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If you have photos from this show write us at fugazilive[at]dischord.com .

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By: gunter habets 4 months ago

While Fugazi would include the city of Chicago to their tour itinerary on 9 different occasions between 1988 and 2001, sometimes even playing back to back shows at the Oak Theatre (May 1993) or, later on, at the Congress Theater (May 1998 and June 2001), they would play the Aragon Ballroom just one time, and from what I gather, things did not go off without a hitch.

Interestingly, in a March 18, 2009 interview by Mark Prindle for Rebel Noise, Ian MacKaye recalls:

“[...] we played at this place called I think the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and at that time there was these 'T' barricades. Are you familiar with that? It was a giant room that held 5,000 people, and the barricade was shaped like a 'T,' so you had the horizontal bit in front of the stage, but then right in the middle there was a barricade that goes straight down dividing the 'pit,' so to speak -- or the 'crowd,' if you prefer -- into two. But then you had to bring in even more security people to be in the middle slot. And we argued and argued about it, but the fix was in. The security people were connected, insurance rates drove up costs, and everything was just creating this insane confluence of things that jacked the cost of the show higher and higher and higher. I couldn't get them to waive it, so finally I said that I insisted that we include in the budget 100 balloons and a can of helium. And the guy was like, "What? What are you talking about!?" And I said, "If you're gonna have such a draconian set-up, and since when people are entering the room that's the first thing they'll see, it sets a contrary tone. So as a form of protest and an absurdity, I would like to soften it by having balloons tied to it all the way around." They did it! But I was just spitting in the wind, because that night we just got banged. We had 3900 people at that show, and we made less than the guy that drove the forklift. That's the risk we took by working percentages.”

(...)

By: gunter habets 4 months ago

(...)

Still, even if it turned out to be a mere one-off experience, the history of the Aragon and history of the band are now forever intertwined, for better or for worse.

According to Wikipedia, “[c]onstruction [of the venue] was completed in 1926. The Aragon was designed in the Moorish architectural style, with the interior resembling a Spanish village. Named for a region of Spain, the Aragon was an immediate success and remained a popular Chicago attraction [...].”

And from the looks of it, this place is massive. The architectural layout might explain why the band pretty much came out swinging, firing on all cylinders, and steamrolling their audience.

As a result, this recording and entry in the live series surely is an interesting one, and one well-worth visiting, in spite of just a handful of small drawbacks, such as minimal cuts in between songs, some low end rumble, or Joe (very unusually) being out of sync for a couple of bars during an otherwise crushing version of Public Witness Program.

Two Beats Off surely is a highlight here, as are Brendan’s rim clicks closing out Sweet and Low and the set.

For a more in-depth review of the performance, I will refer to the words below by Antti Väärälä.

By: Antti V 10 months ago

"The stars are really out tonight."

Fugazi back in Chicago, touring the brand new In On The Killtaker album. This time they hit the historic Aragon Ballroom, having played two back to back shows at the city's  Oak Theatre a few months prior at the tail end of their spring 1993 tour of the US. Aragon tends to get a bad rap for it's acoustics, and admittedly the sound of this recording feels somewhat boomy and a tad out of balance, quite possibly because of the room's characteristics. I would still rate the sound as very good, because nothing feels unpleasant, and all the elements are audible and distinct.

Now for the show itself. Don't think the crowd's enthusiasm would be diminished because of the two big Oak Theatre shows just a little while back. In fact, the audience welcomes the band with open arms and there's a great atmosphere right from the start. Ian opens the show with funny remarks about the stage height, urges people to refrain from crowd surfing, and off we go into the anthemic Smallpox Champion.

The band is on a hot streak to say the least. The initial flow is filled with fiery performances, my highlights being the absolutely stunning duo of Facet Squared and Walken's Syndrome. Still, I gotta give big credit to how the flow goes from Merchandise to a surprisingly early appearance of Blueprint. This genious move does wonders to really lift the atmosphere through the roof.

Instrument and Rend It form an intense and heavy pair, as both Ian and Guy hold nothing back in their respective performances. The mid-set classics follow in the same vein, with Waiting Room being one of the hardest rocking versions of the song I've heard so far.
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By: Antti V 10 months ago

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The list of red-hot performances could go on and on. But I have to give a special mention to the final four tracks heading to the encore as they are vibrant Fugazi punk rock at its absolute finest. Public Witness Program's exceptionally high intensity causes Joe a few slips, but the onslaught of Great Cop more than makes up for it. Tonight's Two Beats Off is the epitome of the "Picciotto Cool", and a totally infectious Repeater shakes all the leftover energy off the room, fueled by a wonderfully jarring intro jam by the whole band. Listen to the big singalong during the bridge, and you can't help but join in for the insane partying of the final explosion.

Cheered back to the stage, the band continue the jams with the same level of excitement. Admittedly the flow is a bit uneven going from Cassavettes to the calm of Long Division, and then back to a very rocking Runaway Return, but that is only a microscopic gripe, as all the performances are top notch. Promises takes the evening to a close with Sweet and Low in a sure-fire fashion, where it all just feels like a big, inspired jam session.

Not only were the stars really out, but they also aligned for this evening at the Aragon. Essential addition to any Fugazi collection, this entry delivers the band's live experience at it's most enjoyable and then some. Strong performances, great flows, a tangible atmosphere - it's all here. And with a pleasing enough sound and a steady quality throughout it's very easy to rank this as one of the finest entries on FLS I've encountered so far.

By: John Lishamer over 10 years ago

Despite being at the Aragon, this was still a good show.

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Fugazi Live Series FLS0575 Fugazi Chicago, IL USA 9/3/1993

If you had a different price in mind for this download Click Here.
Show Date:
 1993-09-03
Venue:
 Aragon Ballroom
Door Price:
 5
Attendance:
 3650
Played with:
 Tar, Slant 6
Recorded by
 Joey Picuri
Mastered by
 Warren Russell-Smith
Original Source:
 DAT
Sound Quality:
 Poor Good Very Good Excellent
Play Sample Track
1. Intro
2. Smallpox Champion
3. Merchandise
4. Blueprint
5. Facet Squared
6. Walken's Syndrome
7. Interlude 1
8. Reclamation
9. Latin Roots
10. Interlude 2
11. Instrument
12. Rend It
13. Interlude 3
14. Waiting Room
15. Give Me The Cure
16. Suggestion
17. Interlude 4
18. Public Witness Program
19. Great Cop
20. Two Beats Off
21. Repeater
22. Encore
23. Cassavetes
24. Long Division
25. Runaway Return
26. Promises
27. Sweet and Low
28. Outro

Please Note: Available recordings have been mastered to correct for volume shifts, drop outs, etc. but some sonic anomalies will still exist, especially early in the set when the mix is being settled. The band has rated each show for sound quality and set the general price of a download at $5 per show. If you have a different price in mind feel free to utilize the alternative pricing option.