When: Sat., Dec. 31, 10 p.m. 2011
My first encounter with the Brokedowns was ten years ago, when the band I played with in high school shared a bill with them at a skate park in Elgin. What I thought about them then is the exact same thing I think about them now: the Brokedowns are the best at what they do. They play loud, gruff, beer-soaked, midwestern-flavored melodic punk rock, and through the years they've managed to stay catchier than Dillinger Four, way less dramatic than Against Me!, and more talented all around than the Lawrence Arms. Now that three of the four members are fathers and husbands, the band's recorded output has slowed down, but judging by last year's Species Bender (Red Scare Industries) they'll be kicking more ass than their peers for as long as they keep playing together. —Luca Cimarusti Alkaline Trio headlines; the Brokedowns and All Eyes West open.