Here at ChiIL Mama we know kids and parents rock. Your craving for live music and your concert lovin' life doesn't end, just 'cause you create a life. So, we were super stoked when Black Flag announced an early, all ages show for kids (not teens... little punk kin with parents) before their adult gig at Reggies Rock Club in Chicago a few weeks back! We promoted it for months, then as luck would have it, we were out of town on a travel shoot when the show went down. Happily, we have a guest post by Neil Firstenleit (AKA: Mr. Singer, a well loved Chicago kindie musician and former long haired punk). Here's his sweet recap.
WHAT?!?! A free Black Flag show
for kids, awesome!
by N. Firstenleit
A few weeks back, at this time, I was psyched up, standing in line at Chicago’s south-side rock club Reggie’s to see Black Flag for my first time. I have been rocking out to Black Flag since I was in grade school thanks to my older brothers and Greg Ginn’s unique style of fast, raw riffage makes him one of my favorite guitarist! Crazy thing is, this was a kids’ show! I went with a couple friends, Lilli 5 years old and her dad Jef, the Sharp Cookies’ Videographer.
The line consisted of mostly tattooed grownups and their youngsters. It was an interesting line to be in. The kid in front of us was entertaining us with a funny face puckering sound he called “fish fats”. These kids were sharing an authentic rock experience with their folks. Adults without children were being turned away until the later show. The doorman let me in with Lilli and Jef. Several families made it to the show, I was expecting it to reach capacity being a free Black Flag show and all, but it ended up being a very comfortable turn out.
The bar had free hotdogs & pop for the kids before the show. While Lilli had a bite, I checked out the concert Ts. Most of the art was from their album covers by artist Raymond Pettibon. MY WAR has a knife in the hand of a puppeteer, SLIP IT IN has a nun hanging on to a hairy leg and JEALOUS AGAIN has a pistol-toting cheerleader. I got Everything Went Black, a menacing image of hedge clippers in a pair of clenched hands, the most kid friendly one they had.
The band hit the stage and everyone was ready to rock! They played the sing-a-long classics: Rise Above, Louie Louie, Six Pack (singer said it was about baby formula) and TV Party (the kids added their favorite shows: Sponge Bob, Adventure Time and Uncle Grandpa). Greg leaned over and reminded singer Mike V not to say F*%& and he didn’t.
The volume was definitely kid friendly, which was great for the kids, but it left me wanting to hear them cranked up! The vocalist and the drummer seemed to be holding back, which is cool for the eardrums, but not for the raw power. Greg Ginn’s guitar (and theremin) playing was still pretty awesome to see live at whatever volume! I guess that’s why people pay for the later show. If I had, I would have also seen Robby Krieger of the Doors jamming with Black Flag! Would have been worth the $20 for sure.
After the show the band came out and talked with the kids. When I asked Greg Ginn about the choice to do a kids’ show and he said Reggie’s asked them to do it and they thought, why not? It was his first time playing a kids' show and he wished his 7 & 9 year old children would have been there. Lilli, Jef and I were definitely glad we were there!
Miss 'em at Reggies or just can't get enough?!
Check 'em out LIVE 7/18 at Brauerhouse in Lombard, IL. for $14 (this one's 18+).