Naked Raygun headlined the second day of Motoblot 2016 Urban Motorycle and Hot Rod Street Rally supported by The Crombies and Flatfoot 56.
25-June-2016: Three generations of Chicago punk were on display at this year’s Motoblot 2016, an annual rally that celebrates urban motorcycles and hot rods. The rally has grown tremendously over the years to a three-day event of bike shows, beauty contests, and raucous rock n’ roll.
There is nothing better than having three generations of Chicago rock on display represented by three of Chicago’s strongest and most influential bands. The first band up on this fine summer day was the Celtic-influenced Flatfoot 56. The band took a break from recording their much-anticipated seventh album to play this show.
Flatfoot’s music which married their rhythmic punk guitars to Irish bagpipes and mandolin. The bands played and moved at a frantic pace, matched by the crowd’s energy in singing and dancing. The highlight of their set was the two members of The Crombies joining them to sing their classic version of “I’ll Fly Away.” It was a great kick-off to the evening.
Next up was Chicago’s ska giants, The Crombies. The Crombies playing songs from their album, Dance Crazee. The band plays Two Tone ska faithfully in the vein of The Specials. Mike Park, the lead singer, plays RudeBoy MC smoothly fronting the highly qualified and distinguished backing band. The wild card is Dave Simon, the hooligan dynamo that moves all over the stage while playing journeyman lead guitar.
Their finale was a cover of Toots and The Maytals’ “Monkey Man.” Dave Simon climbed into the crowd while continuing to play guitar, and ended up on a fan’s shoulders. Mike Park also found himself on the floor leading a 300-person chorus. These guys know just how to make a crowd Dance Crazee.
Motoblots’ organizers chose wisely booking Naked Raygun as the headliner for the show. Naked Raygun’s long career has an unmistakable influence on Chicago’s underground music scene.
The band came on stage to the clear adoration of the crowd. Naked Raygun paid that adoration back in full with a set of music that spanned all eight albums leaving no one disappointed. They played classics like “Home of The Brave” and “Rat Patrol,” backed by the house singing in unison.
Frontman Jeff Pezzati’s performance has an otherworldly quality, a combination of distance and warmth. His interaction with the crowd reflected the cross-generational nature of the band’s music and career, from the grey-haired rockers to the young Mohicans. The band’s set was a great cap to what had been a great day of music and motorcycles.