Review: Social Cig takes front stage at the Back Room

Milwaukee’s Scam Likely, Bug Moment and Social Cig come together to celebrate new album, CHEESEHEAD.

Scam+Likely+performs+first+at+the+Colectivo+Back+Room.

Photo by Emily Bittman

Scam Likely performs first at the Colectivo Back Room.

Young music lovers file in one by one to the Back Room at Colectivo on the east side of Milwaukee. Punk rock music blasts from speakers lining the colorfully lit stage as singer Charlee Grider jams on their guitar.

The audience and the band members are gathering for one reason: The release of Milwaukee-based indie band Social Cig’s third album, “CHEESEHEAD.”

“CHEESEHEAD” debuted Saturday, Aug. 20 and features nine brand-new tracks centering around the upbringing of lead singer, Parker Schultz, in Wisconsin. To commemorate the release of his album, Schultz invited local bands Scam Likely and Bug Moment to share the stage with him.

The night began with punk, garage-rock band Scam Likely livening the crowd with energetic songs such as “Watch Your Step” and “Don’t Kill Me Without A Knife.” Denzel “Ducky” Dondiego shredded out powerful riffs alongside the rest of the band.

Toward the end of the performance, lead singer Charlee Grider dove into the crowd to surf among the sea of concert-goers. The band’s final tune “Jesus Christ Stop Yelling I’m Right Here” resulted in audience members moshing around the venue.

Following Scam Likely’s performance, alternative emo-pop group Bug Moment took the stage. Singer Jasmine Rosenblatt stood tall in platform boots- capturing the audience’s attention instantly. The band performed a slough of original songs, but the crowd erupted in excitement as soon as the group began to play a cover of Paramore’s “Still Into You.”

Last up to perform was the highly anticipated headliner, Social Cig. Adorned in white T-shirts and patterned vests, the four bandmates began to play a mixture of songs off “CHEESEHEAD,” and songs from the group’s debut and sophomore albums.

Throughout the night, drummer Kainoa Dee would occasionally take shots of beer out of his bandmates’ shoes when prompted by the crowd shouting “Shoe-y.” Schultz also threw out T-shirts and yellow roses to audience members. The most memorable moment of the night, however, was when Schultz brought Bug Moment’s Rosenblatt back on stage to accompany the band.

The members of Social Cig promptly exited the stage afterwards and snuck backstage. Audience members chanted “One more song!” in an attempt to prompt the group back on stage for an encore. Moments later, Schultz returned to state he actually had “two more songs” and asked if that was alright. The crowd cheered in response.

The performance culminated in the members of all three bands scaling the stage and singing along to Social Cig’s closing song. The bands waved goodbye to their crowd before the audience members could funnel out of the venue and back into the cool Milwaukee night.

This story was written by Emily Bittman. She can be reached at emily.bittman@marquette.edu.