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Saturday March 18 2023
 8:00PM doors -- music at 9:00PM
•••  21 AND OVER
$18 in advance / $22 at the door
The Ergs!  [co-headlining]
 pop punk
The Copyrights      [co-headlining]
 punk rock
Pity Party
 emo pop-punk

The Ergs!
-from New Brunswick, NJ
-The Ergs! are an American punk rock band formed in 2000 in South Amboy, NJ, by three high school friends: drummer/lead vocalist, Mikey Erg (Mike Yannich); guitarist/vocalist, Jeff Erg (Jeff Schroeck); and bassist, Joey Erg (Joe Keller). Through touring and recording, The Ergs! became recognized on a national and international level, touring and playing with such noted acts as The Bouncing Souls, Lifetime, Less Than Jake, Descendents, The Loved Ones, The Gaslight Anthem, Dillinger Four, None More Black, The Explosion, Municipal Waste, Lemuria, and more.

The Copyrights
-from Carbondale, IL
-t’s been seven years since The Copyrights released their last album, Report, but the wait is finally over. Ahead of the Carbondale, IL punks’ 20th anniversary in 2022, the four-piece – Adam Fletcher (lead vocals/bass), Brett Hunter (vocals/guitar), Kevin Rotter (vocals/guitar) and Luke McNeil (drums) – have returned with their seventh full-length, Alone In A Dome. Not that you’d know it was the band’s seventh record – across the course of these 12 songs, the band sounds just as vibrant and vigorous, energetic and youthful, as it ever has. Whether that’s because they recorded most of it in the basement of Carbondale’s Lost Cross punk house, where the band was formed all those years ago, is uncertain, but the spirit of that house, of their youth and of the scene in general, is very much alive and kicking for the record’s half hour runtime.
“They started having shows in the basement there in September of 1986,” says Fletcher, “and they’ve been doing it ever since. As far as I know, it’s the longest running punk rock basement venue in America. We literally started the band in that basement and it’s somewhere we’ve been going since we were kids. When Luke and I were in high school, we couldn’t get into bars, so we started going to shows there in the basement, and we’ve consistently been playing there our whole career and our whole lives. We still hang out there and it’s still a part of me, so it was nice to be able to do some stuff at this legendary spot that represents where we come from”
That it’s Fat Wreck Chords who are releasing Alone In A Dome makes where it was recorded all the more significant.
“It’s a cool monumental thing for us and other people in our scene to be able to have an LP that was recorded at our clubhouse make it onto Fat and have this international spotlight on it,” Fletcher says. “I think that’s really cool, because it’s a place that should be celebrated, especially as it’s still around.”

To that extent, Alone In A Dome – which, in the band’s typically DIY style, also sprung to life at Fletcher and McNeil’s home studios – can be seen as a celebration of coming good, of breaking through the barriers of small town life and into the (punk rock) bigtime. It’s about cherishing the things that last, even though nothing ever actually stays the same. And it’s about paying homage to the places and people that defined and shaped you, and holding onto the values that those things instilled in you in a world that’s constantly trying to obliterate them. That’s something perhaps best captured by final song “On Division”, a poignant yet buoyant track homage to the band’s hometown in which past, present and future all exist simultaneously.
“The main road of Carterville, where we’re originally from, is called Division Street,” explains Fletcher. “I don’t know if we’re leaving anything behind, so much as looking forward to the future of still being capable of playing music together and being in a band together, especially now having the support of Fat. That’s literally the dream we had when we were kids, but we come from a place where the opportunity of actually being on Fat, coming from where we come from, was unheard of at that time because Fat wasn’t signing bands from the Midwest at all. We still have our rejection letters from the 90s from Fat Wreck Chords!”

That’s not the only throwback to their home. Throughout their two decades together, The Copyrights have always peppered their records with references to their origins, and this record is no exception. But beyond the lyrics that both celebrate and decry the area that they’re from, there’s also the cover – a dog sitting inside a geodesic dome. Geodesic domes, of course, were invented by Buckminster Fuller, the famous theorist, inventor, architect and academic, who happened to teach at the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. While there, he designed, had built and lived in the world’s first geodesic dome house. His influence is also present within the framework of these songs. In fact, he even makes a cameo at the beginning of “Stuck In The Winter”, the album’s third track.
“We sampled him on beginning of that song,” says Fletcher, “but he wrote a lot of books on how people should prepare for the future and about environmentalism and taking care of other human beings. There are a lot of Buckminster Fuller philosophes in these songs.”

Clearly, then, while these songs are full of the same youthful fervor and emotional catharsis that the band has always offered, they target the head as much as the heart. Opener “Part Of The Landscape” is an infectious rumination on the decline of their hometown, while first single “Halos” is 95 seconds of defiance about not running away from it. Elsewhere, after Buckminster Fuller’s introduction, “Stuck In The Winter” – the band’s fourth and final “season song” – channels melancholy and resignation through a gloomy yet upbeat tune, “Brush Off is a perfect broken-hearted lament, and “Tell Molly” dwells on the past with a sense of desperate urgency. It’s a moving, impassioned song ostensibly about McNeil’s late dog, but which is written in such a way that it can be applied to other situations. It also hints at a deeper tragedy that permeates the mood of these songs.
“During the writing of this record,” explains Fletcher, “Luke was also going through his father passing away. So there’s a lot of life and death topics under the surface of these songs. In the time between Report coming out and this record being made, a lot of life has happened to both Luke and I, whether that be people dying or people being born. There were all these cycles of life going on, and I think had a lot to do with the perspective of what’s going on on the record.”

Ultimately, it all makes this a record that re-solidifies The Copyrights’ status as one of the most exciting bands around today, a band that doesn’t take anything for granted and whose songs are a raw and real expression of their lives. It might have taken a while to get here, but Alone In A Dome is an album well worth the wait.
“We weren’t forcing a record out of ourselves,” says Fletcher. “We could take a step back and try to make everything as good as we could. We didn’t want to just half-ass some songs that don’t work. We didn’t want it to sound stale or boring, and we didn’t want to put out anything unless we knew it was going to be good. All we want is to write good songs and make good records and try to get as many people as possible to hear them and enjoy those songs with us.”

Pity Party
-from Oakland, CA
-PITY PARTY is an emo pop-punk band from Oakland, CA. Categorized by their frenzied, unforgettable live shows and their fierce dedication to DIY and mental health advocacy, Pity Party have been spreading their wild barely-holding-it-together energy across the US since 2014.