On Repeat: True Rivals

Having song lyrics running through my head is nothing new since music is a general default in one way shape or form pretty much at all times. Lately I’ve found that accompanying that fantabulous post concert rush a specific song lyric has been sneaking in no matter what band I had just seen live.

“The feeling at the show
No, you can’t take that from us”

That line, from “Can’t Take That From Us” by the LA punk band, True Rivals, was one that made me stop and think “YES! THIS!” when I first heard it. The other lyrics in that song are about a band being out on the road on tour, or at least that is how I read it, but I’m a firm believer that music is about connection as a whole and tying it to your own experiences.

Though I wish I could say I discovered this band at an actual show, I ended up finding them last fall via one of my favorites on YouTube, Cherry Dollface. Cherry had posted videos with Trevor and Derik and shared some music as well. One song turned into checking out others by the band and I was immediately hooked. I loved the music so much that I even got the LP from the international sale since the domestic set sold out. Getting the limited edition with a screen printed sleeve was worth the extra shipping.

I know saying “punk band” can mean almost anything these days but to me this is that excellent “LA/CA” punk sound that I’ve loved for a long time. I truly believe region does affect music. (Midwestern/Chicago punk has a certain element that ties it together as well.) Think bands like Rancid, Bouncing Souls, Distillers (but without female vocals.) The music makes me want to go to a show and jump in the pit though my serious moshing days are over. (My last was a Rancid pit and I want to end on a high note.)

Since a trip to LA is on my “Hopefully Someday” list, I’ll just be blasting their music with fingers crossed that they’ll end up playing in Chicago before then.

So I get this post all set and ready to go for when I had it planned to post.

Then this happened: wears punk band shirt worn to a multiple punk band show.

Rocking @truerivals at #FatWrecked in #Chicago #HOB! #truerivals

A post shared by Krista (@yarnalone) on

And then THIS happened: meets band member of band of punk band shirt worn to a multiple punk band show.

That last sentence was awkward on purpose. Please note that the goofy grin was since Trevor was at the same show in Chicago, and took the time to come down and find ME. I was in a crazy good mood because it was the Fat Wreck 25th anniversary show and this just amped it up more. He was super cool about it all. I usually manage to not fully music geek out but this time I couldn’t help it.

And since it is still relevant, I will end this revised post with the same closing as initially intended since it still rings true, pun intended…

Since a trip to LA is on my “Hopefully Someday” list, I’ll just be blasting their music with fingers crossed that they’ll end up playing in Chicago before then.

Live & Local: Mighty Fox at Lincoln Hall

I love that moment when I hear a song or a band for the first time and I just stop. Everything else fades away and I’m transfixed. This is what happened the first time I saw Mighty Fox. There was no longer a crowd around me and just this fantastic rock band on the stage in front of me.

From their website since it does it much more justice as a description than “OMFG this is an awesome band:”

“Mighty Fox isn’t just a musical project but rather a journey.  As an up-and-coming group based in Chicago that has already gotten industry professionals stirring, it’s clear that this project is more than just a “band” but rather a way of life for the musicians involved.  Each song has the listener noticing the many different artists that influence Mighty Fox and how they’ve effected the lives of the members.  With bands like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, and U2 being considered substantial influences, Mighty Fox has a very well rounded sound that anyone and everyone can relate to and enjoy.  Don’t let the names fool you though.  Mighty Fox has definitely found a sound of their own which translates incredibly to their live show.”

 I was ecstatic to find out that they were a local Chicago band. That put them on my “MUST see again” list and since that show, I’m happy to have seen them play live more.

The last show was last Friday at Lincoln Hall and once again my cousin was rocking out with me. I met her on the Northside after work and after hunting for a parking spot amongst the snowdrifts, we got to the venue with a good amount of time before the first band started. With four bands on the bill, Mighty Fox was third. Since Lincoln Hall is a smaller place, around 500 capacity and with sound well done for the size, we could easily see the stage and since it was a really laid back crowd minus one very excited chatty group celebrating a birthday with confetti (yes, actual metallic “Happy Birthday” confetti) we easily worked our way up front for their set.

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With everyone on stage but Mike, vocalist/guitarist, the music starts. Then a moment later he is onstage and their set kicks into gear. For ten songs, the room is enveloped in sound: Jon on drums, Markham on guitar, Johnny on bass and keyboard, and Mike switching between guitar and only the mic. From the soaring chorus of “Tom’s Song” to the pounding beat of “Let Go”, Mighty Fox had great energy on stage no matter what the tempo. You can tell that they are doing something that they love.

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Here is the full setlist of the songs that we danced to (or swayed to depending on the song) at the show:

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Being a musician myself and having friends in bands throughout the years, I know that there is a lot of work put into it. After I see a great show, I basically want to say to the band “thank you” as in “thank you for sharing your music with me.” With most shows (most being any general band), it usually is more so something like “great set”  just in passing but this time my cousin and I got to meet them and actually got to talk for a few minutes. I always appreciate when someone will chat a bit after rocking out on stage. Both being very nice, Markham granted my request for the setlist as he paused from breaking down his gear and Mike responded to my good-natured sarcasm about his moving too much resulting in blurred photos with some of his own. No pompous attitudes means gold stars in my book. I’ve met too many “What? I’m in a band. I’m too cool.” jerks over the years.

So back to the setlist photo. Yes, that is an actual set list and it is signed by Mike and Markham. It was an idea that popped into my head after the set had ended. Then I thought “Why not?” There is just something about this band. It reminds me of back when I was the music director at my old college radio station. A CD would come in and after playing it, I’d think “THIS! This will be a big deal.” I really hope I’m right.

Live & Local: Music Memories

Back at the end of June, Darth Husband, The BFF and I went to House of Blues to see an school lineup of local music: Lucky Boys Confusion, Penny and the Loafers, The Waiting Game, and Inept with the new (as in new to me and younger) opener, Steve Knecht. (I use “old school” as a term of endearment since I have many fond memories of years of attending local shows.) I have loved live music for a long time but having it be a band from your area, or in some cases somewhat your area, makes it different. The following was rattling around in my head after the concert and the weeks following.


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Since the days of the kid version of me blasting Poison on my Care Bear tape player, I’ve grasped that music is powerful and the concept that music connects people. As the tapes moved to CDs, I still kept my love of hair metal (a guilty pleasure even today) but then as bands like Nirvana, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, and Soundgarden blasted from my CD player, local music entered the mix. There are lots of bands that are somehow located in or near Chicago, but I am talking the local bands: The kids that played in garages and church basements. The names on the high school battle of the bands lists and the hand drawn show flyers. The bands that played to three people in a local bar but still played their hearts out.

I have great memories of going to shows of friends’ bands. It was one thing to go see a great show but knowing both the performing and non-performing side of the people on stage made it even better. I was the girl in high school with the show flyer stapled to her band-patch covered green Jansport backpack (that logo, of course, covered with a patch) and the one making flyers for upcoming shows in college. I loved doing my part of help out my friends and finding great new music as well. It was exciting to be part of that era of local music.

I use the word “era” on purpose. When I was in high school and college, there were a number of local all ages venues: Oak Lawn Ice Arena (or OLIA if you were “cool”) The Coffee Lounge in Palos Hills, Cafe Nisa in Oak Lawn, Sputnik in Homewood, Mojoes in Orland Park, Lighthouse Cafe in Burbank and others that I can’t remember anymore. Plus add the local high school battle of the bands to the mix. Of course, when I turned 21 that meant I could see shows at numerous bars, including Champs in Burbank, but this is where it started.

The days of me painting blue streaks in my almost Bettie Page style bangs and putting on my plaid pleated skirt with combat boots are long gone as is the brand new age 21 driver’s license but all it takes it a song to step right back there for a moment. That moment when you hear a song and immediately start singing along as if you are in some sort of memory induced auto-pilot. That moment when you start dancing and don’t stop until the set is over not even thinking that you aren’t as young as you used to be and might be sore in the morning (or motivated to go to the gym even more.) That moment when the concert ends but you still have a mix-mosh of the nights songs stuck in your head for days.

Now that is an earworm that I don’t mind at all.