Thursday night marked the start of a very busy weekend for ACITM. Maggie was catching the rays in Miami at Ultra Music Festival, and I began a stretch of 3 concerts in 3 days as well. A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Mansions, and Young Statues came to Chicago fresh off of a bunch of performances at SXSW, kicking off a mini tour through the midwest and northeast.
Young Statues started the Thursday evening off and did so with a bang. Led by lead singer Carmen Cirignano, the band from Philly had a Chicago crowd quickly fall in love with their take on power pop rock indie music. Carmen’s vocals seemed fit for a venue like Schubas Tavern, and the bands music, upbeat choruses and melodic verses, made them seem like veterans playing Chicago for the 20th time. Bassist Tom Ryan was all over the stage, jamming with both guitarist and even getting drummer Daniel Bogan involved. Ryan seemed genuinely excited to be performing Thursday night, as did the rest of the band. By the end of the night, Young Statues had the audience nodding along to their music and overall they really impressed me. What I thought was a generous comparison from AbsolutePunk before the concert, who called the band the musical middle ground between Death Cab for Cutie, Dashboard Confessional, and Relient K, was actually right on the mark. I expect big things from Young Statues in the future, and hope to see them back in Chicago soon.
More pictures from Young Statues can be found in the gallery below. All photos by Michael Bojda.
Mansions were next up and were equally as impressive. Christopher Bowden now had a full band to back him, and this addition seemed to work really well. The songs are really emotional and really personal, which is why they are so easy to relate to, and Bowden’s vocals really transitioned well from the acoustic shows he used to play to now having thundering drums and bass lines filter the sounds. The audience was really excited for the Mansions performance, and many were singing along to every song once they finally came on. I didn’t know much about Mansions before the show, but am definitely excited to download the album after watching them live Thursday night.
More pictures from Mansions can be found in the gallery below.
The headliners from Brooklyn, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, finished Thursday night off in grand fashion. The fusion of indie rock and something that just seems impossible to define (I don’t know what to call IT, but I know it allows the band to snap seamlessly between spazzy blasts of guitar and get your backside down to the floor tropical funk, maybe we can call it Leafy?). Their choruses were anthem like, with the crowd jumping up and down at points and shouting every word. While watching the band perform I couldn’t help but to make comparisons in my head. They take what Weezer does best, which is make melodic music and choruses that everyone can sing along to, and then mesh it with early Rooney, who had those ballad choruses as well, but wrote verses that flowed with the rest of the song and was easy on the ears. A Great Big Pile of Leaves was even summoned for an encore (I don’t know if it was planned or not, but seemed pretty realistic) much to the delight of the die hard fans, and kept Schubas rocking all night long. I’d recommend checking these guys out live, as their sound is arguably better in the show setting than it is recorded.