The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Hot Water Music rocks The Metro with La Dispute, Menzingers

As the last day of January rolled into Chicago, another sold out show at The Metro set the stage for what would be an unforgettable night for music lovers.

Hailing from Scranton, Pa., the pop-punk quartet The Menzingers stormed on stage minutes past the scheduled start time. After a gritty performance of their newest hit, “Good Things,” off of their 2012 release, “On the Impossible Past,” lead singer Greg Barnett and his co-pilot vocalist Tom May explained the tardiness to the crowd.

“Our van actually broke down in the middle of Ohio,” said Barnett.

“Yeah, but luckily a Ford dealership out there got us fixed up and back on our way,” said May.

As the crowd grew restless during the explanation, the talking ceased and the group blasted into what would prove to be a very satisfying set for the audience. The middle of the set was highlighted by one ballad in particular that had the crowd gasping for breath near the end. Steady rhythms of chords lead the crowd into the song, “The Obituaries,” which explores the uncertainty and struggles of life on the East Coast.

While the set continued to advance musically and emotionally, fans located in the center of the crowd grew especially loud with the set. Tight, well put together songs like “Mexican Guitars” and “Nice Things” rounded up the final stretch of the set. A thoughtful performance of “Irish Goodbyes” silenced the crowd as the anticipation for La Dispute to take the stage grew unbearable.

A stage dark as night set the mood for the audience as all that could be heard was the steady chatter of drummer Brad Vander Lugt’s hi-hat as he crept slowly into the first song of the set, “The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit.” Moments before the weight of lead singer Jordan Dreyer’s lyrics crushed the crowd like a brick, Vander Lugt dodged a cup of water hurled his way from the crowd below. Unaffected, Dreyer and the other band members gave a silent “go” and the show began.

Hailing from Grand Rapids, Mich., La Dispute developed a serious tone as songs ranging in context littered the set list for the veteran group. One song in particular forced the crowd into a deep frenzy of emotion. “I See Everything” off of the band’s 2011 release, “Wildlife,” ventured along the road of a boy’s struggle with cancer. While the climax of the song grew near, Dreyer lowered the microphone into the audience to have everyone scream as one, “January 19!” which only gained significance from the helpless fight he guides the audience blindly throughout the song.

Scattered amongst the end of the set were three heartfelt renditions of the songs “Andria,” “New Storms for Older Lovers” and “Said the King to the River.” All three tracks were featured on their first full length release in 2008. To bring the sentiments to an end, La Dispute closed the set with a moving performance of the song “King Park.” As the echoes of Dreyer’s last words rang out, the band slowly walked off stage as the lights flickered on and Hot Water Music began to set up.

A fan-favorite set paved the way for what would end up being a very worthwhile experience for listeners of the punk rock band from Gainesville, Fla. After stepping away from the music scene in 2005 and reuniting in 2007, fans were especially eager to hear Hot Water Music rock the stage again in Chicago.

The first half of the set was highlighted by performances of two hit songs, “Mainline” and “State of Grace” off of the band’s 2012 release “Exister.” With a very unique style, the band used dual vocals and guitars accompanied with a very complex rhythm section to reel listeners in. After being formed in 1993, the illuminated smiles from lead singer Chuck Ragan were well-deserved. In contrast to the previous bands, a much more lighthearted feeling was developed on stage as the band carefully weaved through an impressive set.

After prematurely stomping off stage and leaving the crowd in a fit of anger, the Florida group walked back out on stage to give the audience three more songs for their enjoyment. The encore performance consisted of truly impressive performances of “A Flight and a Crash,” “It’s Hard to Know” and “Turnstile.”

Whether in attendance for The Menzingers, La Dispute or Hot Water Music, fans left The Metro feeling very pleased about the performance of each respective act.

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