Watch Ted Leo’s Chisel, Reunited At Last, Play Their First Show Since 1997
Back before he went solo with his Pharmacists, Ted Leo was the leader of Chisel, a pop-punk power trio who took melodic cues from the mod bands of the UK. Leo is still a cult artist today, and Chisel were a very cult band, but if you knew, you knew. Chisel started in 1990, when Leo and his bandmates were all students at Notre Dame, and they broke up in 1997 after releasing two albums. Last night in Chicago, they played their first live show in 26 years.
This weekend, a whole mess of reunited underground rock greats will descend upon Los Angeles for the Numbero Twenty fest, a big party in honor of the beloved reissue label. Unwound, Codeine, the Hated, Karate, Ida, Everyone Asked About You, Ui, Rex, and Tsunami are all playing, and so are Chisel. Chisel are also sticking around long enough to play a quick tour and to reissue their final album, 1997’s Set You Free. Their return comes just as UK punks band the Chisel are thriving, which is a little confusing, but the two bands have nothing to do with each other. You’ll manage.
Last night, Chisel warmed up for Numero Twenty by playing the Empty Bottle, the great Chicago indie fixture. I’m guessing it wasn’t Chisel’s first time playing that room, since the Empty Bottle has been around since the early ’90s. Someone took videos of the band’s entire set, and they sounded great. Ted Leo obviously knows what he’s doing, and it’s definitely cool to see him sweating hard and locking in with his old bandmates again. Watch the videos from last night’s set below.
Someone else got audio of the entire show, so if you’d rather just listen to it, it’s below.