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Lagwagon’s Two Nights of Blaze and Double Plaidinum

Getting to see a band once is a pleasure, but getting to see them two nights in a row is a double delight. There have been a handful of times that I’ve been able to watch a band two, or more, nights in a row like that. AJJ and Authority Zero are ones I have in the same venues back to back. The Slackers and Crazy & The Brains are two that come to mind that I’ve pulled off in two nights in two different cities. Regardless of whether the shows are a celebration of a band’s chosen album that night or just because I wanted to see them again so soon, it is a blast to do. That leads me to the special occasion once again as Lagwagon did a two day stay at the Rebel Lounge with Red City Radio and the Venomous Pinks.

For these two nights, we had consistency with the Venomous Pinks opening up both unlike the examples above that changed it up each day. However, that doesn’t mean we got the exact same songs, they changed up the list to keep variety for those like me who were there for two.

For the consistent part, they kicked it off with an AFI cover and the songs included the three singles they put out from last year, “Todos Unidos,” “Hold On,” and their Joan Jett cover of “I Want You.” For the rest of the set, the nights varied from “Never Say Never” on one to “Pizza Slice” on the other.

 I’ve said it prior times I’ve written about the Pinks, but I’ll say it again, they look happy up there. They look like family members messing around having fun while playing music. There’s a comradery in their stage presence that just makes it pure joy to watch. It continues to be awesome to see the Venomous Pinks grow bigger and get opportunities like these two nights.

Right in the middle of these shows was the slightly different looking Red City Radio. Of course, we had the always wonderful Garret Dale on the lead vocals and guitar alongside the always smiling Ryan over on the other guitar. Conversely, this marks the first time I’ve seen the new lineup with Derik Envy, once of the band True Rivals, now on bass. If anything, Derek’s flair in how he plays further compliments the performance style they invoke up there.

Additionally, we had one of my favorite people, Josh Lewis of the Bombpops and Murderland, filling in on drums for this tour. Based on how frequently I could look over to see him singing along, I’d suspect Josh was on board for this tour the moment they asked. He was a perfect fit for them.

This is where the difference in Saturday and Sunday’s shows started to be noticed. That is not just because Red City Radio pointed out how polite the crowd was, as they were relatively quiet between songs. You could see it in how on Sunday night more people were jumping over each other to lean in toward Garrett, who himself tends to lean into his guitar and out with his microphone throughout the performance.

They did have variety in the songs from show to show too. A few of those songs in both nights’ sets included songs off their most recent release of Paradise along a couple off the prior SkyTigers EP and other older favorites like “Electricity.” Despite the different crowd energies each night, Red City Radio gave me two killer sets and was excellent with this latest lineup.

Last up, and headlining these two nights, was Lagwagon. They had the biggest difference in the two nights with two different albums making up each night’s setlist. Saturday night we were treated to Blaze in its entirety. This included Joey Cape breaking out the megaphone for “Billy Club” and acoustic guitar for “Billionaire.” On Sunday night, we were treated to Double Plaidinum and then some. That is because it included the additional songs from the album re-issue, “Goodbye” and “Raise A Family.”

Joey Cape pointed out that “To All My Friends” is actually a Christmas song as it takes chords from “Here Comes Santa Clause.” Since learning that, it has turned out that it is very hard to not hear that when I listen to the song. They ended both sets with the same general fan favorites “Violins,” “May 16th”, and “Razor Burn” in the mix.

Of the two nights, the sheer enthusiasm and excitement was much more apparent on Sunday. Although, both nights you had a lot of people jumping forward with each belted lyric sung back to Joey Cape. I was more surprised that the pit didn’t break out until near the end of Saturday’s set. On stage you had a happier Chris Flippin and drunker Joe Raposo on Sunday too.

They joked plenty and looked like they fed on the sold out crowd’s intimacy, crammed right up to the stage at Rebel Lounge. It looked to lend to more of the things shouted being heard, turning into running jokes or mini conversations between songs. The entire experience made for two of the most memorable nights I’ve had watching Lagwagon and this entire lineup.

Night 1: Blaze

Night 2: Double Plaidinum

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