Live at Metro Chicago 2019

Dec 12, 2022
Web Exclusive

By Matthew Berlyant

Live at Metro Chicago 2019 is a document of Jawbox’s 2019 “Impartial Overview” tour that also served as a reunion and their first tour since their 1997 breakup (and first show since a one-off 2009 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon). The beautiful 2xLP, released by the German post-hardcore label Arctic Rodeo, is a bonanza for fans.

Recorded (as the title suggests) at Chicago’s long-running Metro club, they were clearly (as evidenced by singer/guitarist J Robbins’ stage banter) enthused to play there, the city that’s influenced them musically from their earliest days (think Naked Raygun, Effigies, Pegboy, who Robbins once played bass for, etc.) and it’s heard in the songs here. Their setlist is mostly focused on their two major label albums—1994’s For Your Own Special Sweetheart and 1996’s self-titled swan song, both originally on Atlantic and since reissued on their own DeSoto imprint. But it does leave in room for even older Dischord-era favorites such as “Grip,” “Dreamless,” and of course “Static,” perhaps their single greatest moment.

Live at Metro Chicago 2019 is spread out over four sides and housed in a gatefold sleeve with full color insert booklets and four labels showcasing live photos of each band member (although it should be noted that guitarist Bill Barbot has since been replaced by War on Women guitarist Brooks Harlan, who was also in the Robbins-fronted Office of Future Plans from 2011 to 2016). This is a stunning package that nicely encapsulates Jawbox’s thrilling return to action. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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