Sun. Jun 13th, 2021

Artwork by Devin Parker

Lucky Boys Confusion celebrating 20 years of ‘Throwing the Game’ with livestream, documentary

20 years after the release of their Elektra debut, DuPage-born Lucky Boys Confusion looks back on the times, the tours and their songs from the era.

Returning home for a brief visit during Lucky Boys Confusion‘s 2001 tour with Eve6, lead singer Stubhy Pandav found a group of music fans camped out on his family’s front lawn in Downers Grove.

When he made it inside, red suitcase in tow, he recalls his mother telling him they were just waiting for him to come back home.

“You can’t bring them lemonade! You can’t give them cookies,” he said, cracking up. “Stop doing this, you crazy lady!”

“What? They’re nice,” she told him.

Pandav and LBC bandmate Ryan Fergus shared stories like this — funny, heartwarming and a little surprising — as they discussed the upcoming 20th anniversary show celebrating the 2001 release “Throwing the Game.”

The band — Pandav, Fergus, Adam Krier, Jason Schultejann and Brian Sherman — is wrapping up plans for the streaming celebration Thursday, May 27, which will be a mix of live performance, discussion and documentary featuring archival footage of concerts, recording, tour life and interviews.

“Throwing the Game,” LBC’s debut album under the Elektra Records label, was a turning point for the DuPage County-born rock band. LBC had built a strong hometown following, but for the first time they were breaking onto the national stage.

Lucky Boys Confusion looks back on the era surrounding the release of “Throwing the Game” as the album turns 20. // Courtesy of Lucky Boys Confusion

“That was this era for us of peak exposure with the label,” Fergus said. “So there was a lot of that where we did get at least a little taste of that crazy celeb culture, I suppose.”

“It’s funny trying to explain it to my wife who wasn’t around for any of this,” Pandav joked. “I’m like, ‘You know, I was kind of a big deal back in the day — ‘”

“Now go change the diapers!” Fergus jumped in.

“She’s like, ‘Yeah, you know you’re not one now, right?'” Pandav said, laughing.

At the time, “Throwing the Game” opened doors for Lucky Boys Confusion to make its national TV debut on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” and play with Green Day on HBO’s “Reverb.” The label sent them on tour for nearly a year and a half across the nation and overseas, during which they rarely spent more than a few days at home before strapping into the van and heading back out again.

“We couldn’t have been more happy. I mean, this is what we wanted,” Fergus said. “It was literally dreams come true.”

The two said they hope the documentary footage and discussions capture that sense of excitement from the era.

“I don’t want it all to be about the lyrics or the songwriting,” Pandav said. “It’s about what the feeling was. What does this song remind you of … It’s not just the record and the music that was on the record, but every experience of ‘Throwing the Game,’ getting there and after.”

Lucky Boys Confusion played to a packed house at the House of Blues in 2019. On Thursday, May 27, they play songs from and celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Throwing the Game.” // Brian Shamie

“We’re hoping the fans get some additional insights out of this thing. But selfishly speaking for us, it’s been really great for us to go back and to look at some of this old footage,” Fergus added. “It rekindled a lot of stuff that has been lost to time and the old memory banks.”

Original member Joe Sell, who died in 2012, is heavily featured in the Lucky Boys’ footage and memories.

“This being the ninth anniversary of Joe’s passing, to be able to see him talking, to be able to see him interacting and playing and tracking, it’s got some added resonance that hopefully everyone’s gonna be able to really connect with,” Fergus said.

Before the pandemic, LBC shows would draw a diverse crowd of all ages, a testament to how the music, a mix of rock and punk heavily dosed with hip-hop and reggae influences, resonates with new and longtime fans alike. To them, the livestream celebration is more than just a handful of rockers reliving their glory days. Band members all have careers and families and no longer live in adjoining suburbs — Pandav is in Skokie, Fergus relocated to Pingree Grove, Krier is in Naperville, Schultejann is in Orland Park and Sherman lives in Volo — but Lucky Boys Confusion is and has long been their passion and keeps bringing them together.

For fans, it’s a chance to reconnect with them over fun memories and shared experiences.

“It’s heartwarming to know that you’ve got people that have been with you for two decades plus,” Fergus said, “and they’ve grown up, they have their own kids, their own families now and they’re going to settle in on a couch to watch this with us.”

• • •

Lucky Boys Confusion ‘Throwing the Game’ 20th anniversary livestream

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, May 27

Tickets: $15 for streaming performance at momenthouse.com; merch bundles are also available.

Info: The show will be available to watch for 24 hours after the livestream; a Limited Afterparty add-on will feature more songs, stories and interaction with band members.


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