Days 1 and 2 -The Final shows...
Review and Photo's By: Michael Rys
All good things come an end ,right?Unfortunately these days, that end is coming to locally owned and operated music venues. Especially to ones that feature acts off the mainstream cover bands-tribute band,washed up has been path we see saturating in every city now a days.ChuckWoodStock ( named after Woodchucks owner) was a two day festival style show organized as good bye week end for the bar, the bands that played there and the fans that loved the place. Getting into the particulars of why the bar shut down or any of the contributing factors is a discussion and debate that can take place another time. I want talk about what this place meant to me, and the revved up weekend that sent the place out in a blaze of rock n roll glory.When I moved here a little over five years ago,I knew virtually no one in Toledo.Except for a few bands I had looked up on the then popular myspace my knowledge of who's who in the music scene was slim to none. I quickly turned to old friends in Detroit and dove in headfirst getting back involved with bands there and helping out anyway I could as well as covering the bands in my now defunct website/music blog. As much as I love my Detroit pals and bands, being as involved as I wanted to be and needed to be was impossible given the hour drive,the expenses and time. The only answer was to get out locally and go to shows where ever they were. I saw good ones at the local corporate owned place, but was pointed to Woodchucks by Sam Potts as a local car club was holding its annual bash and show there. The place was packed the bands were smoking and I talked with the owner about doing shows there with bands I knew.Chuck was more than interested. A few months of doing shows elsewhere a little closer to my house was not working for me or the bands I was bringing in. I talked to Chuck again and he welcomed what ever I wanted to do and was more than fair when it came to allowing me to be generous with bands pay, especially touring bands.As you know these days finding a club owner who'll not interfere with booking and be honest with financial ends is super rare in the music business.This place, the staff and patrons gave me a chance to bring in absolutely amazing bands not just locally either but from all over the world, even a few legends too. That support and encouragement is appreciated and will be missed not only here in Toledo but by the bands who visited
Day One
The first day was themed by featuring the punk and alternative bands from in and around Toledo that played Woodchucks over the years. The evening did not start well, as there was no sound man at showtime. Snarl from The Dougouts was snagged and coaxed into setting things up and getting the show on the road. A grateful audience who showed up un- characteristically early was finally treated to the heavy-sounds of Lost In Chicago who have expanded their sound by adding on guitar Dane Corser formerly of Exit Reality. Even in the waning daylight these guys turned in a good set. Next Up were the young-ins turned Woodchucks regulars Drop Dead Silhouette turning in a high energy fun set of crazy mixed up pop influenced punk, with Kyle form the Shame Game even hopping up onstage a singing for a song.Extra high fives to these guys for having the balls to take me seriously when I said they could spray paint their band logo on my car. Ego and The Maniacs jumped up onstage next and treated us a pumped up set of great punk laced ska! Not nearly enough of this stuff in Toledo so not only was their set great but I loved having a ska band on the bill.The Shame Game took ever the night next and regular readers already know how highly I regard these kids. Dynamic set but sadly it will be their last for a while.The Shame Game are taking a break as band while they search to find a new bassist and drummer while they move on to other projects. Personally guys I don't think any band your joining is gonna be as good as this but good luck.The Dougouts ... now this band represent my generation so well, playing that booze soaked Johnny Thunders style rock I love so much. I bet The Dougouts have probably played at least 10 of my shows over the years and not too mention the ones they played at Woodchucks too.They did the place justice by turning in a amazing set.Ruin Your Life making the trip from Adrian Michigan , thanks guys for staying so late.. the crowd was treated to set of late 80's Orange County style punk...straight forward and no bullshit. Killer band with great musician's too.Black Swamp Rats from Bowling Green took the stage at closing time 2 am , and whoa ,folks were still around,thinned a little but still partying it up. Black Swamp Rats slowed up the tempo a bit but make up for it with wit and their uniqueness.Heavy fuzzed out ...stoner rock for Klingons. Closing out day one and this could not be more appropriate was Toledo own punk mess Yeti Machete, who stormed the stage at 3am( when you bar is in a warehouse district you can get away with wayyyy more) these guys played their asses off and I must say there were more people moshing,jumping being loud and all around punk rock at 3 am than there was at any point in the evening/night/morning. I m glad they got to close out punk rock at Woodchucks... their kind of mayhem is just the right so long vibe.
Day 2
Day two the final night of ChuckWoodStock featured the heavy n hard metal bands of Toledo.A band called Siklid who took on the ever not so popular job of opening the show didn’t let a daylight start time effect them and blazed through a short set of melodic and well played 90’s type metal. Big props to making a Loverboy song sound great! Next up was the classic prog metal masters Constricted who battled through vocal mic issues to turn in a energetic and very entertaining set. Slug bounded onstage next and this band through its many versions over the years ( Society's Ugly Son,Ugly Tribe Revival) kinda made Woodchucks their home base for some years,playing the bar often before they even had a sound system. Slug always pleases playing their heavy soulful blues laced rock and tonight in their last appearance was no exception.Downspeed Toledo’s crown jewel of outlaw metal from the first note went 0- 100mph as they always do blazing through a set of Motorhead influenced songs.Chuck Wood himself was prodded to the stage to say a few words durning the set, and he waxed poetic by saying” you suck, your mommas a whore, fuck you, fuck him and fuck her” Which translates roughly to Thank you Toledo I love You guys. As usual Downspeed left stains on the stage… whiskey, cum, and brains.Toledo favorites Megaton Hammer not to be outdone tore it up, playing some old tunes, a new one and all the songs fresh off their new EP. And to add to the ambiance of their set, a fire eater appeared on the roof of the bar right above the stage during the last few songs and really took the whole experience to a new level.Ending things for the night, at least onstage were the moderniserd Demonshifter who absolutely whipped the still sizable crowd into a moshing frenzy.At one point the vocalist from Buried But Breathing took over on the mic and the crowd onstage probably out numbered the band.
Not being one for long goodbyes as the set ending I took my leave and said so long to Chuck, Martha the brilliant bartender, loyal regulars and the bands that were still around and headed for a very late breakfast. Shoot I left at 2:30 or so… I understand the party saw the sun come up.
So long Woodchucks Toledo punk,metal and rock n roll already misses you.