Concert Review: The Chats, The Bronx, October 20, Phoenix Concert Theatre


Punk is all about energy and attitude, both of which The Chats seem to have in excess.

The Australian band first made a name for themselves on the back of their viral hit “Smoko” and are currently on tour behind their second album, the excellently titled Get Fucked, released back in August of this year. That tour brought them to The Phoenix this past Thursday where the band played to a sold out crowd alongside The Bronx, Drug Church and Scowl.

As i said, the band has a lot of energy and attitude, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, there is sometimes such a thing as too much of a good thing. I’m not knocking the band at all, but with what seemed like nearly 30 songs squeezed into a set that lasted maybe 50ish minutes, The Chats’ set did seem a touch too long for my taste. Unless you’re Guided By Voices, I don’t really need to see that volume of songs from any band. But I do get that they were basically playing a co-headlining set alongside The Bronx, so fans might have felt a little cheated if they got too short of a set. And while I might have been satisfied with trimming a song or two (or ten) off their setlist, the hardcore Chats fans next to me who were shouting along with most of the songs probably would have been cool if they even squeezed in a few more.

While their set was just a bit too long for my taste, this is not to say that The Chats in any way put on a bad show. It was a lot of fun and there’s definitely a lot to like about this band. Songs like “6LGTR”, “I’ve Been Drunk in Every Pub in Brisbane” and “Temperature” were a lot of fun live and “Smoko” was of course a highlight. Another highlight came in the form of their cover of KISS’s “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which in their hands sounded like a standard Chats song. This is also a good thing.

And while we’re on the topic of cover songs, the band ended off their set with “Pub Feed” which, oddly enough, was covered by The Wiggles earlier this year after The Chats covered a song by The Wiggles. I’m not sure who it was who proposed such a thing, but it’s a pretty cool musical crossover. Weird, but pretty cool. I assume that for Australians, having The Wiggles cover your song is like their equivalent of getting knighted or something.

The Chats may combine youthful energy with an old school punk vibe, but their tourmates The Bronx are pretty much just old school by this point in their career. After 20 years in the game, the L.A.-based band have absolutely honed their chops over the years and know how to put on a show. Singer Matt Caughthran’s got an impressive set of lungs while drummer Joey Castillo hits hard, propelling the band though a solid set of hard hitting punk with a dirty rock n’ roll edge.

Caughthran proved to be not only an engaging frontman, but also one who’s quick with a witty quip, as evidenced by the moment late in the show when he ventured into the crowd, commenting, “The night is dark and full of terrors. And the floor is slippery and full of beer.”

I guess a beer soaked floor is one sign that you’re at a show where the crowd is having a good time. At least let’s hope it was beer …

Posted on by Paul in Concerts