|Slushy | Photo Credit: Gene Wagendorf III|
Set Dazed and Confused in 2013 Chicago and what you get is Slushy, Twin Peaks and The Orwells playing a show at Space Club HQ. What better way to celebrate the end of Winter Break than catching three of Chicago's finest rock bands in a pitch-black warehouse for five bucks? Yeah, it's been a while since I was a CPS student, but these three bands did a damn fine job of making me feel like all I had to worry about in the world was making out and scoring beer. Ok, fine, so maybe much hasn't changed since high school (save that now I can buy booze anytime I want because I'm an adult. Sort of.).
Local two-piece garage outfit Slushy was up first, slinging their blend of bubblegum, surf and Ray Davies-swagger at a sizable and absolutely giddy crowd. "I Wanna Die Young," from the band's 2011 release Slushy (Red), carried a weird and infectious weight, in part because of its fuzzed-out Kinks jangle and in part because of the cavalier sincerity of Chris Kramer's vocals, both of which were aimed at an audience made up mostly of wide-eyed, sweaty teenagers. This wasn't rock cliche so much as it was classic rock; a youthfulness in tone matched by Slushy's exuberant bopping, determined percussion and big solos slapped against brick walls and crushed beer cans. The band threw a wink to the past when they whipped out a rabid cover of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart's two-straw milkshake pop hit "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite." Kramer channeled a bit of Joey Ramone's drawl on the vocals, while Brent Zmrhal's pop-punk pounding infused the tune with a little angst. That was the formula for Slushy most of the night, taking the lessons they learned from oldies radio and dragging them through leather jackets and pools of spilled Schlitz. The result was simply fun- a delicate balance of overflowing elasticity and slacker cool that left toes tapping and ears ringing. When the lights kicked on after the candy buzzsaw of "Elephant," my two thoughts were Why haven't I seen this band since May? and When can I see them again?
|Twin Peaks| Photo courtesy of Twin peaks|
|The Orwells | Photo Credit: Eric Kolkey|
That said, let's not keep gushing about the potential of bands like these and musing about what they could do when they get a bit older. Like Cynthia said in Dazed and Confused- "I'd like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor, insignificant preamble to somethin' else." Right now is rocking pretty fucking hard. Enjoy it, Chicago.