Sick Puppies & Ludo
Q101 Block Party – Day One
Cubby Bear – Chicago, IL
September 13, 2008
The fine folks over at Q101 planned for a weekend of rock. The weekend was stacked with 23 acts including Avenged Sevenfold, Mindless Self Indulgence, Sick Puppies, Pennywise, Theory of Dead Man, Black Tide, Apocalyptica, Bullet For My Valentine, and Atreyu. That was before the weekend was plagued with bad luck.
Read on to read and see more of the Sick Puppies and Ludo at the Q101 Block Party…
The first blow came when Avenged Sevenfold had a sickness in the band and announced that they would have to cancel just days before the show. Although that was a bummer, there were still plenty of other great bands playing over the weekend. The next blow came when I woke up Saturday morning to see it pouring outside. By 1pm, it was still raining, over 4 inches according to the news. But, I was still planning to check out the show. I weatherproofed my camera as best I could and set out for the Block Party. Over the air, I heard that the show had been cancelled but some bands were moving to the Cubby Bear for a free show. That was the best news I’d heard all day.
Around 4pm, I headed over to the Cubby Bear for a sit down with Sick Puppies. That interview is in a separate post located here. After our chat, Ludo took the stage. Lead singer, Andrew Volpe puts on a show that entertains whether the crowd is familiar with their songs or now. His off the cuff remarks to banter from the crowd is hilarious and his antics on stage would entertain even Mr. Scrooge. Several times throughout the set, Andrew turned the spotlight to lead guitarist, Tim Ferrell, who impressed the crowd with his solos. By the time Ludo got to their hit single, ‘Love Me Dead,’ the crowd had converted to the cult of Ludo.
In between Ludo and The Lifeline another mainstream rock band played but I didn’t have a chance to catch their name. Next up was Chicago locals, The Lifeline, an alternative rock band that adds a violin into their alternative rock sound. Rebecca Faber’s violin work adds a haunting overtone to Ryan Hope’s vocals, most noticeably on ‘Not For Nothing.’ The rest of the band is comprised of Eddie Yonushatis on guitar, Berto Salgado on bass, and Lonni Lane on the drums.
Another Chicago based band, Munroe, was up next, a real metal set. The rockers were supposed to play on the main stage before that dream was crushed by Mother Nature. Never-the-less, they played an energetic show and came off as a seasoned rock band ready for the big leagues. Munroe may have missed a big break last weekend but they’re definitely someone to watch in the coming years.
During the Sick Puppies set, I got to enjoy the benefits of a 21+ show, alcohol and swearing, my favorite. Sadly, there was no nudity but the high energy show made up for it. When the lights went down, the crowd’s excitement went up. The lead singer, Shim, started the show with “are you ready for a fuckin’ rock show Chicago?” If you know of a better way to start a show, I’d like to hear it because the crowd went absolutely nuts. To keep up that high energy, they started off with ‘Cancer,’ the song responsible for their album’s title ‘Dressed Up As Life.’ Next was ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Anywhere But Here,’ ‘My World,’ and then ‘All the Same’ made famous by the free hugs video. Shim prepped the crowd for the next song with “guys, when you’re fighting with your girl it’s better to just shut the fuck up. Shut..the fuck..up!” which lead to ‘Too Many Words.’
Another crowd favorite was preceded by “this song has been banned worldwide” and ” it was written by three beautiful ladies with dark brown hair you just want to grab by the back of the head and bend over the hood of your car” that lead to ‘Say My Name.’ For the last song, Shim got the crowd nice and close to each other telling them to “put your hands on the person in front of you and on the count of three we’re going to put a hole in this fucking floor.” I’m sure you can guess what happened on the count of three. Although we didn’t break a hole in the floor, everyone gave it a damn good effort. After the show, Mark, Shim, and Emma made a point to meet everyone in the crowd as they do after EVERY show. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts in my lifetime and I’ve never met a band that’s as devoted to their fans as the Sick Puppies are.
After a whole day of rock and a “fuckin’ rock show” from the Sick Puppies, I was ready to call it a night. After all, Sunday was a whole new Block Party.