Bad Religion rocks Chicago for two nights Jun29

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Bad Religion rocks Chicago for two nights

Bad Religion rolled into Chicago for a two night stint at the legendary windy city venue- Metro (seems ironic) labelled “Battle of the Centuries.”  In essence, Greg Graffin & co. would break their 35 year career into a two night spectacle by playing a thirty song set list on each night. Mondays sold out performance would be comprised from their twentieth (19xx) century catalog and Tuesdays set list would come from their twenty-first (20xx) century catalog. That’s right…. 30 songs per night.

Opening the show was Whittier, CA punk band Plague Vendor. Vocalist, Brandon Blaine set the tone for the night’s event by not only dancing, shaking furiously and doing the splits but delivering one of the most raw and intense sets I’ve ever seen. Once it was all said and done, all that Plague Vendor had done was to grab the brass ring of opportunity and run with. It was obvious to everyone in attendance that Plague Vendor is a force to be reckoned with.

As Plague Vendor broke down their equipment and shuffled it off the stage you could feel an overwhelming aura of excitement and anticipation filling the room.  This concert wasn’t your normal Bad Religion show, this was something special and the crowd knew it.

That said, this wasn’t your normal crowd either. There crowd had a great mixture of fans…  old, young, black and white, it almost felt like a bag of M&M’s.

When B.R. finally made their way to the stage it seemed that they were as happy to be there as the crowd was which is something I’ve rarely taken away from a concert.  In an instant, the band broke into “Spirit Shine” off of the release “The Gray Race” followed by “21st Century Digital Boy.”

In between rifling off song after song, Graffin told old stories of experiences in Chicago and tried to explain physics (how do you think that turned out?). Bass player and original member Jay Bentley showed off his sarcastic and playful side with the crowd.

I will admit that I’ve seen more than my fair share of “older” bands play live and although four of the five members of Bad Religion hit the dial at fifty and over I find myself unwilling to group or label them as an “older” band regardless of age or gray hair.

On night one of “Battle of the Centuries Chicago”, Bad Religion was in top form and it is a testament to their longevity as artists.

**On a side note, Chicago was one of seven cities (and the last) that the band chose to showcase this event.  If you missed it, you fucked up! Something this magical will never be seen again!  **

Battle of the Centuries Chicago (Day 1)

Full Set list

  • Spirit Shine
  • 21st Century (Digital Boy)
  • We’re Only Gonna Die
  • Along the Way
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • You Are (The Government)
  • How Much Is Enough?
  • Suffer
  • Delirium of Disorder
  • Do What You Want
  • The Gray Race Billy Gnosis
  • The Hopeless Housewife
  • No Direction
  • Anesthesia
  • Skyscraper
  • Big Bang
  • No Control
  • I Want to Conquer the World
  • Billy
  • You
  • Slaves
  • Generator
  • American Jesus
  • Encore:
  • Against the Grain
  • Sowing the Seeds of Utopia
  • Fuck Armageddon… This Is Hell

-Craig Cooper

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