I knew this was a triple bill I couldn’t miss. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Death from Above 1979, and Deap Vally were playing the Chicago House of Blues all in the same night. That’s a killer lineup. Any of the three are worth seeing alone, but all three on the same night. It’s a no-brainer.
First up were Deap Vally, who I’ve wanted to see since I missed their set at Levitation Austin in 2013. They came out to a large crowd and, no exaggeration, stole the show.
They opened with “Make My Own Money” and powered through prime cuts like “Gonnawanna,” “Walk of Shame,” and “Royal Jelly.” Guitarist Lindsey Troy and fill-in drummer Lia Simone (formerly of A Place to Bury Strangers and Les Bucherettes) rocked so hard that I felt bad for DFA 1979 who were to follow them. Ms. Simone played like she’d been playing the tracks for years. It turns out she’s longtime friends with Ms. Troy and full-time drummer Julie Edwards, so Ms. Simone practically knew the chops already when she jumped behind the kit. Everyone within earshot of me was talking about their set even after the end of BRMC’s, proclaiming Ms. Troy’s “bad ass” attitude and Ms. Simone’s excellent kit work.
Death from Above 1979 were no slouches, mind you. Their crazy light show was perfect for their loud fuzz-rock. How drummer Sebastien Granger can sing lead vocals while playing those insane drum licks is a mystery to me, but he makes it look easy. Jesse Keeler wanders the stage like an enraged Rasputin and plays as heavy as the mad monk’s legend. A crazy, aggressive mosh pit broke out during their set. I got in for one song, still happy to mix it up with the youngsters.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club closed out the night and, as usual, put on a great show. “Let the Day Begin,” “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,” “Conscience Killer,” “Red Eyes and Tears,” “Cold Wind” (a personal favorite) and “Ain’t No Easy Way” were all crowd-favorites. Any worries anyone might’ve had about drummer Leah Shapiro’s health (who underwent brain surgery in 2014 for Chiari malformations) were dashed because she unloaded on her kit like a machine gunner.
The only bummer of the set was some sort of equipment malfunction on Peter Hayes’ side of the stage. The band had to alter some of their song selection, and the broken thing (my guess is a bad monitor) apparently was never properly fixed. They closed with a winner – “Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll” – and had no encore due to the faulty gear.
It was a good rock show despite the early exit from BRMC – one of the best rock bills I’ve seen in a long while, in fact.
Keep your mind open.
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