I was happy to learn just a couple weeks ago that Canadian pop-punk band Partner were playing at Schuba’s. I wanted to see Partner at Chicago’s Riot Fest last year, but my plans (and theirs) to attend fell through and I couldn’t make the festival.
I was still able to catch them on only the third show they’ve played in the U.S., however, and shame on you if you weren’t there.
First up were local post-punks So Pretty, who were like a combination of X-Ray Spex, Witch Mountain, and Bikini Kill. Guitarist / co-lead vocalist Rachel Manter unleashed vocal fury at our new President on “Progress,” lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist Ashley Holman screamed about wanting to be “punk rock royalty” on “Blueberry Blues,” and they got funky on “Limbo” (with bassist James Seminara on vocals).
Next up was another local band – Faux Furrs. They played a neat mix of shoegaze, surf, Americana, and dream pop. There were songs about everything from robots falling in love to building a colony on the moon. They had a clean, crisp sound that’s hard to pull off live.
Partner closed the show, and told me before their set that they hoped everyone would like it. Kevin, their bassist for the tour, said they were very happy about the number of people there. The people there were happy they showed up because Partner knocked their first Chicago show out of the park. Seriously. You will be upset that you missed this show when Partner become the Next Big Thing out of Canada.
Opening with “Born to Rock,” and proceeding to blast Schuba’s harder than a New Brunswick blizzard, Partner ripped through soon-to-be big hits like “Personal Weekend” and “Hot Knives.” “The ‘Ellen’ Page” is better live than you can imagine. Other fun moments were “Gross Secret,” “Everybody Knows You’re High,” and “Sex Thing.”
One of the best parts of Partner’s set was their reaction when it was finished. They were humbled at the outpouring of praise from everyone afterwards and elated that their first foray into the States had been full of great audiences.
“That wasn’t even the full album (which, hopefully, is coming this fall),” Josee Caron told me after their set. “We’ve got about fifty songs.”
Let’s hope for more stuff soon. They’ve whet our appetites and left us craving more. Again, you’re going to regret missing this show.
Keep your mind open.
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