Friday, March 5, 2010

Show review: Baby Teeth at Hideout on 3/4

Contributed by Colleen O'Neill

Chicago’s Baby Teeth took the stage at Hideout Thursday night, playing to a crowd of over 50 fans and testing new tracks for an upcoming album.

The band reverted back to their original lineup with keyboardist and lead singer Abraham Levitan at the helm, bassist Jim Cooper and drummer Peter Andreadis. The small lights flashed as each member stepped onto the stage and began to play one by one, until the melodies synched up and into their opening track “The Part You Play.”

The set oozed with the contagious pop melodies of the album Hustle Beach, with tracks such as “It’s Hard to Find a Friend” and “Let it Roll.” Each member of the band belted in harmonic symphony into their microphones, bringing to the stage a strength in vocals that is much more apparent live than on their recordings.

The atmosphere was lively and in tune with the band as fans danced, cheered and tightened closer to the stage as the heartfelt track “It’s Hard to Find a Friend” began.

The band’s attempt of filling the small homey space of the Hideout with vibrancy was successful. “There is something about the DNA of this place,” Levitan said. “You don’t feel like you have to play the hits. You can take more chances.”

The chances they took included replacing setlist spots normally reserved for sing-along tunes such as “The Simp” with newer songs slated for the upcoming release. The crowd danced along to new tracks “Banter 2.0” and “Space,” the latter described by Levitan as a song about severe depression.

Their latest work sounds equally as nostalgic as songs from Hustle Beach and The Simp, however seemingly more developed, providing a greater balance between music and lyrics. Songs are written by Levitan as a project of “52 Teeth,” a blog that follows the songwriter's thought process and inspiration as he cranks out one song per week. This approach seems to work well for Levitan, who stated, “it’s usually the songs that you write quickly are the better songs.”

The band ended their set with the energetic title track from Hustle Beach, leaving the stage to hang with friends, fans and locals. Baby Teeth are a band to watch, as they continue to mature their pop rhythms away from their seventies comparisons and into their own unique style.

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