The Poster Children Still Sound Good After All These Years

The Poster Children Still Sound Good After All These Years

The Poster Children sounded as good tonight in Schubas Backroom, as they did at the Cabaret Metro in 1991. Their reunion seemed more like a continuation, than an end, of a storied career.

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At the height of their run was a groundbreaking album called Daisychain Reaction. For the 25th Anniversary of this record, they announced a reunion tour. I caught the first of two Chicago shows.

On the night before Thanksgiving, Black Wednesday, my walk through the city was surprisingly quiet. But once inside of Schubas, the noise level was loud, as the ‘Children were rocking.

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Hearing all of these songs some twenty-five years later had my heart fluttering and my face stuck in a perma-grin. “Had it really been that long?” The band played like it was just yesterday. Jim Valentin’s riffs sounded so clear and precise, that I heard new intricacies on opener “Frustration.”

Rick Valentin wrote great songs, e.g., “Cancer,” “Dee,” and “Chain Reaction,” and, live, he still has the pipes to perform these tunes. More of a feat though is to be heard over Matt Friscia’s bombastic drumming, that anchored this whole set.

Rose Marshack is the spark-plug, bouncing around on stage and pummeling the bass. Her biggest asset, though, might be her background vocals.

As I listened now, with a fresh set of ears, a different story unfolded. One where the Poster Children ushered in a new sound of music, as much as Nirvana did.

There; I said it.

In 1991, while Butch Vig was tweaking Nevermind, Steve Albini was cooking up a dish of Daisychain Reaction.

Though Daisychain is more lighthearted than Nevermind at times, it’s still an exemplary showcase of an alternative rock that was about to take hold.

Songs like “Where We Live,” “Water,” and “Space Gun,” start soft and melodic, and then they explode out of the speaker. Heavy hooks with loud chants you can sing.

And we were singing: “Black and white and me,” “One, one into two, two into four, four into, one!” No moshing, but a lot of jumping and head bopping. I was back in high school again for the moment.

They played “Freedom Rock” and it screamed Jane’s Addiction. They played their moneymaker “If You See Kay,” and we screamed with them.

They played my favorite cut off of Daisychain, “Love,” but my favorite song of the night was “He’s My Star,” from Junior Citizen.

“Don’t go out alone or stray too far from home/You know that summer’s here and the coast is clear/The ocean’s not as calm as it appears”

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A slew of 90’s bands owe some sort of semblance to the Poster Children. I left Schubas with a new found respect for this band. I’m glad they will continue to make new music.

 

 

 

 

 

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