Blackmarket Democracy w/Hellbelly 4/29/17, Star Bar

Springtime in Chicago and the unpredictable weather has given us a chilly, rain-soaked Saturday night – perfect for some heavy metal rock music! This evening finds Tommy “TQ” Quirk, his main squeeze Lisa and myself at the Star Bar in Chicago Ridge on the SW Side. The latest iteration of this room finds new booth seating along the sides and behind the dance floor (but in front of the bar, not bad at all) and an overall cleaner feel. A massive stage with great sound & lighting, this room can service an ample crowd, too. Five bands in all hit the stage tonight, including openers Threatening the Order (Chicago) and No Shelter (Michigan City). They were followed by Plainfield’s own Endgame, making their way back to the club scene after an extended hiatus due to personnel changes. Endgame has retained their jagged edge sound and in my opinion, took a step forward with new lead singer, Dean Leo. Their long-awaited return was not a disappointment, especially those tasty licks from dual leads, Tom Theres & Greg Nolter. Looking forward to this edition making some real noise in the future…

Next, the night wind blew in a band all the way from Olympia, Washington called Hellbelly. Their lineage to the Seattle sound was evident and it was a very good thing to hear. Hellbelly has their own sound led by an intoxicating rhythm section and a great, slithery sounding lead singer. “Fallen” and “Crawl” were just two examples of that sound, each song sticking in your head making you want more. Fortunately for all of us, the latest from Hellbelly “For God’s Sake Run” along with their debut album are available here. Don’t miss them next time they come around….

The final band of the night took the room’s energy, compressed it into a cannonball and fired it off stage into a welcoming crowd. Front man Mike White came out growling then transitioned into his melodic vocals with a driving beat behind him. Blackmarket Democracy throws down a hardcore metal sound backed by Steve Gaede’s frenetic guitar riffs and anchored to the stage by Glover & OT’s funk like a junkyard Rottweiler lurching at you through a chain link fence.  Songs like “Fight” and “Ugly” grab you by the throat and shake your soul. A BMD show is an interactive spectacle of sight and sound, one that leaves you exhausted and refreshed at the same time. Because of time restrictions, their set was a bit short, but no less intense as always. This night was a whole lots of bang for your buck! Get out and catch Blackmarket Democracy June 17th at Reggie’s Joint in Chicago.



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