On Fireworks’ CD Release tour they came to the Beat Kitchen in Chicago. With them also came , Mixtapes. You can check our our review after the break.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had the privilege of attending a true pop-punk show. There is absolutely nothing that beats the passion and dedication of both the fans and musicians in this scene. As I arrived at Beat Kitchen for the Fireworks/Mixtapes/Stay Golden show, I knew that I’d be in for a packed house full of sweaty guys and girls, tons of mosh pits and numerous crowd surfers. Beat Kitchen is one of my favorite venues in Chicago thanks to the great sound and their laid back attitude toward moshing, crowd surfing and stage diving. With only two days left of Fireworks’ record release tour with Mixtapes, I was certain both bands would be firing on all cylinders and putting on great performances.
After the local pop-punkers Stay Golden kicked off the show with tons of energy, next up was the Ohio-based Mixtapes. As soon as they took the stage, the band started cracking jokes and making everyone in the audience laugh with their on-stage banter that included an impromptu cover of Kid Cudi’s “Soundtrack to My Life” by guitarist/vocalist Ryan Rockwell. They officially started their set with crowd-favorite “Sunrise.” The thing that I enjoy most about Mixtapes is the male/female harmonies provided by Rockwell and stage right guitarist and vocalist Maura Weaver, and they certainly pull it off live very well. The band’s songs are short and sweet, filled with tons of energy and tongue in cheek lyrics. As their set went on, so did the between-song jokes and conversations with the crowd which added to the already rock solid set. Their set consisted of songs from all their releases and was thoroughly entertaining.
Headlining the show was Detroit’s Fireworks, supporting the recently released full-length Gospel. These road warriors have earned the reputation of having an absolutely killer live show and on this night at Beat Kitchen they lived up to that reputation. The set started with the opening track of Gospel, “Arrows” and the audience went absolutely nuts, singing every word back to vocalist David Mackinder. Throughout the set Mackinder brought his A-game, sounding close to perfect while sweating his ass off and commanding the stage with every move. Guitarists Brett Jones and Chris Mojan were spot on even throughout even though Mojan ran into some difficulties with broken guitar strings on two of his axes. As the fivesome moved through their set of both old and new songs it became apparent that bassist Kyle O’Neil and drummer Tymm Rengers are one of the best rhythm sections in the genre currently providing the perfect pace for the audience to offer up crowd surfers and stage divers constantly through the set. The band thanked the attendees more than a few times, describing how great Chicago has been to them over the years. After witnessing their show firsthand it’s clear to see why people keep coming back and the bands popularity keeps going. The set ended with Fireworks’ hometown anthem “Detroit” in which the singing crowd was almost louder than Mackinder’s vocals. Fireworks should definitely be on the “must-see” list for any fan of the pop-punk genre as they continue to grow in popularity thanks to amazing songs and an extremely high-energy live show.
Information about the review…
Tour: Fireworks CD Release Tour feat Mixtapes
Bands: Fireworks (Triple Crown Records) and Mixtapes
Date: June 20, 2011
Venue: Beat Kitchen in Chicago, IL