One of the best parts about Summer approaching in Chicago is being able to go to a show when it's warm out. Yeah great, whatever it's warm out - everybody likes that. But think about it; how great is it to be able to hop off the train and walk down past Wrigley Field and walk right into the Metro which has its doors wide open, scan your ticket, and run right up the stairs to catch a band play? No giant coat to figure out what to do with, the temperature never changes until you jump into the sweaty pit. But what makes that entire experience better is when the bands you went up to catch are two that you've honeslty been wanting to check out, you just never have, and now you're so glad you finally did - and in the best way possible! This was my Basement and Nothing experience this past Friday the 24th.
Nothing opened for Basement. They're from current noise-rock hotbed, Philadelphia, and delivered behind a cool shade of blue lights or an anxious glow of orange a powerhouse set of shoegaze and hard rock that melded together to evoke the cathartic sounds of guitars turned up and reverbed to hell. In the same way this gave bands like Catherine Wheel and My Vitriol their charm and obsessive character, Nothing presents emotion not only in slow delivered vocals, but in the slab riffs amd trailes of distortion that sound like they're screaming out of a pink neon tube exploding with sound. The songs among their 8 song setlist included cuts like "Blue Line Baby" from last year's Dance on The Blacktop (Relapse Records) and "Vertigo Flowers" off of 2016's Tired of Tomorrow (Relapse Records). Nothing played loud and as soon as they were through, they were through, leaving the Metro stage quickly, making way for Basement.
From Ipswich, England, formed in 2009, Basement stopped in Chicago as part of the tour for their latest release, last year's Beside Myself (Fueled By Ramen), the band's second release following a return from hiatus in 2014. Though the show was not sold out, the all ages crowd that packed infront of the stage proved that a sold out crowd means nothing compared to an audience of incredibly enthusiastic fans either dancing and shouting lyrics, falling all over one another in an enticing pit, surfing the enticing pit, or what I did to fully absorb the band that I'd only seen in passing at Michican's Audiotree Fest late last year. Noticing this pit, lead vocalist Andrew Fisher noted "I see a bit of movement here. I like it, feel free to have fun," later adding "this is my favorite show of the tour." The crowd did just that while the band played songs from their latest record, "Nothing Left," and "Be Here Now," songs played with a ferocious calm exuded from guitarists Ronan Crix and Alex Henery's confident presence while playing, seemingly for their own enjoyment, head banging and moving around to their songs, letting us join them. Fisher jumped and rocked back and forth while he cluthced the mic and rasped out the sing-alongable lyrics.
To me, this was the best kind of official introduction for both of these bands that I could have asked for. I'd seen their albums covers a few times and thought "oh yeah I know that name..." but never did anything about it until running right up the stairs into Nothing, and staying for Basement, very glad I did.
<-----Nothing's Dance on the Blacktop Basement's Beside Myself --->