Chiodos @ Irving Plaza

MANHATTAN, NY—The original members of the post-hardcore band Chiodos came together in 2001 under the name The Chiodos Brothers during their high school years in Davison, Michigan. The band’s name was a tribute to filmmakers Stephen, Charles, and Edward Chiodo, responsible for the film Killer Klowns From Outer Space. The Chiodos Brothers debuted at the Flint Local 432, an all-ages music venue in downtown Flint, and recorded three EPs. The band shortened its name to Chiodos with its first album, All’s Well That Ends Well, in 2005. Chiodos changed their lineup a few times, but most of the original band reunited in 2012. The group presently consists of returning vocalist Craig Owens, new lead guitarist Thomas Erak, keyboardist Bradley Bell, rhythm guitarist Pat McManaman, bassist Matt Goddard and returning drummer Derrick Frost. Chiodos released its fourth album, Devil, on April 1, 2014.

Chiodos concluded its Devil’s Dance Tour at Irving Plaza on May 21, and found plenty of fans enthused to see the reunited band. Owens made the most of the renewed attention he received. He spoke with the audience between most songs, pretty much repeating the same messages, about how awesome the audience was and, even more often, “I am going to ask you just one more time, lift your hands in the air.” Rather than relying on its back catalogue, Chiodos introduced songs from its newest album as well, starting with the album’s first single, “Ole Fishlips Is Dead Now.” The band continued the rampage on “The Undertaker’s Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable” and other songs, and slowed the pace with “A Letter From Janelle.”

Chiodos alternated between new songs and old, soon playing another new song, “We’re Talking About Practice.” Several songs, including “3 AM,” showed a more melodic side. Perhaps the weakest part of the show, however, was that it was all Owens. He sang and screamed well into the high notes rather than sticking with the guttural growls of many similar bands. He persuaded the audience to chant, “I, I f**ing hate you” (“let me be your therapist,” he explained by way of introduction) before and during “Expensive Conversations In Cheap Motels.” The balance was off, however. Several interesting arrangements stood out for a few moments here and there, but except for a short guitar blast or keyboard fill, the talents of the individual musicians were seldom spotlighted, to the point where it appeared that not much was happening instrumentally beyond backing up the frontman. Chiodos put on a good show but failed to demonstrate that first and foremost Chiodos are a band.


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