reppin: chicago, usa // 2017 - present
rocks like: high school punk rock shows when you were growing up
upcoming shows: check out the upcoming shows right here
When I was in high school I attended these rocking punk shows at the local knights of columbus in arlington heights. Every Friday we would get in someone’s ride, light up a cigarette and go to chill with old friends and make new ones It was a place that not only had rad local and touring outfits, but somewhere you felt accepted. And when the first note was struck, all those awkward days in school that week and the feeling of not being accepted went out the door with noise. You would throw yourself in the moshpit, perhaps get up to crowd surf while possibly hitting your head against the ceiling panels, but again, nothing mattered. In the summer of 2017, House of Vans has landed in Chicago and is bringing back those nostalgia feels just about every Thursday.
This hot, June Thursday in particular, I rolled up to HOV to see a line around the block. The buzz was building for a stellar showcase of punk rock legends that are Toys that Kill, Dillinger Four and Chicago’s own The Lawrence Arms. The set-up has no shortage of a venue that knows what its people want. Lots of space, easy beer lines and a food truck to boot. You could tell the good vibes were setting in as it was so easy to approach some strangers, strike up a conversation and share the love of the night. From the first chord, the energy was brought high and tight, lead by Toys that Kill. It was not even 8PM and the mosh pits were starting...we all have a little steam to blow, eh? Next up was Dillinger Four, who brought the same type of in your face energy. They rolled through some classic like "doublewhiskeycokenoise" and "gainsville" to an enthusiastic crowd that did not stop moving despite the heat.
As the headliner was ready to take the stage, mostly all of us had sweat right through our shirts and our foreheads glistened...but nobody gave a shit. The Lawrence Arms brings such a great balance of bouncey bass eighth notes with pleasant vocals to match, fast solos and just a good ol’ time. They had about 18 years of music, give or take, to pack into the set and did not disappoint. These “older” guys brought the heat for a good hour, non-stop and you could tell they were loving it just as much as the fans. There were a few particular occasions where I took a stroll around and could see the smiles on just about everyone's faces. That, my friends, is the story of a successful night of music.
Even before I had my license, I made my parents drop me off at shows in the city (no idea how I convinced them, they were quite conservative). Back in those high school days, you would have this mindset that you needed to be loved and approved by others in order to make it through the day, at least some of us felt like that. But as we grow, become wise, try to grab onto our careers and make it through life...you being to realize that the only people that need to accept you is yourself and those that actually love you for who you are. While we may have all grown and become adult like since those high school local show days, that feeling of having your worries fly out the window for a few hours is still pure bliss.
House of Vans Chicago // 113 North Elizabeth St.