(Live Review) ORTHODOX + SUPPORT - The Beat Kitchen, Chicago (8/2/23)
By The Beard & Little Johnny
Tonight, the Beard and Little Johnny are headed into Chicago, specifically The Beat Kitchen, (a smaller club that we seldom get to).
This evening we are back to Little Johnny music as we hit yet another milestone on our The Reviews Never Stop Tour 2023, with stop #41, and bands #196-200. Yes indeed, 200 bands reviewed and its only August.
This evening’s fare is headlined by Nashville’s nu-metal hardcore band Orthodox, with support from Momentum, Chamber, Cell, and Dayz Lost.
Johnny is excited to once again eschew a chair in return for his usual stage front chicanery. The Beard, as always, looked for a place to huddle away from possible mosh pits, but this is a tiny room, and the crowd is clearly 95% Pierced Tattooed Little Johnny’s. So, duck and cover is the only valid plan.
First on the stage were Indiana hardcore act.
The first song started, and the pits exploded. Hardcore is a different moshing style from basic thrash, or even death. Apparently instead of circle pits, you spin around with your arms flailing and occasionally throwing some roundhouse kicks. Fortunately, we weren’t packed yet and the Beard bailed to the wall immediately after being crushed by an out-of-control whirling dervish.
As for the music itself, semi-clear vocals, but definitely this is hardcore music. Really, I have little idea what they are singing about but everyone seems on the verge of pissed off in a “release your tensions” kind of way. By the end of the first couple songs, the Beard got slammed multiple times, so I am even further back now. Johnny on the other hand is completely at home in this environment.
After one song, the Dayz Lost singer said “Hey, don’t mosh by that gear.” (Pointing at where the next band’s stuff was), “You all can’t afford to replace it, I see the type of shoes you all are wearing.”
Funny and true.
An okay opener considering hardcore isn’t really my thing. The music was average, but they worked hard for twenty minutes. 77/100
Next up, from Oklahoma City were ...
Another hardcore thrash/mosh-fest. The Beard is trying to stick and move while Little Johnny is slamming everything in sight. This band, musically, was better and even more highly animated with headbanging and kung fu kicks from the guitarist. The singer’s voice was similar in style and lyrical substance to Dayz Lost, but since Cell was a bit better, I’m awarding 79/100
Next to take the stage. Nashville based metalcore ...
This was an even faster band. They seemed to have no clear vocals, but they were definitely the most mosh based so far if you take crowd participation into it. Ducking, moving and still occasionally getting slammed, the Beard continued trying to take notes, get photos, and shoot video. No way to avoid being in the mix in this room tonight.
This was my favorite musically thus far, but my least favorite vocalist.
Fourth on the stage, LA metal hardcore ...
These guys bring it. Damn that crowd got intense.
The singer is big and lets it all out. Music was a mix of fast and slow, but all hardcore. The Beard has been slammed more tonight than the rest of the year combined. Boss, I need a combat pay rider on my contract next season lol. (Ed: Maybe more classic rock assignments for you, instead!) This is Johnny’s world, I’m an old man these days. I don’t know how Johnny does this shit every show.
Momentum was damn good though. As long as I was out of the line of fire, I had a good time listening to them and watching the chaos. 86/100
If headliners Orthodox are any more intense, I may not survive. The audience is a blur of Bruce Lee kicking, air punching acrobatics across the floor. How nobody gets knocked out is amazing. I did see one guy catch a kick and yes, he went right down. Fairness to the crowd, they cleared and made sure he got back up again.
Little Johnny walked by with a bruise on his chest and a smile on his face. Damn he loves this stuff.
Orthodox are straight edge hardcore.
Straight edge means no drinking & no drugs, but they are still hardcore fucking crazy with the way they play their music. Lots of jumping, moshing, circle pits and flying horns. Johnny was having the absolute best time in months. Little dude even got to jump on stage and fly headfirst off into the audience. He motioned to me to head up there and I let him know that wasn’t going to happen, but that indeed he was still number one in my heart. (I may have used the wrong finger to convey that message).
Singing, for Orthodox was semi clear. Musically they were as strong as any other band tonight.
Personally, the Beard still liked Momentum a bit more, but in terms of audience engagement, Orthodox got the best response. Their song "Body and Soul" was intense. I absolutely tried to melt right into the wall while bodies flew all around me.
That wraps up event #41 and bands #196-200.
Little Johnny needs to be thrown directly into the washing machine when we get home, however he is one grinning, sweating, shirtless, cap wearing clown. Once the show had ended, he ran up and bro hugged me saying “Thanks Beard. I needed this kind of show.” I replied, “Johnny, you smell like an armpit. Windows stay open all the way home tonight.” Still, I am glad the little dude had a great time.
So, until we ride again, remember to follow us each week on the best site for metal, The Mighty Decibel. Check our reviews, stories, interviews, and all sorts of great Chris Tighe feature podcasts, then check our all The Beards videos by going to TIKTOK and searching Thebeard0728, or #thebeardandlittlejohnny.
Until next time:
Stay Heavy &