I went and saw Chicago’s own the Tossers at El Corazon last night. This was the smallest crowd I’ve ever seen there. Several of the bands had 7 members (due to banjos, tin whistles, and the like) so I’d guess there were 30 band members and maybe 50 paying attendees at most. The show was also overbooked, with four opening bands. These ranged from terrible to pretty good. The best of the openers was Secret Agent Bill, whose penchant for mockery was right up my alley. Their song about teenagers in black eyeliner, “Only Trent Would Understand”, was a riot.
The Tossers finally came on about 11 and despite the late hour and small crowd, they put on an enthusiastic performance. They are another of the Irish punk bands, mining territory similar to contemporaries like the Skels and Flogging Molly. So basically, if you like the Pogues, you’d probably enjoy the Tossers. Unlike some of the opening acts, the band was tight and all their elements worked in harmony. Amusingly, because this was an all ages show, no alcohol was allowed on stage. Since nearly every Tossers song was about alcohol in one way or another, this made the band sad. The singer kept hoisting up an empty glass to toast the crowd. Later someone gave him a big bottle of cranberry juice. I’ve never seen someone so sad about having to drink juice.
Overall, a decent show. Since there were too many bands though, at midnight the club just flipped on the lights and kicked everyone out. The Tossers didn’t get a chance to finish their set or do any encores, it was just suddenly over. I’d gladly have seen one less opener so they could have done a full set.