Winter doldrums were setting in, too much sunshine, not enough rain, water rationing looming in the near future – the upcoming Presidents Day weekend looked bleak. So when Patty Ramona’s e-mail blasted into my inbox practically twisting my cyberarm into a knot, what’s a Ramona to do but cash in her frequent flyer miles and hop onto the Godfather’s tour! Ok, so it was only one date, Chicago, but what a HOT date it was!
Between the Blagojevich brouhaha and other possibly related corruption scandals permeating the Windy City, it was time for the UK’s own Godfathers to bust in and mop up the crime scene with a hefty dose of rock’n’roll. Thus, The Metro, Chicago, hosted the 1st ever St. Valentine‘s Day Massacre on American soil and it’s a date that will be remembered in crime logs and
music blogs everywhere.
Perhaps President Obama’s weekend visit to Chicago had Homeland Security/TSA extra edgy =- said agencies, in their infinite wisdom (or lack thereof) apparently decided to deny bassist Chris Coyne a visa and he could not make the show. Being the pros they are, a fill-in bassist was recruited, the rest of the band came over, rehearsed madly for most of the day, and the show
went on! Forgive me, Steve (gawd did I get your first name right at least),
I forgot your complete name but you performed admirably!
With their six-string axes shooting off white-hot riffs and leads, the Godfathers blasted into their 1st song, “This Damn Nation” and the Massacre was on. Drummer George Mazur, trim and energetic as ever, totally kicked out the jams all night, providing a solid raging beat that propelled the band through the next 90+ minutes of hit by hit.
Peter Coyne, dapper as ever, focused all his stress and justifiable anger towards bureaucratic idiocy on his microphone and the wildly enthusiastic audience adored him for it. “Those Days Are Over’ rang particularly true as did “Paranoid” and “Cause I Said So”. Guitarists Kris Dollimore and Mike Gibson, also impeccably dressed, were equally intense and raging in their performance. The band’s harmonies, a far cry from the current crop of rock’s emo-ish whiners or gargling poseurs, has always been a standout trait of The Godfathers and that sweet sound rang true, albeit a little rough at times, given my earplugs and the general audio chaos of a live show. What the hell - t
his is Brit ROCK at its edgy, melodic best.
It was SO reaffirming to see so much fisting, dancing and smiling all throughout the Metro for the entire night, and the mantra-ish “Birth School Work Death” truly almost brought the place down. The G-men left the stage to manic cries for more, which resulted in 2 more encores, including “Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues” which tore the place up, as did “Can’t Leave Her Alone” (one of my personal FAVS- so naughty). The final shot, “Blitzkrieg Bop” had this goddaughter pogo-ing like she hadn’t done in over a decade, sore knees be damned. Hugely satisfying to see just about everyone in the near-capacity crowd singing each word to that great American song– felt damn patriotic I did!!!
The ecstatic moshing fans from various states and countries that night testified to the Godfathers’ huge appeal and hopefully, their rabid fans will bring these guys back to the States (particularly California ) before the next Valentine’s Day!!!
Set list as photographed by Patty Ramona
She gives me love
I want Everything
Those Days are over
Love is Dead
I Don't Believe in you
When am I coming Down
How Low is Low
This is Your Life
If I Only Had Time
Cause I Said So
Birth, School, Work, Death
Band leaves, fans scream and cheer, band returns two more times.
Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues
Can't Leave Her Alone