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Review: 16 Years Of Lucky Boys Confusion. 10 Years Of ‘Commitment.’

“Don’t know how much time I got to spend right here. I’ve been avoiding but it’s time to face my fear. Looks like this episode should end, and I’ll miss my friends.”

Almost exactly 50 minutes into Lucky Boys Confusion’s reunion show, celebrating the 10th Year Anniversary of their most successful album, Commitment, the band emerged onto the stage and opened the second half of their set with “City Lights.” The lyrics seemed oddly revealing.

The Chicago House of Blues was filled to capacity when an hour earlier, the curtain slowly rose and the band began a journey that lead singer Kaustubh Pandav, who most refer to as Stubhy, would refer to after the show as “the hardest thing we’ve ever done.”

Released in 2003, Commitment opens with a short reggae inspired prelude before transitioning directly into “Hey Driver,” the first and most successful single the band had ever enjoyed.

In a crowd made up of mostly Chicago natives, the lyrics to each song from the album flowed off the tongue like the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. After all, this band represents the city through and through. Established in 1997 in the towns surrounding Chicago, the cities blood flows through each members veins.

Starting in 2006, the band went on hiatus, promising to continue playing occasional shows in Chicago. They now perform only sporadic gigs throughout the year, spending most of their time at day jobs. It’s odd to share that in common with musicians playing a venue full of screaming fans. Come Monday, the entire building, artists included, would be back at work.

From heartfelt anthems like “Mr. Wilmington” to raucous pop songs like “Something To Believe” the album was performed in its entirety like only the original band could. To pure perfection. Original is a tough word for Lucky Boys Confusion these days. One of the bands founding members, Joe Sell, was found dead in May of 2012. While a cause of death was never released, he was found surrounded by drug paraphernalia and was known to have overcome drug and alcohol addictions.

Following the final songs of the album “Medicine and Gasoline” and “Champions” Stubhy returned to the stage and spoke candidly to the crowd. He addressed the lack of their original guitarist saying “This is what Joe would want us to do.” He didn’t hide his emotions.

Once all 16 songs of “Commitment” were complete, the rest of the catalog began to open up. From “Bossman” to “Cigarettes,” each song was met with wild cheers. As the show began to wind down, Stubhy made one final note. “This is the longest set we’ve played in a long time…” At this point they had been on stage for about an hour and a half. For some bands this is just the warmup portion of their show. But for a group of guys with real world jobs, families and responsibilities, the ability to get away from it all and spend a few hours on stage is the ultimate luxury.

The lyrics to “City Lights” stuck in my head for hours after the show. A band that doesn’t spend much time playing live gigs at this point in their lives and for whom missing a friend takes on new meaning, the song seemed to sum up the night, the way only the perfect Lucky Boys Confusion lyrics could.

“Don’t know how much time I got to spend right here. I’ve been avoiding but it’s time to face my fear. Looks like this episode should end, and I’ll miss my friends.”

It was a great night and one that no person in that room will ever forget.


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