Underground Straight Edge Punk Show

I recently went to one of my best shows in recent memory.   It was a DIY (Do It Yourself) show that switched apartments a couple times.  The final switch happened day of, which happened to be April fools day.   As i walked up to the final location, what appeared to be a vacated second story one bedroom apartment at 4206 N. Western, I half expected this to be an April fools joke.  Thankfully it wasn’t.

The other things that I knew about the show was the lineup and the slogan.  The lineup was unbelievable:  The Ovens, Ghost Mice, Spraynard, and Paul Baribeau.   Since I owned 14 albums from the bands playing someone’s apartment, needless to say I was pretty excited about going.     The slogan for the show certainly reminded me of the straight edge movement, “No Drugs, No Drinks, and No Dicks Allowed”

The door to the building was propped open by some free papers, so I walked in.   At the top of the stairs was a guy collecting $7 for the show.   The door to the apartment was open and there must have been 86 people already inside.    I say that as the doorman wrote the number 87 on my hand.    The place was crowded and people were not yet smashed together, so i could not even get past the entryway.   Although that would quickly change.

The first act was The Ovens.  The Ovens by their own description are a noisy feminist two piece from Chicago.  Their set was fine as an opener and people really started to pile in during this set.   I had migrated across the room to the front room by this time.  The crowd was fuller now.  I saw someone with a 142 on their hand, so at least that many.

When Ghost Mice took the stage the magic began.  

Ghost mice is an acoustic punk two piece (violin and guitar).  They played some new ones and a lot of old ones.   The second song is one of my favorites Figure 8 and closed with the perfectly fitting Up The Punks.  The set was truly amazing.  The crowd was really into it and singing along with Chris and Hannah.

Next up was Spaynard.

Sparynard is three piece punk band from Pennsylvania.   The place was way too crowded for any moshing, but definitely close.   As most of the folks there were pacifists , this was the nicest rowdy punk set ever.  They closed with the great Spooky, Scary.

The closer was Paul Baribeau.

Paul borrowed a guitar from Chris and played an acoustic singer songwriter set.   At this point the crowd had already been whipped into a frenzy, but Paul was able to elevate the show to historic proportions.   Nearly every song Paul played had the entire crowd singing along.  His emotionally charged set that explained the point of being straight edge Never Get To Know, the super cool Blue Cool, and  closed with Ten Things.    I think being at this show was one of my ten things.   It was an unbelievable night.