19 Nov 2015
Can a dirty, dumpy, run-down bowling alley be legendary? For Chicago’s punk and hardcore scenes, the answer is yes: from 1994 to 2004, Fireside Bowl hosted scores of the best punk, hardcore, metal, and indie bands while its bowling lanes were essentially defunct. Bringing in talent from Mastodon to Tortoise to (shudder) Fall Out Boy, it was the A-list punk club with D-list facilities—one where you prayed not to need to pee. Oh, and it was too loud and too packed.
Since a renovation in ’04, the Fireside returned to its 1940s roots as a neighborhood bowling alley (and, all the while, kept its old-school exterior). It mostly functions as such now—and, thankfully, its digs are much more pleasant. But with nostalgia as a motivator, the Fireside again began booking intermittent shows in 2010, including a handful of groups (such as The Appleseed Cast) that played there back in the day. If you missed out during its prime, consider yourself both lucky and unlucky.
2648 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647