Event Review: Millencollin
The Metro, Chicago, IL
Photo: Dave Abbott
With almost seven hundred live shows under their belt to date, Millencolin knows how to work a crowd, and they did just that last Sunday night at the Metro. With a seething mass of teen angst and hormones already primed by two great openers, Homegrown and Bombshell Rocks, they pounded through some of their best new stuff off Home From Home, as well as a bunch of their "classics." At one point, both opening bands came on stage, too, and they all played together - Chicago marks the end of Millencolin's American tour, and so this is the last show they would play with Bombshell Rocks and Homegrown.
Bombshell Rocks opened the evening with some hard hitting, straightforward punk, and Homegrown followed with a rival showing. Late in both acts, members from Millencolin came out for a group effort, much to the crowd's enjoyment. With Larzon, (Millencolin's drummer) on the injured roster due to a broken elbow, Thomas of Bombshell Rocks has been playing drums for both bands for several weeks. The bands on this tour have become obviously close.
Millencolin wasted no time, jumping on stage with "No Cigar," a standard show opener from their Pennybridge Pioneers album. Obviously a good choice, as the floor crowd worked itself to a near frenzy of moshing and crowd surfing, yet singing along the whole time. Next they delved into the new album with "Fingers Crossed," which the crowd cheered for just as much. Of course, I was safely seated in the balcony, my pit days long over; but the view was great. After that, they jumped from old to new, changing their sound up throughout the show with new songs like "Man or Mouse," "Botanic Mistress," and "Kemp" and old oldies like "Vixen" and "Knowledge." Again, members of both the other bands made their way on stage for another Farm Aid style group effort at Millencolin's last encore, "Knowledge." The show was then aptly ended with some needed stage diving and drumstick throwing, much to the delight of the crowd.
The sound, lighting and effects crews, overlooked most when they do their job well, deserve props for a flawless evening. All three bands gave great shows, especially Millencolin-minus-Larzon-plus-Thomas. Part of me wishes I could've seen them whole, but they tour so often, I'm sure I will. If you're spending any time in Europe this summer, make a point to catch them live.
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