New Years Eve In Toledo with
Choking Susan, The Dougouts and The Shame Game
Review and Photo's By: Michael Rys
New Years festivities must give party planners, and promoters headaches.You wanna make things memorable even though NYE is known for being a holiday allot people use to drink to forget.This show was not going to be one that anyone who was there would forget anytime soon.
Good value too, all the things the big ritzy dance clubs charge $35.00 for party favors, balloon drop,free bubbly at midnight, and it was a very punk rock $5.00
The nights show began with one Toledo's best known rock n roll bands The Dougouts. They kicked out about 40-50 minuets of Heartbreakers, NY Dolls influenced jams that really get my blood pumping. After a couples months respite playing live the boys sounded fresh, sharp and spot on. The crowd seeing to dig things too and their set ended on a high note with their cover of "People Who Died" which always encourages onstage madness and audience participation, which even your truly could not resist.A rare trip to the mic to sing was in order,don't know or care how I sounded but it certainly was fun.
Detroit's Choking Susan was all fired up to be the band on stage when the new year rolled around and they took the stage right on time. Starting their set with a couple of revved up tunes before launching into a punked up version of the classic new years song auld lang syne all while ripping open the balloon drops at midnight. Choking Susan with surprise, a new drummer and bassist ( I won't mention names yet as to not put a hex on them)blend in well with lifers

Colleen ( vox) and Killer Keith ( guitar) as they plowed through a set from the bands back catalog and the new record (Choking Susan Goes To Cuntopia)which by the way seems to expand the bands sound a bit beyond the four barreled Ramones style tunes. Its a good thing too and Colleen's vocals get a chance to expand with it.Live the gal was all over the place,challenging the audience,playing with the crowd and kissing babies.An good crowd that get into a performance seems to really motivate Choking Susan very well and they give it right back too.

The Shame Game, a young but very experienced band with a more pop influenced punk sound ended the evening, and much to every ones happiness most of the crowd hung out and stayed. Glad they did too cause watching and hearing this band is always a treat.Even more so that they added a new bass player which only added to an already exceptional band.Really this band is ready to be headlining and playing outside the comfort of Toledo.I see confidence in their eyes and hear the chops to back it up.They enjoyment they were having onstage playing really flows back out to the audience, and makes this band infectious.
Greta night and hella good bands. I don't know how many people used the free new years eve taxi service available that night,cause for once I had a ride and in rare form for me was not feeling anything but enhanced happy that night. Glad to say I saw lot of happy rocking faces that night too, I think most would agree it was the best NYE show in Toledo.