Show Review: MH Chaos, Section H8, and More at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, IL


Dan Bond Forever

What can be described as a new chapter for Chicago hardcore, MH Chaos’s record release not only delivered a memorable show, but also showcased Chicago (and the Midwest) as a music community that is long over-due for wider recognition. As one of the best shows to occur within the last two to three years, featuring some of the best up-and-coming acts from the east to west coast and Midwest, chaos converged onto Cobra Lounge for a sold-out show featuring old and new faces, makeshift flamethrowers, and a celebration of life.

Kickin off the show was Chicago own Sector delivering a fast-paced, raw sound unique only to the Windy City followed by LA’s Desmadre blending metal and hardcore with gritty lyrics and instrumentals making sure you know exactly what they’re about and where they’re from at the first note. PA’s One on One delivered that Philly heat bludgeoning, hard-hitting hardcore in the same vein as Enemy Mind, Vow of Hatred, and No Good Deed. Baltimore’s Queensway brought their heavy, volcanic grooves mixed with heavy, guttural vocals while also still hitting listeners with snappy riffs creating a real nice cocktail of hardcore meets metal.

If you’ve been paying any attention to hardcore or punk within the last year-and-a-half, then you know about the insane pop-up style shows occurring in L.A. under expressways, empty lots, and more … so you already know about Section H8. Section H8 finds that perfect blend of Cold as Life’s early demos and Madball’s Set It Off while representing not only themselves authentically, but also where they come from … which is exactly what hardcore is and should be about. Section H8 did exactly that bringing their authenticity, rawness, and honesty while making sure everyone is simply having fun at the same time with high-octane energy and a makeshift flamethrower.

Chicago’s very own MH Chaos fresh off the release of their debut full-length have had one of the best album roll-outs I’ve seen in a long time from a hardcore band from festival appearances, opening up for artists such as Knocked Loose, and even unintended internet memes. Even without those factors, MH Chaos delivered one of the best releases Chicago has seen in years channeling ‘90s hardcore making listeners feel the raw, pissed off energy that can’t be replicated, only originated.

Not only did MH Chaos delivered an amazing set, even tossing in a surprise Bitter Thoughts reunion at the end, but this show felt like a page turning Chicago hardcore in the best way possible. Coming out of COVID, many scenes are still struggling and going into, for lack of a better description, new era … this record release served as the official jump off point for a new era of Chicago hardcore and there couldn’t have been a better band to do it then MH Chaos.



One on One


Section H8

MH Chaos

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