I’ve seen great metal in plenty of Chicago venues, but over the past couple years I’ve found myself at Reggie’s more often than any other—and given how frustrating the club’s sound can be, varying from barely tolerable to great depending on where you stand in the room, that says a lot about the quality of the bookings. Reggie’s owes its metal heart to the combined efforts of in-house talent buyer Elle Quintana (who favors old-school thrash and speed metal such as Exciter and Onslaught), MP Shows (which books at Township and Ultra Lounge as well), and Shane Merrill of Empire Productions (who also does some business at Cobra Lounge and was responsible for the Bolt Thrower shows at Reggie’s this month—their first Chicago dates in 22 years). The bands I’ve seen there include—deep breath—Autopsy, Enslaved, Agalloch, Exhumed, Destruction, Hammers of Misfortune, Napalm Death, Inquisition, Vektor, Pallbearer, Arkona, and the Gates of Slumber, plus locals Cianide, the Skull, Lord Mantis, Superchrist, Bones, Macabre, Nachtmystium, Dawnbringer, and Novembers Doom. And I’m looking forward to plenty more.
Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid, and he’s also split two national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and one in in 2020 for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.More by Philip Montoro