Thursday, December 20, 2012

All Ages Highlights I: Hot Water Music (May/2011)

Jason Black (left) and Chris Wollard (right) jamming. George Rebelo on drums
as he was going back and forth between Hot Water Music and Against Me!
Felipe M

I have not done a Concert Review in ages as other projects have taken up a lot of my time.  Thought now would be a good time to play some catchup and quickly highlight the last shows I've had the good fortune of attending. 

May 22, 2011: Hot Water Music @ Turner Hall Ballroom--Milwaukee, WI.

As you may or may not know, Hot Water Music is one of the more influential bands in the punk/hardcore community.  Their work speaks for itself with punk rock staples such as "Rooftops," "The End of the Line," and "Paper Thin."  Up to this point, Hot Water Music had not released an album since 2004's The New What Next as they went on hiatus back in 2005. The show last year was part of a short reunion tour in the spring, which included a stop at Bonnaroo (2011).

That is indeed Chuck Ragan.  Stupid
Blackberry phone.

Since the band's hiatus, Chuck Ragan has been super busy with his solo career, where he plays folk music, fused with bluegrass elements and a punk runk ethos.

Chuck Ragan (left) playing guitar.
Jason Black (right) plays guitar.

Meanwhile, drummer George Rebelo filled in for Against Me! when ex-drummer Warren Oakes decided to open up a Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, FL. Bassist Jason Black was playing in the band Senses Fail.

Not to be outdone, Chris Wollard, the other main vocalist in Hot Water Music, has also had a respectable solo career and even went on to form another band with the other band members of HWM called The Draft.

The real treat: getting Chuck Ragan and Revival Tour
violinist Jon Gaunt's autograph before HWM's set.

Highlights: Buying a t-shirt from Chuck Ragan and getting his autograph along with Jon Gaunt.  Ragan proved to be a very nice guy and had a short conversation with him. The look on Gaunt's face when Ragan explained to him that I wanted his autograph was one of bewilderment.  Don't know if he was shocked that someone asked for his autograph or if he wasn't in the mood to give them out, but either way, he signed my ticket stub.... The band playing a majority of their songs from landmark album No Division.... Since listening to it live, I've grown to like the song "Not for Anyone."

Lowlights: Having to drive to Milwaukee on a stormy, rainy day... having to deal with yet another annoying Milwaukee crowd... losing my Hot Water Music t-shirt... not getting Joe Ginsberg's autograph to complete the set. He too was in attendance at this show, but just didn't find the right time to ask for his signature...having to take pictures with my crappy Blackberry phone.  Sorry about the pics being of poor quality.

Click here to read about Chuck Ragan's headline show during Cinco de Mayo 2011 in Chicago.

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