Lights illuminated the stage, the image from the cover of the newest Knuckle Puck album appeared above the drum kit, and then “Dear Someone” by Gillian Welch started to play.
The five-piece band from Chicago made their way out to the Rickshaw stage to start a set showcasing their new album, Losing What We Love.
The room swayed together as the crowd sang along to “No Good”, shouting the lyrics, “It’s people just like you/who made me the pessimist I am,” at the top of their lungs to singer Joe Taylor’s outstretched microphone.
At one point, the band took a break while Taylor tied his shoes. The musicians made witty banter about how people tie their shoes—“Who does bunny ears out there?”—and that everyone should tie their shoes “in solidarity with Joe.” Taylor’s bandmates reminded him to double-knot his shoes before returning to their set.
Knuckle Puck busted out the title track to their latest album and the audience went off with moshing around the packed room, slowing pace only for the breakdown.
There were a few technical difficulties, which the band covered well with some back and forth between Taylor and singer/guitarist Nick Casasanto—including a story about dealing with Canadian customs involving a single loose orange falling out of the van door during a secondary check. There may have been an issue with the scent of marijuana as Taylor was pulled in for a personal examination.
Next was a surprise for the audience, with Taylor proclaiming that they were going to play a song they rarely performed live. And with that, the opening chords of “Wait” off their album Shapeshifter permeated the room. Taylor got everyone in the mosh pit to jump, and later in the song he led everyone an energetic clap-along.
The group finished their set with “Untitled”—probably the most-played song off their debut album Copacetic. Then “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra waved the band off the stage.