Looking Ahead: Ian's Party


At the risk of overhyping, there’s an event just around the corner that all Chicago music fans need to know about. Some of the greatest performers in Chicago’s underground rock and hip hop scene are gathering for a concert unlike any other. The event is called ‘Ian’s Party’, and if there’s local acts you  feel like you’ve missed in recent memory and need to see, you can probably find them here. The party originally began as a way for Elgin-based The Brokedowns to honor a friend, Ian. It is the opinion of this author that the entirety of Ian’s Party’s team, a volunteer-based one at that, deserves a libation and hearty backslap.

The party extends from Subterranean to the Chop Shop and lasts all weekend, the fifth to the seventh. If you’re unfamiliar with the city, they’re within a block of each other, and in turn within a block of the intersection of North, Damen and Milwaukee. Blue line to Damen! Damen bus to North! North bus to…. Damen! Milwaukee bus to The Crotch! Tickets are still available for the full weekend, as well as Saturday and Sunday up to midnight before the day of the show. $35 for the weekend, $15 a day right now for Saturday. Sunday includes fewer venue spaces (shows will be limited to Subterranean that night) and is therefore only $12 right now. They’re on sale at www.iansparty.com, you should cop em and come out!  


Start at SubT and take in the aural experience of Sherpa, of New Zealand. Following that dance party, leave aforementioned venue and walk in the blistering subzero temperatures to the Chop Shop. Be gentle. Acclimate yourself until 8:43. C.H.E.W. Feel what it is to be alive. Brave the wilderness for Bad History Month, happening back at the Subterranean, downstairs. Longface will follow. Venture back into the tundra to Chop Shop so that you might create new memories and destroy old brain cells with Elgin’s finest, the Brokedowns. They kick ass. They take names. They may have a new album coming out. If “Year of the Hydra” is played there will be jubilant headsmashing in the pit.

Set Picks:

SubT Down:   Sherpa @ 7:20
                      Bad History Month @ 11:31
                      Longface @ 12:12

SubT Up:       Anthony Fremont’s Garden Solutions @ 7:49

Chop Shop:   C.H.E.W. @ 8:43
                     Mykele Deville @ 10:27
                     Vacation Bible School @ 11:11                
                     The Brokedowns @ 12:28


It’s time to step into the night again Saturday. In the new year spirit, take in the new mysterious experience known as Naked, Riding a Lion Made of Fire. The punkers known as Beastii will also perform at Subterranean’s above terranean level. Saturday feels like Ladies’ Night. Celine Neon and the Cell Phones will tear up the stage back to back at the end of the night. Space Blood and Salvation will do the same down below. Canadian Rifle’s twin guitar surgeons will be surgically removing faces, which The Cell Phones will kindly stretch into a smile as they sew them back on.

Set Picks:

SubT Up:       Naked, Riding a Lion Made of Fire @ 7:01
                      Beastii @ 7:39
                      Celine Neon @ 11:44
                      The Cell Phones @ 12:28

Chop Shop:    Avantist @ 8:43
                      Canadian Rifle @ 11:50
                      Sincere Engineer @ 12:28


On this day, Chop Shop will no longer be party to Ian. Instead, earn your steps going upstairs and down in Subterranean, and sometimes taking advantage of the summerlike temperature; an expected low in the 30s. The unique venue situation will allow for one person to plausibly see at least a bit of each set. Head bob to Sadie and the Stark. Nod cosmically to DROOL. Fret about missing some of No Men while seeing Rich Jones, and then go see No Men. Bathe in a Meat Wave. Pump that punk-rock fist until the lactic acid runs through your shoulder. Then pump it some more.

Set Picks:

SubT Down:     Pussy Foot @ 6:14
                        DROOL @ 8:51
                        No Men @ 10:15

SubT Up:         Sadie and the Stark @ 8:00
                        Lil Tits @ 9:15
                        Rich Jones @ 10:05
                        Meat Wave @ 10:49

This show is not to be missed. The lineup is beyond stellar, curated lovingly though still with that touch of sadist’s malice. Across genre and scene boundary lines, the performing groups are all so good that one could nearly second guess each move to a different spot. In basements, attics, DIY and squat spots, hats are tipped to the Party chairpeople for their work on behalf of all of us, the partygoers. Ian for Pres 2020!