On Tuesday night at Pop's Nightclub in Sauget, Illinois, it was proven that ska is not dead.
A few months ago I got a call from a friend who invited me to a "fun" concert at the Peabody with the Joy Formidable, a band I'd seen before at the Firebird and the Luminary and really enjoyed. I immediately said yes and penciled in the date.
An intense gathering of headbangers spanning multiple generations, Sunday night's show at Pop's featured four of the sweatiest, loudest and hairiest live acts working today.
Single file, in darkness, Meshuggah, the titans of metal and originators of djent, seized the stage; en masse, in black, the crowd was baptized.
Beelining for the microphone, Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 quickly set up shop with one mission: to "get the crazy motherfuckers crazier." An hour later, drenched in not-wholly personal sweat and suffering a few kicks to the head, the mofos had taken the plunge.
Featuring overture interludes that wouldn't be out of place during a long shot of the Tantive IV, a few moms vying for a better view of Claudio Sanchez's sprawling mane and choruses trusted to masses of loyalists, Coheed and Cambria provided a nostalgic escape for long-time fans and a glimpse into a fantasy world for new recruits.
An alien landing in Sauget on Wednesday night would have been surprised to learn three things about the rock show taking place at Pop's.