Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bend Sinister in Chicago 3/20/13

Here;s the setlists they played from memory:

One Shot
Hot Blooded Man
Better Things to Do
Fancy Pants
Black Magic Woman
Things Will Get Better

Underground Lounge
She Don't Give It Up
Fancy Pants
My Lady
Better Things to Do
Man of Faith and Virtue
Time Breaks Down

I'm not 100% on the Set-lists, but that's damn close if not exact. They played both new tunes "Fancy Pants" and "Better Things to Do" at both performances, and I can't forget how good both of those new tracks sounded. Especially the latter, has this tremendous outro that comes from a classic Bend Sinister twist in time and tone of the song.

But I'm not sure how long this write-up will be, but I'm sure I'll feel like it should be a lot longer given I have waited nearly 7 years to see them. And I probably mentioned half a dozen times or more about wanting to see Bend Sinister live, and doubting it would ever happen.

But the JBTV show, was at this cool, professionally set-up studio by this guy Jerry Bryant, which I'm not clear on if under the current incarnation, goes back as far as he has being doing these filmed band performances. But I guess he's done these things for 28 years in Chicago, possibly all at the same studio. On the wall are a large assortment of signed and framed plaques, photos, etc from many different Rock acts. I guess for the most part, the bands that end up playing at The House of Blues in Chicago, end up going to JBTV and doing interviews and performances to the small group of lucky fans.

Bend Sinister, were not of course at the House of Blues later last night, but it was very cool regardless. I noticed among the bands on the wall, Ours, from the Precious period I guess. The next time I see Ours/Jimmy I'll have to ask him about JBTV in Chicago. Also as I understand it, all the performances (and interviews?) are available to watch on JBTV's website  . The Bend Sinister performance from yesterday should be up there eventually, but it may be a few weeks or over a month  depending on how long it takes them to edit it.

But as it turns out, I was the only FAN who showed up for Bend Sinister (until the very end when 2 others did, but it was after they had finished playing unfortunately for those 2), so as the guys who did the camera, lights,. sound and whatnot there said, "it's like having your own private show." Which it was, but it didn't detract one-bit from it.

So, after they were done, I was going to kill time before heading over to The Underground Lounge. But the Bend Sinister guys were cool enough, to let me hang with them and ride over to the venue with them in their van. That was really fun, as they are all nice, down to earth guys. Just getting to chat with Dan Moxon meant a ton to me.

We even ate dinner over at the somewhat famous Philly-Beef sandwich restaurant "Al's" which while it was/is a fast food sandwich shop in the vein of a Subway/Jimmy John's I guess, the Hot Philly Beef sandwich was MOUTH WATERING good, I totally follow why Adam Richman of "Man vs. Food" featured it. And Dan, along with the rest of the band have been eating "90% Vegan" the last few months, including on this tour. But Dan knew about Al's and it being recommended for Chicago sandwiches, and made an exception last night.

It kind of reminded me of having dinner with the Kaddisfly guys back in 2006. Those guys, are just normal guys who happen to be awesome musicians and songwriters, and I was lucky enough to get to hangout with and have dinner like buddies. Also somewhat like the Joey Eppard experience in Rochester, MN a few weeks ago. Shooting the shit with Dan and the other guys was something I'll never forget. Maybe as much if not more than the actual performances they gave last night.

So, the show finally started, and the Underground Lounge, I might compare to a place in Minneapolis I like called "Club Underground," which I mentioned last fall in my Minnesota venue diatribe. It seems like a place that might be sort of a dive-bar type, but actually, while not amazingly nice, is a lot more intimate and non-repulsive than many other "bars" or cheap clubs I've gone to in the past.

There were 3 bands there, 1 being BS of course, another being The Runaway 5 which I was sad due to how late it got, I ended up missing. The 3rd/opening band however, Single Channel Stereo, I caught a bit of their Sound-Check which intrigued me. And then finally seeing them a bit later, they at times floored me. And dare I say, stole a little bit of Bend Sinister's thunder.

They kind of reminded me of a couple of bands who I enjoy, maybe 1st and foremost, Brice Plays Drums. With their Multi-part compositions that seem to shift well in tempo and styles in some ways. Vocal harmonies, and other parts. The keyboard arrangements and their guitarist really has great feel and knack for adding a boost to some parts. And their drummer was almost like Keith Moon at times, lol. He was playing a small kit, but incredibly animated and bombastic throughout many of their songs. Their bassist wasn't bad either, and I can't forget how much he reminded me of AJ from Hotel of the Laughing Tree with his beard and winter hat, lol.

Single Channel Stereo are on Facebook and have a Bandcamp Page Here . Although I'm pretty sure many of the songs they played last night are not on there, but some are on an EP that was released just in December it appears. I definitely am going to keep tabs on SCS and anticipate something more soon, along with hopefully seeing them live again at some point. Maybe they could get on a bill with Brice Plays Drums or The Royal Veil or another local Minnesota band I enjoy.

So, then Bend Sinister went on, and I was getting goosebumps maybe even more than at the studio earlier. Dan sort of mentioned before playing "Dr. Lee" and "Time Breaks Down" it was for me. Which was totally unexpected, but I was thrilled of course. I mean sure, I could pick out my ultimate set list and have told them about it, but I know set lists are often about what the band enjoys playing and can play. And often about music the band members currently playing live, wrote and recorded themselves. So the BROKEN CITY stuff and even the STORIES OF BROTHERS music, is older music for them.

Many of the Small Fame tunes work really well live. I'd say "My Lady" is even more badass then the studio version. And every track they did, I enjoyed.

But hopefully this won't be the last time I get to see them. I may even have to finally make a trek up to Winnipeg if their touring doesn't come to Minnesota of course. We'll see. And those new tunes may get recorded and released soon, perhaps later this year depending on their schedule. They played SXSW of course, and I hope they left a good impression like many bands do there (Local Natives, Warpaint, Cloud Cult..just from memory). Their tour takes them to Canada (including Winnipeg, lol).

March 06, 2013 Seattle, WA El Corazon
March 07, 2013 Portland, OR Dante’s
March 08, 2013 San Francisco, CA Thee Parkside
March 09, 2013 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
March 10, 2013 Fullerton, CA Slidebar
March 11, 2013 San Diego, CA Soda
March 12, 2013 Scottsdale, AZ Pub Rocks
March 13, 2013 El Paso, TX LOWBROW PALACE
March 14-17, 2013 Austin, TX SXSW DATES
March 19, 2013 St. Louis, MO Fubar
March 20, 2013 Chicago, IL Underground Lounge
March 22, 2013 Toronto, ON THE HIDEOUT (CMW)
March 23, 2013 Montreal, QC Quai des Brumes
March 24, 2013 Ottawa, ON Raw Sugar
March 27, 2013 Winnipeg, MB ROYAL ALBERT
March 28, 2013 Regina, SK O'Hanlon's
March 29, 2013 Saskatoon, SK Vangelis Tavern
March 30, 2013 Edmonton, AB The Pawn Shop
March 31, 2013 Calgary, AB Ship & Anchor

But after this tour ends, they are heading home and depending on if another tour opportunity arises, they may be looking to record some of those new tunes.