Light Pollution started the evening off with eclectically layered pop tunes rhythmically driven by an effect-heavy acoustic guitar and raised up by synth riffs. They seemed like they would be right at home playing a desert festival. I was really pleased that there was a band from Chicago on the bill and there were a good deal of people in the place early to check them out. They set the tone of warming up one of the coldest nights of the year.
Being an advocate of guitars taking back the radio, I was immediately enamored when I came across the Postelles' excellent single "White Night," so made sure to be at the Hideout their first time through Chicago, where they delivered pop songs with a cool retro charm. Thursday night they again warmed the audience up with their Strokes-meet-Sam Cooke tunes. The set progressed much in the same vein as a high school dance, the crowd being the coy but cautiously eager girls and the Postelles the cocky but earnest teenage boys. By the time they ended their set with the excellent "Can't Stand Still," there was a low but alarming risk of metaphoric teen pregnancy. They debuted their full length album at their merch table and it should be available online soon; I really recommend it if you enjoy enjoying yourself. I picked one up and it is a great debut record that shows serious songwriting talent.
By the time Free Energy took the stage, the Double Door was absolutely packed, a sight which caused frontman Paul Sprangers to express a bit of shock at such a crowd greeting them to start the tour. However, the band more than deserves it, first and foremost because their music is so damn fun. There have been many comparisons to '70s rock band such as Thin Lizzy and the Cars - the sound of a time of weed and car rides and beer cans in the sun. Free Energy's music has so much appeal because in a time when people take themselves so seriously, it is a necessity to be able let loose every once in while - live, feel young, have a party. The band ran through the killer songs that made their debut album Stuck on Nothing such a success, playing them all with the freshness of a band on the rise. "Bang Pop" really got the crowd peaking, and new material planned for an upcoming release fit right in with the greasy street pop of the first album. It was a great fucking time. So good luck on tour, gentlemen, and thanks for starting in Chicago. It's so damn cold, I really needed that.
Check out more show reviews:
TNK 2011: S Carey, Darwin Deez, Young Man, Lionlimb
TNK 2011: Alex Winston, Little Dragon at Lincoln Hall
TNK 2011: Pet Lions, Generationals, Magic Kids at Schubas
TNK 2011: Lia Ices, Generationals, Frankie Rose and the Outs at Lincoln Hall
Netherfriends at the Whistler
Cursive at Subterranean