This was one amazing Tuesday night at The Empty Bottle. Truly one for the ages. Folks will tell tales of it for years to come (I assume).

Starting the night off was the energetic surf rock of Alright Panther. Although their bandcamp demos don’t quite live up to their live show (yet) they’re a damn good look at what the band has in store for the future.

One of the city’s hard rockin’est bands took the stage next. MAMA powered through a set of their usual fast, loud, rock ‘n roll complete with plenty of hair and solos. Their brand of power pop makes for a damn good live show.

When Daikaju call their upcoming shows “Attacks” they’re not exaggerating. This instrumental 3 piece comes at you like a jet plane. With little to no warning, the masked trio jumps into the audience and attacks the crowd with kiss, hugs, and plenty of riffs.


The band is never too busy rocking to stop and pose for a photo (even if it falls in the middle of a song.)

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The music is part surf, part metal, and epic as all hell. The fact that these guys can manage to run and jump around so much and still shred is pretty incredible. I’m still not entirely sure how they kept their guitars plugged in the whole time.

It’s actually easier to describe Daikaiju with images then to try and sum them up with words, so here are more photos.

Eventually, the entire drum kit was moved to the floor and the band completely outgrew the need for a stage.

MWA_PARTY_527_NW-30They did however find a use for fire.

At some point, even the floor of the bottle seemed unnecessary as the crowd lifted the entire drum kit (drummer included) into the air.

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Bringing their set to a close, the band handed off their instruments and disappeared without a trace.

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There are few bands that could follow Daikaiju’s high energy live performance (and even fewer that would WANT to) but hometown rockers (and good sports) The Peekaboos fit right in after Daikaiju’s sweaty rock attack.

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While they managed to keep most of their clothes on and didn’t wear any masks (this time), the band still brought the same amount of energy they always do. They played a great set of classics from their debut LP Stay Positive as well as a few new tunes that get better and better each time I hear them.

If you haven’t seen the band live then you’re probably just not into local music. They’re easily one of the best live acts in the city and like a fine wine they just get better with age. Shannon’s sugary sweet vocals are offset by screams that would give Kathleen Hanna chills, Matt’s riffs go from minimalist to shred in a moments notice while the rhythm section of Michael & Rob keep a firm grasp on the whole thing.

It wouldn’t be a Peekaboos show without a shirtless Rob and Shannon Candy ending up on the floor.

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I’m continually amazed by The Peekaboos and extremely glad to have them be a major part of the Chicago music scene. They put their all into everything they do and it shows, not only in their live performances but their studio recordings as well.

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I may be biased, but this was one of my favorite local shows of the year. It’s always amazing to get 4 bands you love on a stage and have it turn into an enjoyable experience for dozens of people. Thanks to all of those who came out, I’m sure we’ll see you soon. Keep an eye out for all of these bands around town as well as Daikaiju as they continue to tour (attack) the entire US.

Peekaboos Official | Daikaiju Official | MAMA Official | Alright Panther Official