Manic Fever Dream: Drug Church at the Lodge Room
Drug Church brought their US tour to its penultimate stop at The Lodge Room in Highland Park in support of their new album Hygiene. The night was stacked top to bottom with incredible support that brought out an explosive energy from the crowd that continued to snowball until the very end.
Openers LURK started off the night strong, pulling no punches and launching into some heavy hitting tracks and getting the energy set up for the rest of the night. The Chicago outfit had a memorable set in their first LA gig, with personal favorite parts of the set being the high energy psych-inspired “Sterilizer” melting off the faces off many in the crowd and their cover of The Ramones’ “Judy is a Punk” that had me pumped up from the get go. Most of their set featured songs off their latest album Around the Sun which is definitely a must listen after their set. Up next we had Hudson Valley’s own Soul Blind who was on their first full US tour following their newest album Third Chain. Right off the bat the crowd was mesmerized with the heavy and sludgy sound that felt almost like something you would feel in a state of existential dread, and I mean that as the best compliment. The heavy moody riffs along with the dreamlike vocals were a perfect tandem to feel the power behind the music.
Soon after we were treated to One Step Closer’s set that really got the crowd to unload and start to unleash the pure chaos of the night. Almost immediately you can feel the shift in energy within the crowd as limbs started flying everywhere throughout the set. With the band encouraging the crowd to come up and become a part of the chaos you could tell this band is going to build up something special. Sounding very much like a heavier version of an early At the Drive In, these guys absolutely tore through their set and were the perfect setup for the main set of the night.
Once Drug Church stepped foot on stage the venue felt like it was going to blow its lid, with bodies flying from every corner of the stage as they played their hit “Grubby”. Vocalist Patrick Kindlon had the crowd in the palm of his hand after this and wouldn’t let go. With the crowd feeling like a manic fever dream as soon as they went into “Avoidarama” with an all out free for all raging through the pit. The raw energy from the band was permeating throughout the venue as the band encouraged the madness and created the designated war zone for anyone who would dare step into the pit. Being caught up in the pit it was easy to see what makes Drug Church so special, in that they can convey and conjure the insanity of their songs onto their
stage presence and in turn let the fans reciprocate the mayhem. Patrick once again drove the point home before the last three songs of the set, urging the crowd to make sure those to count if they haven’t already conjured up some chaos in the pit.
Immediately after, the band played through classics “Unlicensed Guidance Counselor”, “Unlicensed Hall Monitor” and the much anticipated “Weed Pin”. The crowd absolutely erupted and went nuts, truly getting their money’s worth here, raging for the rest of the set. As if that wasn’t enough though, we got a surprise appearance by Militarie Gun for the craziest performance of their song “Ain’t No Flowers” that tore the place down to close out the show. Drug Church is undoubtedly a band you need to see live ASAP. This was their second to last show before heading out to their tour of the UK with Angel Du$t. After seeing them live, I and many of the audience in attendance will be eagerly awaiting for them to come back.
Words by: Freddy Luna
Photos by: Veronika Reinert