Long Blondes w/Drug Rug, Bang Bang
Logan Square Auditorium – Chicago, IL
“The Logan Square Auditorium lends itself to great shows and that certainly proved true Saturday night.”
The Chicago three-piece, Bang Bang, got things rolling Saturday, May 24, at the semi-crowded Logan Square Auditorium. Bang Bang’s vocal duties were shared between the soulful, riot grrl Gretta Fine, who aimed for a Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Sleater-Kinney sound, and Jack Flash’s more straight-man, rock and roll approach, not unlike the Hives. If you prefer the band’s self-proclaimed genre, however, then it sounded like “Chicago’s Premier Sex Rock Band.” Among about eight tunes, the back-to-back new ones sounded the best, especially the one about “the hot boys.” Nothing was too outstanding; although their eccentric drumming is worth checking out, which you can do by heading over to their MySpace if you’re interested.
Drug Rug, sandwiched between Bang Bang and the Long Blondes, had the most substance (or meat). On stage, the Drug Rug duo becomes a 4-piece who also sports the two-singer approach. Their set was a collective whole; songs were extended with jams that were not overbearing, and their final product was most impressive; it certainly sparked several new fans. If a highlight existed though, it would probably be their gem, “Day I Die.” Although I was looking out for the Beach Boys influence from my interview beforehand, it was readily available in their sound, especially one of their new tracks that will appear on an album later this year. The band’s centerpiece is Sarah Cronin’s unique, uninhibited voice, which was boasted on the opener “Nobody Can Tell You That Your Wrong.” This is a young band definitely worth checking out now; and for fans who appreciated their set, check out Chicago’s Sing Sing, who are also an excellent country-tinged indie act with an extremely similar approach.
When I found out the Long Blondes were coming to Chicago a few months back, I was pretty excited, but after their worse than sub-par new album, which in no way compares to the brilliant singles of 2005, the excitement dwindled. The Long Blondes fired through 16 tracks, some flops, others perfect, namely, “Giddy Stratospheres,” “Separated By Motorways,” and “Once And Never Again.” On the flops, watching the beautiful Kate Jackson and listening to her truly blessed voice was a pleasant distraction.
The Logan Square Auditorium lends itself to great shows and that certainly proved true Saturday night.