Face to Face, Smoking Popes | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thu., April 2, 7:30 p.m., Fri., April 3, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., April 4, 7:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $25, $60 three-night pass
Of all the bands associated with the pop-punk explosion of the mid-to-late 90s, Face to Face are the most overlooked and the most unjustly denied of a mainstream breakthrough. Their 1992 debut, Don’t Turn Away, is a winning collection of SoCal skate-punk that showcases an unusual fluency (for its genre) in Husker Du-style melodies. Their second, Big Choice—which eventually found its way to a release on A&M Records—is a spotty transition from the more underground stylings of its predecessor into the blatant attempt at alternative-radio crossover that became their third and best release, 1997’s self-titled album. Face to Face expertly toes the line between alternative radio and the Vans Warped Tour parking lot, thanks to front man Trever Keith’s strong singing and top-notch songwriting. If anything got in the way of Face to Face achieving mainstream success, it was probably their intensity and self-seriousness, which didn’t vibe with the sillier scene bands—like Blink-182 or the Offspring—that were blowing up on MTV and selling millions of albums. They’ll play one album each night for this short three-night stand, giving aging 90s kids a chance to break out chain wallets and thrift-store-bought gas-station-attendant shirts for some good old-fashioned moshing and bellowing. —Tal Rosenberg
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