Best of Springfield 2018: Shows


We are already three days into 2019, we better get to posting the results for our 2018 Best of Series! We were holding off a few days to have our posts coincide with the release of the January issue of Activator Magazine – which is hitting the press right about now! We’ll be posting the results of our series in four separate parts over the next four days. This starts today with your voted best Springfield shows of 2018! We’ll also be on air for a special episode of The Black Sheep Radio Show, er… The Dumb Records Radio Show tomorrow to highlight finalists. Write-ups for each finalist are done by different local musicians or members of the Springfield community. Thanks to all who contributed to the project!

*Side note – we took the votes for this poll towards the beginning of December (of course before a lot of the Black Sheep final shows had happened). The final shows of our beloved venue The Black Sheep Cafe will remain in our heart forever.

Here we go:

1. Dumb Fest 6 (June 8, 9, 10, various locations)
Punk rock saved my life, Dumb Fest changed it. If you, who ever you are reading this, have ever wanted to go to a punk show. Do it. You won’t regret it. My band has four members, all from different small towns, all the “weird” ones from our schools. Punk gave me a place to be a freak unapologetically. I carried cymbals to a tunnel for a super secret underground show the first night, moshed with a first generation punk. The second day my band played in Skank Skates, while people jumped off the ramps. The first two days were indescribable, I met, talked to and moshed with so many people of different ages and backgrounds who were all punk in their own right. The third day was chill, it was at the capital building, I ate ice cream. Black sheep always felt like a second home but dumbfest showed me that all the values of punk and sense of community went far past our local scene, something I will forever be thankful for. -Bryce Bushnell (No Cash Value)

2. Downhome Music Fest 2018 July 27th, 28th (downtown Springfield)
In it’s 8th year, the Downhome Music Fest delivered once again as a celebration of local original music, and craft beer if you’re into that kind of thing. This 2 day festival had downtown Springfield reverberating with a variety of local favorites, and on a personal note I asked Jess to marry me during the Looming set and she said YES! -Brandon Carnes (Looming)

3. Radar, The Complaint Line, Attic Salt @ Bar None, May 25
Let’s start with some basic ground rules. 1) Music isn’t a competition, except when it is.  2) When you’re on stage, your job is to be the best YOU in that moment. Give it everything and walk away. 3) Once on stage, attendance is irrelevant. You play the same show for two that you would for two hundred. If they show up, they deserve your best. 4) The other bands on the bill should be so good that no one wants to follow them. And when it’s your turn thank them all for the challenge and play like you deserve to be there. The first time I heard Attic Salt I knew they were special. Great songs, tight playing, big hooks, energetic, fun. The same foundational elements that are important to my own band. I knew right away we needed to play together. We met Radar a few months prior to this at Meltdown Creative Works in Bloomington. They were incredible. Big riffs, big melodies, great energy. During their intense high energy set Charlie, the singer/guitar player, broke a string and played the rest of the show with one of our guitars. So, when this show came together I knew we had something great. Attic Salt opened up and set the bar high. They had just come off a short tour and were in great form. Every cog in their machine aligned to highlight their strong harmonies and memorable songs. Radar came on next and accepted the challenge bringing riffs and feedback to the table. A wall of sound with sing-a-long choruses and danceable beats. 
Finally, it was our turn. We were given the task of closing down this incredible night of music. Realizing that it’s “uncool” to write your own positive reviews you’ll have to ask someone else if we lived up to the high standards set by Attic Salt and Radar. All I can say is… we followed the rules. Big thanks to everyone that voted this show onto the list. We really appreciate it and hope to see you at many more shows in the future. -Shawna (The Complaint Line)

4. Legacy of Giving Music Festival June 8-9 (downtown Springfield)
The Legacy of Giving (LoG) Fest, picking up from SOHO Music Fest, is a unique tradition in Springfield bringing together 60 bands on 5 stages over 2 days. The goal is to showcase a diverse lineup at a low cost to draw attention and donations to the 10 charities selected each year. As the fest has grown it has expanded with LoG Fest 2018 including artists, vendors, food trucks and games in addition to the all of the music. Bands participating in the fest get the positive feeling that comes from donating time to a good cause while also getting an opportunity to play for hundreds of people on the streets of Downtown Springfield. As a member of one of the bands I have been tasked with summarizing my experience for any of you that may have missed out. So here it goes. We all arrived behind the main stage on 5th street a couple of hours before our set time. We checked in and immediately ran into Sunshine Daydream as they wrapped their set. The Chris Sorenson Project started up on the smaller side stage while Sunshine Daydream broke down and made room for the next main stage band. We would set up after CSP’s set and this pattern would continue into the night as it had done earlier in the day and the night before. Around the corner on Washington Street there were two other stages doing the same back and fourth while the Old State Capital building held a fifth acoustic stage. While we were setting up on the side stage the band on the main stage seemed to be playing a mix of gospel and funk jams. I kind of wanted to join in but this seemed like bad form. Once they finished we launched into our set with a quick “Now for something completely different…” and the sonic pop whirlwind that is The Complaint Line was off and running. 30 minutes later it was all over and we quickly moved our gear off stage to join the crowd. Some wonderful people came over to hang out with us as we ate food, drank the drinks and walked around catching several other bands. In short, LoG Fest 2018: Good music. Good cause. Good times. -John Phillips (The Complaint Line)

5. Smoking Popes, Amuse at Bar None (11-3)
I’ve been going to concerts in this town since the mid-90’s. This one was special. There had been occasional whispers about getting The Smoking Popes to come here over all of these years but it just never happened. It was definitely worth the wait. They played a lot of classic Popes singalongs and revealed a handful of new ones that, by the end of each one, I was somehow singing along to. After the show, I started to ask my friends what their top 3 all time shows at Bar None were. This one landed on everyone’s list. Without a doubt one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced in the capital city. -Robbie Kording (The Timmys)

6. Wolf Crick CD Release at Buckhart Tavern 7-29

7. Black Sheep Halloween Show 10-31 (Black Sheep)
I had a great time at the Black Sheep Halloween Show here some of the video I got when I was there chili fan’s! Here from the aftermath of the pumpkin smashing it was a mess the clean up went fast with the guys very fun night chili fan’s!!! I got record player headphones and a kiss record for free from Brian the owner of the store called dumb records amazing guy glade to meet him it was a fun night chili fan’s!!! -Jon Scoggin (Chili Bowl Mullet Man)

8. Black Sheep Band Lotto (11-16)
I was really nervous for this, no lie! It was pretty tight, I enjoyed it. I didn’t know there was a lot of people that were going to be there, haha! The whole night was pretty cool. There were a few bands I really enjoyed – the one with Phil Wrath – their set was pretty cool, I liked that a lot. I was just really nervous for Eggman! I stuck to my word about people, I do care a lot about people and I gave a speech because I want to tell people that I’m here no matter what and I’m here to support them! I’ve been around this space for a long time and I respect everyone and Black Sheep and I really enjoy the Band Lotto. -Devon Fluelen (Eggman)

9. The Shadows of Knight at Black Sheep (10-21)
Shadows of Knight write-up: On October 20th, Jimy Sohn & his band, the Shadows of Knight, played a garage-a-rific show at the Black Sheep Cafe, with numerous luminaries in attendance, including the Mayor of our fair city. The band, including amazing guitarist, Michael Weber, plowed through a variety of tunes, from Chicago-style blues, such as “Got My Mojo Workin’”, to rockabilly classics, covering “C’mon Everybody”, to 60’s psych & garage rock hits, including their version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria”. The band, with Weber often taking a lead role, was sharp, entertaining, & very obviously enjoying their work. Sohn, openly telling the crowd of a recent major medical issue, kept up with the younger members of the band with gusto. Opening acts Tom Irwin, who played cuts from his latest release, “All That Love”, and Rockford did not disappoint, providing the right balance for the diverse crowd of music lovers. -John Michael Combs (The Elf Shelf)

10. Warm Bodies, Prowess at Jim’s Garage (7-28)
It was a breezy evening in late July. The moon was full. Uncle Jim’s garage was littered with people loading in equipment, smoking cigarettes, chatting and making merry. The multiple levels of the garage, all exposed to the center stage, showed people lounging while waiting for the show to begin. It was a quick one!! Local band Prowess played an excellent set, followed by Warm Bodies from Kansas City. Skateboarders zoomed about, people wiggled and waggled and jumped and hooted and hollered. It was fun and uncle Jim was in bed but I know he was smiling in his sleep because Uncle Jim loves punk and we all did too. Thanks uncle Jim for letting us use your garage, that was a great show on a beautiful evening and I am glad I was there. The end. -Clare Frachey (Black Sheep, Spell Breaker)

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