Feb. 5, 2004

Mest to Test Hometown Crowd with Vic Show

By Randy J. Klodz

The south-suburban Blue Island punks Mest have returned from a successful headlining tour of Japan, and are posed to take on the States with a headlining tour that is posed to take on the band’s hometown Chicago crowd at Vic Theatre on Feb. 20.

Mest--which includes Tony Lovato (vocals, guitar), Jeremiah Rangel (guitar), Matt Lovato (bass) and Nick Gigler (drums)--has already released three albums in its short life. The band released its most recent album, “Mest” last June. The band has opened Chicago dates with such popular bands as Blink-182 and Goldfinger, to name a few.

Speaking of the Blink-182 supporting slot, Mest played on a side-stage just inside of the gates of the Tweeter Center, in Tinley Park, which used to be called the New World Music Theatre, before Blink-182 took the stage on June 10, 2000. Since that date sold-out the 30,000 capacity Theatre, which at the time was Blink’s largest crowd, and hundreds of fans showed up early to see Mest’s pre-show performance.

This large crowd not only took lead singer Tony Lovato by surprise, it also threw workers at the venue for a loop: “That was pretty crazy,” said Lovato. “I remember talking to the people that worked there and they were like, ‘Yeah, that’s the most people we’ve ever had over at the side stage, we’ve never seen that happen before.’ We were pretty stoked on it, it was cool.”

And now Mest sells-out venues such as the House of Blues locations across the States on a regular basis with its infections blend of punk, rock and reggae. The band’s first two albums “Wasting Time” and “Destination Unknown” exhibit more of a punk vibe; where as the most recent self-titled effort offers a more polished-pop sound. The first single off of “Mest” was “Jaded (These Years),” a mellow track that features a guest-spot by Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.

Though the Mest won’t be playing Chicago’s House of Blues this time around, Lovato expects the Chicago faithful to make the show special. “Chicago is always good; it’s where we from,” Lovato said. “I think we play the Vic this time as opposed to House of Blues because it’s a little bigger than House of Blues. The last time we played the Vic was with H20, and that show was really cool.” Lovato added that although it has yet to be announced, there is a possibility that Mest might end the tour with a show at Chicago’s House of Blues.

Vic Theatre is at 3145 N. Sheffield Ave. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $13 each with a scheduled start time slated for 7 p.m. Matchbook Romance, Fall Out Boy and Dynamite Boy are also scheduled to perform. For more information on Mest, log on to www.mestcrapp.com.
Mest Photo: Geoff Moore