Lucky Boys Confusion: Soundtrack of the Midwest

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“Thank you for letting us pretend to be rock stars for a night.” – Stubhy Pandav, singer of Lucky Boys Confusion

Chicago is known for being a hub for the punk scene, having been the home to bands like Fall Out Boy and Rise Against. But those bands don’t have a connection to Chicago itself; they’re a national brand. It requires a unique sound to associate any band specifically with a city and Chicago is lucky enough to have one in the form of Lucky Boys Confusion.

Lucky Boys Confusion is both Chicago’s greatest secret and arguably the most beloved band in the city. This is a band that never made a big splash nationally but is nothing short of hometown heroes in the Midwest.

The makeup of the band has all of the ingredients of perfection – masterfully written, frantic pop punk, relatable lyrics telling the stories of parties and heartbreak and subtle influences from rap, ska and reggae thrown in at odd intervals to keep the listener on their toes. Songs like “Fred Astaire”, “Hey Driver” and “Do You Miss Me (Killians) Gutierrez” are stadium shattering anthems comparable to the energy that Green Day emits onstage.

I moved to Chicago six months ago, and although the band has been relatively quiet over the last few years, there’s one thing I have noticed: everyone with any interest in the punk scene knows who this band is. Everyone that I’ve met has a collection of their concert tickets, their CD’s are in something of a constant rotation and everyone’s older brother passed the band down to them.

With a small tour capacity, LBC quietly conquer the scenes of Milwaukee, St. Louis, Iowa City and Chicago when they’re in town. It’s a weird thing to see a band perform when they’ve more or less retired their group and gone on to other projects.

Oftentimes, songs lose their passion after so many years, especially if the band has been inactive. It can feel like you’re seeing a cover band attempt to hit the spark that drew you to the song in the first place. But after the release of their most recent record (and most likely last) in 2009, their shows have grown tighter and the heart of the music is still raging. I’ve managed to see them play almost yearly when the odd show crops up, and almost every time, the venue has been sold out, especially at the House of Blues.

What is genuine about the band is how quiet the buzz surrounding them appears to be. They don’t do any major touring and play as a side project to not only the other projects that the band members have moved on to, but steady day jobs as well. Despite this though, the groundswell of fans who come to the shows keeps LBC coming back to play again and again. This is a band that exists to please their fans and to keep the sound of a city alive.

It always sounds cliché to say it’s a travesty to the scene when a band doesn’t make it big, but the case of Lucky Boys Confusion is a double edged sword. While it seems a travesty that the band never became the household name that they should’ve, what came of it is a band with a relationship to their fan base that is unparalleled. There’s an amount of love and reminiscent wonder to the group akin to remembering your first Disney movie (if your first Disney movie’s theme was about drinking and marijuana).

If you’ve never listened to Lucky Boys Confusion over the last fifteen years, you’re missing out on one of the most individual sounds to come out of Chicago. But what they missed out on in a mainstream vein of the scene, they’ve more than made up for in a loyal allegiance of the city and surrounding region. In the end, that’s what punk was made for.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.

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Comments

  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!

    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a very good read.

    Thanks for sharing!

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