Waking up, not Chilling, on the Hill

I've seen a lot of great music over this past year, but anybody who follows me knows I haven't been writing. Partially because half the great music I've gone to see has been tried-and-true bands -- acts I've seen (and written about) over and over and writing about them again would get, well, redundant. You already know that I love Floor Model and Voot Warnings and the Northside Creeps and, well.... Chief and the Hullmen.

But I haven't been writing also because, this having a teenage daughter, adolescent son, and a lot going on (car repairs house repairs body repairs) is getting in the way. Sometimes I have this choice: do I sit down and write (a blog post, or a song, or even more than a pithy twitter post) or do I just watch this episode of Star Trek (TOS) I've seen a hundred times already. And lately, I've been choosing the latter, despite the fact that there's some really good band like the Grovelers at the Circle A right when Mr Spock is walking in on Kirk seducing some space alien.

But, the kid likes to go to Chill on the Hll, and there's always a good band there. Thing is, while I won't ever deny that the lineup is always top notch, I will have to admit that the lineup is usually safe. It has to be. It's in the middle of a neighborhood that's trying to maintain a family friendly, urban (and let's not forget somewhat hipster) feel to it. And they're a hellava lot more edgy than Summerfest, that's for sure, but they have an extremly wide swath to cut in terms of selecting bands that are going to be crowd pleasers. They manage with some good themes (last week was a sort of country/Americana thing going, the week before was "Kids Night.")

But I'll admit it, I've been lazy. I need somebody to wake my ass up. Enter the Size 5s. They played in the middle of a lineup between the Hullmen (another favorite band that tuned in a nice set at Kochanski's earlier this summer) and Chief (who's been away too long), and when I say "in the middle" I mean that literally. I heard music, but saw nobody on the stage. Well, that was because they set up about halfway up the hill, right behind the soundboard, and we were ready for some punk, people. It was jarring, like a good punk band should be -- again, this was literal: this was how you noticed that there's a bit of delay between what's going into the PA and when it comes out. After a couple of songs, everybody except lead singer Juan Avalos made their way to the stage, where he eventually joined them for the rest of their anthemic punk set that had some elements of ska floating in and out of it. Finally, a new band I wasn't aware of before that made me actually want to take some pictures and write about them.

Weather wise, it was crappy out, and I'm hoping that's why the crowd was thinner than usual. In fact, the return of Chief to a big stage (which is where their balls-out rawk belongs) had to be cut short because of the severe thunderstorms that were rolling in, despite a newer tune called Sky Killer. I really hope that the Chill folks take into account that the threat of rain, and the overall dreariness contributed to the smaller attendance, and not the harder, heavier, wake your ass up nature of the musical offerings. Frankly, having Chief and the Hullmen on the bill was why I risked getting caught in a storm, and the happy suprise of The Size 5s made me glad I did. It was good to see, as Chief advertised it, the "Thrill on the Hill" and seeing bands the rocked out in three great ways. C'mon Chill organizers, let's see more of this!


Cannibell said…
Drag my ass out next time you go. I could use some live music.

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