The Dictators NYC brought the savage beat to Reggie’s in Chicago this past Friday for the first time since 2003. Fans from all over the Cheese Belt gathered to hear the awesome roar, and the band did not disappoint.
Considering how frazzled the band members were from dealing with van problems that almost derailed the gig, it would have been within their rights to not have had their “A” game going. Instead, we got a smoking performance from a band that seemed to be rejuvenated once they hit the stage and heard the roar of the lights and the smell of the crowd.
Half of the fun this night came from watching HDM and Dean get jiggy with it. Some of their Solid Gold moments were their tango during “Faster and Louder,” the modified Temptations march from “Get Ready” during “I Stand Tall,” and Dean’s shaking of his money-maker during “Baby Let’s Twist.”
“I Stand Tall” has become the centerpiece of the set, and speaks for the band and audience alike. New or old, young punk or old fart, newbie or Dic-head, we stood shoulder to shoulder and bellowed out the chorus as if our lives depended upon it. Which they probably did.
We’ve seen the guys in a lot of dives over the years. Reggie’s was most definitely not one of them. With excellent sound and sight lines for 2 stages, an attached restaurant (free BBQ until 7 pm!!), a record store, a roof deck, and a huge balcony with overstuffed chairs, this place had everything except an in-house masseuse.
HDM took great glee in leading the crowd in a rousing version of “Boston Suxxs.” It’s nice to see that the tune has cross-over appeal outside of NYC, but it’s still cheeky coming from a guy whose team’s second order of business come October 1st, right after making tee times, will be to have the Red Sox cleat marks surgically removed from their necks. And to all the Chi-town fans that lustily joined in — brothers, PLEASE. With both of your teams in last place, you have no business talking smack to anyone. Count your blessings that you’re not getting dropped to Triple A next season.
1 The Party Starts Now
2 Next Big Thing
3 Avenue A
4 Savage Beat
5 Who Will Save R+R
6 I Stand Tall
7 Slow Death
10 Stay With Me
Two Tub Man
Kick Out the Jams
— Salvi C.