No one has overstated how crucial Naked Raygun
was to the development of a nationally important underground music scene in Chicago—and that’s because it’s not really possible to do so. They put out fantastic records (1985’s Throb Throb
and 1986’s All Rise
seem particularly immune to the passage of time), they donated members to Big Black and Pegboy, and they left a huge mark on everything that came after them. Since Naked Raygun’s 2006 reunion to headline Riot Fest, festival promoter Mike Petryshyn has been a huge booster—he released the 2007 DVD What Poor Gods We Do Make
, and for three years running his Riot Fest label put out a tantalizing annual seven-inch from the band. But you’ll have to go to Denver to see them at a Riot Fest this year—these shows are all about honoring another old friend, Metro, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. If Naked Raygun’s power is what finally brings that creaky old theater down on everyone’s heads, well, there are worse ways to go. Naked Raygun also plays on Sat 6/29
. —Monica Kendrick The Zero Boys, and the Crombies open.