Bev Rage And The Drinks at Neptune Theatre, August 18, 2023, Seattle, Wash. | photo by Chris Chappell @gettingwarmer

Chris Chappell Photo Column—Bev Rage And The Drinks

Sep 23, 2023

Punk rock and drag share an anti-authority spirit and similar counterculture roots, but few make the connection as explicitly obvious and entertaining as Chicago’s Bev Rage And The Drinks. They combine the charisma, nerve, and pageantry of drag with driving garage punk.

A few weeks ago, I made the last-minute decision to finally see the excellent garage/grunge punk band Bully after years of missing them. The opening band, who I had not heard of, was fronted by a towering drag queen named Beverly Rage or Bev Rage (a 10/10 drag name). When Bev Rage And The Drinks took the stage, they blew the audience away, striking the perfect balance between over-the-top drag theatrics and a punk show. The songs ranged from Briefs-esque pop punk to the in-your-face stylings of the Dead Kennedys. And, of course, the stage banter was as funny and quippy as you’d expect from a seasoned queen.

Bev Rage And The Drinks are an unabashedly unique band, unafraid to blend worlds. Drag has historically been a rejection of societal norms like white supremacy and heteronormativity. Much like the early punks who pushed gender roles in the way they dressed, drag queens have shocked and awed our puritan value-based society, creating a community of anti-establishment performance artists that mirror a punk ethos. In this day and age, we have to support drag performances and performers, and I can’t think of a better way to do so than to check out Bev Rage And The Drinks.

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