The opening act on Thursday evening was As Tall As Lions, a fairly new band from Long Island, New York. Although the Bottom Lounge had not filled up yet since the show started so early (5:30), I was impressed by the amount of people already gathered around the stage to watch As Tall As Lions. Their sound was somewhat difficult to pin down, flirting with post and progressive rock but also appealing to alternative and indie sensibilities.. and then there were the trumpets!
Lead singer Dan Nigro really gave his all on the vocal performance and is definitely someone to look out for in the future. As Tall As Lions will be touring with Mute Math in October and I would certainly recommend checking them out if you can’t make any of the remaining shows on this tour.
Between sets I just had to grab a few drinks from the bar – the Bottom Lounge has an amazing selection of beers from Belgium and England (among other places).
Dredg went on to a smattering of applause and opened with the first track from the new album, “Pariah”. One of the things that I’ve always loved about Dredg is their ability to perform live – the songs just seem to come alive in a way that isn’t possible on a polycarbonate plastic disc.
Although much of the crowd seemed to already be gearing up for RX Bandits (they were headlining this show), Dredg did manage to win over a few fans throughout their set.
A few highlights from the show included “Triangle”, “Ireland” and “The Tanbark Is Hot Lava”. I thought most of the choices on the setlist were inspired, but really wish that Dredg had more time to perform.
Singer and guitarist Gavin Hayes showed up with an amazing vocal performance as usual, but seemed especially drawn in and sarcastic. Gavin cracked jokes throughout the show, including one about how “amazing” Lollapalooza was (hilarious, I thought) that split the audience. Many people were just looking around, not sure what to make of Gavin – which is fine with me.. some bands pander to the fans during their shows but Dredg doesn’t give a fuck. Right on.
Drew, Mark and Dino were all on top of their game, and there were quite a lot of on-stage antics Thursday, including tossing guitars across the stage from the wings and breaking down all of the equipment while continuing to play until there was nothing left! All in all, a great show – and definitely looking forward to the next time these guys come to Chicago.