in their first year in the NBA--Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.  There were even arguments that Evans might be better than Rose given his size and athleticism.  Already in his 3rd season however, and Evans' production seems to be decreasing, his basketball IQ is somewhat mediocre, and the lofty expectations that were bestowed upon him and the rest of his young teammates in Sacramento are not even close to being met.  

THE ISSUES--THE BAD: So what has been the biggest problem for this promising, but dwindling superstar?  Well, for starters, one can look at his Pre-Draft Scouting Report and see that the question marks about his game back then, are still prevalent in his third season as a pro:
  • Ball-handling skills makes one believe he can be a successful point guard, but prefers to play shooting guard--but he's a player that needs to have the ball in his hands, at all times, to be successful.
  • Loves playing a fast pace of basketball where he doesn't have to worry about calling plays.
  • Prefers playing in a system where isolation plays are designed for him.
  • His shot is still questionable, bounded by an even worse outside shot. 
  • Could be careless with the ball and does not distribute the ball enough to his teammates.
To reiterate, these are the same issues that scouts had with Evans' game that pundits are still bringing up about him to this day!  Suddenly, Evans goes from being a match-up problem at the point guard position, to being labeled a tweener in the backcourt--does not possess the court awareness to be a point guard, nor the shooting touch to be a shooting guard.

THE ISSUES--THE GOOD: Supporters of Evans will argue that despite these flaws in his game, he still has immense potential that has not been successfully tapped by an inept Sacramento Kings' franchise who: 
  • Lack veteran leadership on the roster.
  • Have drafted and/or acquired other young projects such as Jason Thompson, J.J. Hickson, Donte Greene who cannot be trusted to play heavy minutes.
  • Seemingly overstocking on similar-playing guards seemed to have hurt Evans' production having to share the ball in the backcourt with John Salmons, Jimmer Fredette, and Marcus Thornton (though Thornton proved late last season that he can complement Evans the best in the backcourt).
  • Only has another player on the current roster who can match Evans' talent in the gifted, but enigmatic DeMarcus Cousins (also a former John Calipari coached player in college).
  • Former coach Paul Westphal did not utilize Evans to the best of his abilities.
A coaching change was being begged by Evans' and Kings' fans alike with the team finally firing Paul Westphal and replacing him with Keith Smart.  Evans has seen his scoring go from 14.29/game to 19.11/game with Smart.  His rebound and assists have also seen a slight increase as well since the coaching change.  However, the team still has a losing record despite the coaching change, going 2-4 under Smart, heretofore.  

IN CONCLUSION: Tyreke Evans is still a highly gifted player with the talent and athleticism to be a superstar hybrid player in the mold of Derrick Rose: A player that can score at will from the point guard position AND create plays for others.  However, as his athleticism goes down and refuses to develop his point guard skills, learn that you don't always have to possess the ball for a majority of the time to be a dominant player, or improve his outside shot, Evans will become just another average player in the NBA.  

Pathological Hate will like to thank Dan Plotsky for contributing to this article.

To look back at the 2011 NBA DRAFT, click here.

To look back at the 2008 NBA DRAFT, click here.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 BIRTHDAY FORTNIGHT: Part III: The Dillinger Escape Plan


Felipe M

The Dillinger Escape Plan have earned a reputation for having the craziest, sickest, most violent, energetic, live shows in today's music scene.  Fans don't expect a solid performance from the band, rather if they go to a show and are not sore for more than two days, they are left disappointed.  

On this particular night, The Dillinger Escape Plan (from heretofore, TDEP) started their night opening for Deftones at The Riv.  My disappointment was in the fact that I missed their opening set, but did see lead singer Greg Puciato help Chino Moreno sing "Passenger."  Nevertheless, I needed my TDEP fix for the night.  Luckily I was informed by one of my friends, after the Deftones' show, that the band had announced earlier that they would be performing a midnight show at The Bottom Lounge (somehow, I had missed the memo).  So Pathological Hate hopped aboard the mighty Saab and drove south in our search for a TDEP performance:

APRIL 30, 2011: THE BOTTOM LOUNGE, CHICAGO, IL--I believed the last time I was at The Bottom Lounge was when I saw Propagandhi.  It is a very small venue, but it's perfect for these types of shows.  Even before the opening act started, there was a buzz in the air and excitement in the atmosphere as many of us had smiles in our faces with the understanding that something special was about to happen.  Finally, TDEP got on stage and they did not disappoint.  

From the get-go, there were things that happened here that could never happen at The Riv. Most importantly I was able to wander around as I pleased.  Secondly, people were stage diving into the crowd--more often than not, the crowd would not assist in catching of said people as some of the divers fell straight into the ground.  Sure the ones who kept falling straight into the ground were the ones who looked the most drunk, however, I later found out that one of the dudes that constantly kept falling into the ground went to that show with a 104-degree fever!  I myself got kicked really hard on the side of my head at the Deftones' show and probably should not have gone to this show--at the very least i shouldn't have done all that head-banging (on Monday, I did end up going to the hospital as I battled a headache all day at work and felt this strong, tingling sensation on the side of my head where I got kicked).  

Meanwhile on stage, TDEP were on their A-game as they were playing that show as if they had some frustration to vent, constantly threatening to break something, either with their instruments or with their fists (or maybe their own bodies).  They were so aggressively furious and raw!  It is simply amazing how this band can perform this way night in and night out.  Despite the small stage and mosh pit area, large amounts of chaos reigned supreme everywhere you turned.  The show came to its climax when TDEP played "Sunshine the Werewolf" and half the crowd when up on stage to sing along to the "DESTROYER!!!" part of the song.  

Overall, the setlist was an impressive one that was dominated by the album Option Paralysis, which was perfect as that has become my favorite TDEP full-length.  I can watch this band perform "Widower," "Good Neighbor," and "Farewell, Mona Lisa" every time they come to town and not get tired of it.


After the show, a Facebook page entitled I Survived the Dillinger Escape PlanShow at the Bottom Lounge was created.  Fans who were at the show discussed were they were standing, shared their battle scars, how they lost keys, cell phones, swapped photos, videos, and some of these fans actually became friends.  A great show of solidarity by everybody involved.  

Click here to visit The Dillinger Escape Plan's official website.

To read other articles of TDEP, click here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 BIRTHDAY FORTNIGHT: Part II: Deftones


Felipe M

As mentioned before on this website, I really do not like commercial music of any kind, including commercial/major label rock/alternative/metal bands.  However, Deftones have always had a special place since I was in high school listening to other commercial bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn, System of a Down, Staind, etc., I always felt that Deftones would stand the test of time.  A decade and a half later, Deftones, despite a lot of internal turmoil, strenuous touring, extensive drug and alcohol use, breakups and divorces, and being lumped in the whole Nu-Metal movement, they are still making music, performing live in front of thousands of people all over the world, and still being one of the most liked and respected bands in the genre.  

The biggest test for this band occurred in November of 2008 when long time bassist, Chi Cheng was involved in a horrible car accident that left him in a coma.  The band was so distraught of the event, that the last album that Chi Cheng and his bandmates were working on, Eros, was supposed to be released as early as late 2008, was put on hold as the band did not want to release the album with Cheng in a coma.  So the band instilled the services of Sergio Vega as their new bass player (for now?) and almost on the fly, created a totally different album, one with a more optimistic and positive vibe and called it Diamond Eyes.  It would prove to be popular among fans and critics alike.

So that is the backstory of this band leading up to their Chicago stop on their 2011 spring tour:

APRIL 30, 2011: THE RIV, CHICAGO, IL-- What started out as an optimistic night of metal goodness ended up in slight disappointment as even arriving at The Riv, presumably early at 7PM or so, was not early enough to catch the opening act.  Just a little band that call themselves The Dillinger Escape Plan.  

Even worse was the fact that we were met by a jammed-packed venue as already we were ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK near the corridors that take you to the exit.  One thing I absolutely hate is being far away from the stage.  It's standing room only so I should be able to fight my way to the mosh pit.  Well, let me tell you why The Riv is the absolutely worst concert venue in Chicago:

  1. Very uptight security--I know it's a lot of people to watch over, but I wouldn't be surprised if sneezing in public would be enough to get you kicked out of the venue.  You're not allowed to walk in certain areas, not allowed to stand in certain areas, it's very frustrating to deal with them.
  2. Obstructed views everywhere--Even if we decided to just sit back and enjoy the show from the safest and highest slope of the venue, apparently, all the tall people like to hang out where we were stuck in the back and secondly, the 2nd floor balcony hangs almost above the mosh pit area, creating the biggest obstructed view in the whole venue. So with the tall people and balcony, we had to seperate and fight for a better view.
  3. Getting to the mosh pit area is a pain--The problem with seeing a popular band like Deftones is that it brings a lot of fair-weathered fans who are just standing like statues trying to figure out when they will play songs from White Pony.  If fighting the hordes of drunk and high people and trying to reason with them to let you through is hard enough, there are levels you need to climb down in order to get to the mosh pit area.  Easy, right?  That's what stairs are for!  Unfortunately, the stairs are located in the middle of the venue and each level is barricaded by black rails.  You can hop over the black rails I suppose, but again, uptight security might kick you out for pulling such a stunt. So just fight towards the middle of each level and start going down the steps--well, again, the hordes of statues that call themselves people (or "fans") are obstructing your view of the rails and the stairs.  
Anyway, moral of the story is that The Riv sucks as a concert venue (always has and always will) and I only wish that Deftones perform at The Congress Theatre on their next Chicago date.

As far as the setlist, they kicked off by playing their first two singles from Diamond Eyes and then playing four consecutive songs from their 1990s releases, including "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)," which is the first time I've heard it live.  Also hearing it live for the first time was "Hexagram" (which was everything I had hoped for).  It was pretty cool how they played, relatively "soft" songs "Sextape" and "Beauty School" back-to-back which was followed by "Feiticeira," which is full of bondage overtones.  

Overall, it was another solid performance from Deftones.  Chino Moreno proved once again why he might just be the best front man right now and I even caught a guitar pick from guitarist Stephen Carpenter.  Only wished that I could catch The Dillinger Escape Plan, but the night was still young.  Also, spending half the show trying to make it to the pit area was absolutely unnecessary as well.  

On a more serious note, please check out this website to continue to check on the status of bassist Chi Cheng and to donate money to help with medical expenses.  


So what's the big deal about The Dillinger Escape Plan?  Click here and find out!

To find out why Felipe hates commercial music, click here.

2011 BIRTHDAY FORTNIGHT: Part I: Between the Buried and Me


Felipe M

Between the Buried and Me is our favorite metal band out there.  There's no argument.  Whether you consider them a metal band or not (because of their fusion of different genres they install into their music), without a doubt, they're one of the most unique, creative, and talented bands out there.  Even though they released an EP this year, it was just as good as many metal bands' full-lengths, if not better!  With the recent release of The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues as the foundation of their Spring of 2011 tour, we descend on the sleepy town of Joliet, IL and as you can read from the title of this article, we kick off my birthday fortnight (because one day is just not enough!):

APRIL 24, 2011: MOJOES, JOLIET, IL-- Just like we stated in our Streetlight Manifesto article, Mojoes is another bar that does not allow the drinking and sale of alcoholic in the mosh pit area and forces you to go to the 2nd floor of the venue to drink and purchase said beverages.  Again, Ricardo, Devon, and I have only experienced this rule outside the Chicago City Limits so we assume that it's a "suburban" thing.  

As much as we were ready to enjoy an evening of awesome music with The Ocean, Job for a Cowboy, and Between the Buried and Me, we had other things in our mind.  The Chicago Blackhawks were fighting elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs against their archrival, the Vancouver Canucks.  We actually spent the majority of Job for a Cowboy's set with our backs turned to them because the game was so intense.  Matter of fact, we thank the band for their pulsating blast beats as it was the perfect music to release some anxiety from this tight game as we used our hands to pat them on the bar and were tapping to the rhythm of the double bass.  Shamefully, we also missed half of the beginning of BTBAM's setlist as well as we couldn't help but continually turn our heads to the direction of the TV sets to see the Hawks win in overtime.  

BTBAM started the setlist playing their entire Parallax EP.  They played it near flawlessly as "Specular Reflection" is quickly becoming a great way to start any of their future shows (for the record, the middle of the "Augment of Rebirth" ('TO CREATE, TO RECREATE!') and the xylophone crash in Lunar Wilderness are the best parts of the EP).

They moved on from the EP to play consecutive tracks from Colors, "Sun of Nothing" and "Ants of the Sky" followed by what seemed to be an impomptu jam session of "Swim to the Moon" highlighted by a guitar solo from Paul Waggoner and drum solo by Blake Richardson.  

We also finally got a chance to listen to "Fossil Genera-A Feed from Cloud Mountain Live" and "Selkies: The Endless Obsession" live for the first time in our lives.  

Overall, this was an amazing show with great bands playing great sets, the Blackhawks winning, and a pretty memorable drive down to Joliet, IL (you might remember this crap-tacular town from such references as THE BLUES BROTHERS movie, the famously infamous Joliet Prison, Route 66, etc.).  This would be worthy of gaining the top spot in the pursuit of our annual SHOW OF THE YEAR!


Check out past articles about Between the Buried and Me.