by Rock ‘n Roll Ghost
A couple weeks ago I decided to finally see a concert again. It had been too long (I consider Lollapalooza less a concert experience and more of an endurance test) and I happened to read that Silversun Pickups (along with School of Seven Bells and Atlas Genius) were playing that night at Aragon. I ran down my contacts and procured tickets through Atlas Genius (who get top billing here because of that).
I hadn’t heard a lick of Atlas Genius going in that night. But man these guys are fun. Bright, smart, pop music (in the classic, say, Big Star manner through a modern day prism). The Australian band had the crowd (those of us who were there that early) energized and clapping along. The band members genuinely appeared to enjoy playing their music to anyone, let alone to a pretty sizable crowd watching the first act on a three act bill. Atlas Genius were a such a fun, spirited band that I highly recommend seeing them the next time they roll through town (whatever town that may be that’s near you). Their EP, Through the Glass, is out now.
School of Seven Bells were a little more subdued than Atlas Genius were, but offered a lot more in the “sexy” department. Lead singer Alejandra Deheza pretty much seems to know just one dance move (a sort of Debbie Harry, kitty purr, West Side Story sort of step) but damn does she look cute doing it. Guitarist Benjamin Curtis (formerly of Secret Machines) dug deep in creating some sweet atmospherics and the whole show had this cocaine hazed ’80s feel to it. School of Seven Bells is sort of akin to the film American Gigolo (never mind how awesome Giorgio Moroder‘s score was) – a lot of really cool sounds, hip attitude, awesome vibe. I’d suspect their new album Ghostory is getting a lot of spins at Chicago’s NEO but I could be wrong as I haven’t been there in ages. Their music seems perfect for that place, but it works just fine live and pretty damn well at home. Ghostory has gotten a lot of spins from me since this concert. In fact, I’m listening to it now. Well, as I write this. I have no idea when you’re reading this.
I didn’t stay for all of Silversun Pickups‘ performance, mostly because I wasn’t enjoying the fact that the band were struggling with the Aragon’s notorious sound problems – oftentimes more annoying than they should be even considering the venue. However, there were some solid moments – “Little Lover’s So Polite” being a particular highlight. Bassist Nicki Monninger is expecting twin girls and had to bow out of the tour not long before the Chicago show. The band had Sarah Negadhari from The Happy Hollows as a backup and man that woman twisted and twirled me into being completely smitten. The band’s latest album, Neck of the Woods, is out now.
Note to bands when playing the Aragon: Spend extra time on sound check.