One of my favorite live bands of the 00s, Lake Trout, has apparently decided to not be a band any more; there has been no official announcement but there’s been no real activity by the group since 2007. This created a bigger void in my live music experience than I realized until I saw Loyal Divide. Very different music in many respects, don’t get me wrong; it’s the impact that’s similar. I suddenly realized how much I missed the experimental/yearning/thoughtful/potently-aggressive-when-necessary package. In the span of a half hour or so, my brain registered a new band that I will see any time it is in town, and that will lure me to Chicago from time to time without a doubt. No recorded output for sale yet, but look for something in the spring, I hear. Can’t wait! In the meantime, check out bandcamp for some free TLD downloads.
After that invigorating set, I was nervous for the hometown headliners. This was my first Fatty Acids show, and while their 2010 album, Stop Berries, Berries and Berries, Berries, is superb, it sounds like it might be tough to pull off live. I needn’t have been concerned. As they tore through tune after memorable, kinetic tune with all the joy and spastic energy of the record, the crowd bounced gleefully and began to shred the pink streamers that decorated the room. These guys have perfected a dangerous mixture of punk-inflected indie rock and synthy pop hooks that only combusts when they say so. Very different from TLD, none of that pathos, not quite as out-there, but just as thrilling.
Faux Fir’s set started out promising enough; these guys aren’t the only hyper keyboard new wave band in town but they run neck and neck with contemporaries like Terrior Bute in terms of energy and catchy tunes. Extra points for the Ghostbusters tease too! I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I was having until they busted out the auto-tune, at which point I instantly lost interest. Maybe the show's trajectory was a bit of a problem in the end, the way the night swung from serious musicianship to utter frivolity, but too much fun ended up boring me (which is unusual, I swear). Or maybe it was just that auto-tune completely sucks; up to that point, FF was a booty-shakin’ good time, just not quite up to par with the two incredible sets before it.