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Trainwreck Riders, Illinois Detonate Underground

In the airless underground of the Lower East Side’s Cake Shop, Trainwreck Riders and Illinois shared the stage Monday evening, picking up where their stint at SXSW left off. Trainwreck Riders brought an element of San Francisco jam to their alt-country stylings, and within one song were able to channel a dozen moods and hopscotch through just as many genres. Fans hit the low ceiling along with the beat as “Through Till the End” and “Your Sister and Your Sister’s Friend” both got the crowd skanking and shaking to the punk hoedown. The cinder block that braced the mic for the bass drum refused to stay upright and by the end of the set, frontman Pete Frauenfelder decided it was better suited as a jumping post.

Pennsylvania natives Illinois took over the tiny stage with their collection of instruments, which included everything from a banjo to a mic made out of a telephone receiver. “I know it’s Monday, so thanks for coming out. Maybe this will help you forget,” frontman Chris Archibald said as the opening notes of crowd favorite “One on One” exploded. Only about half of the set came from their debut EP What the Hell Do I Know? and the rest came from Archibald’s stockpile of hundreds of tunes-in-the-waiting-room. As soon as drummer JohnPaul Kuyper bashed the last note in closer, “Bad Day,” Archibald pleaded with the sound technician, “Time to turn on the music. I’m getting that nervous diarrhea feeling.” KRISTINA ENSMINGER / PHOTOS BY ERIC NOWELS

>> Listen to Trainwreck Riders on Napster
>> Listen to Illinois on Napster

We asked: Inspired by Illinois’ EP What the Hell Do I Know? we asked, “What the hell do you know?”