Published Oct 01, 2006Seven thousand music fans descended upon Chicago during a weekend of uncompromising love and reflection for Touch and Go Records 25-year legacy. Label owner Corey Rusk was front-row centre, splitting time between the alternating "Touch and "Go stages, as a parking lot bore witness to a musical time warp. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists blazed through energetic songs from their forthcoming first T&G album. !!! eventually won over some audience members, despite the fact theyre an embarrassingly awful band. After a shoegazing set by the New Year, Sicilys Uzeda put on a stunningly tight show. A reconstituted Pegboy played straight-ahead punk numbers and consciously came off as a joke. Emotions ran high during a set by Silkworms Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen, which paid tribute to drummer Michael Dahlquist, who died in a car accident last year. Amsterdams the Ex followed with an awe-inspiring experimental rock show, their first as a quartet. Later, drummer and vocalist Katrin Bornfeld joined the Mekons Jon Langford for an endearing duo set. Twelve years after they disbanded, the Didjits played irreverent punk rock and Rick Sims put on a front-man clinic. Defunct for 21 years, a refurbished Negative Approach were a blast of early 80s hardcore and the ensuing circle pit fit the scene. Former Mekon Sally Timms gleefully provoked the huge crowd assembled for the headlining acts after her 15-minute set, where she vainly led an aerobics lesson during "Bomb. Hungry fans got the full meal once Scratch Acid took the stage and played classics like "She Said and "Cannibal for the first time in 19 years. David Yow prowled the stage, manic as ever, slipping in a "Lick my taint amongst gracious foreign language "thank yous. The sound of Man or Astroman? drifted over to the "Touch stage where people steadfastly held positions in advance of Big Blacks 15-minute set. Steve Albini, Jeff Pezzati, and Santiago Durangos surprising reunion marked the bands first performance since 1987. After ferocious versions of "Cables and "Dead Billy, Albini drew big laughs, remarking: "I know what youre thinking, what was the big deal? Believe me, it was a lot cooler in the 80s. Tight versions of "Pigeon Kill and "Racer-X followed, providing the festivals most surreally exciting set. Albini stayed on to play a stellar Shellac show. The art-punk power trio previewed songs from Excellent Italian Greyhound with "Steady As She Goes and "The End of Radio standing out as highlights. Shellac later delivered a poignant rendition of "Billiard Player Song and a fan-filled "Watch Song to cap off the best show of a truly legendary weekend.