by Mickey Johnson
Despite the bitter cold Saturday, things were heating up inside Sleeping Village as a crowd gathered to see Los Angeles locals Frankie and the Witch Fingers perform. Opening for them were two Chicago-based bands, Flesh Panthers and Modern Vices.
Flesh Panthers describe their music on their bandcamp as “ROCK,” and that really sums them up in the best way possible. While they had a mellow song to start things off, that was as mellow as it got for them. They moved quickly into songs heavy with power chords and catchy, classic choruses. Toward the end of their set, the group gave the audience a heavier rock version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic “Proud Mary,” as a treat.
Modern Vices came on next with the same energy, but channeled in their own way. Their sound was more mellow, reminiscent of surf rock in some of the guitar melodies. The instrumental sounds were the perfect gateway for lead singer Alex Rebek to show off his range. Going from rich, low-pitched melodies to high, belting choruses in a moment’s notice, Modern Vices did an incredible job following Flesh Panthers and segueing into the final set of the show.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers have been around for more than 10 years now, but that did not stop them from bringing it all to the stage. They started out their set with two new songs, keeping true to their psychedelic sound with fuzzy guitars and rough, angsty vocals from guitarist and lead singer Dylan Sizemore.
The first two songs seemed to go by fast, followed by a quick introduction from Sizemore. They then moved into playing a couple of songs from their most recent album ZAM. “Realization” and “Pleasure” certainly got the crowd riled up; not a single person in the room could be seen standing still.
The crowd and band all moved together through the rest of the set, which ended with even more new tracks. The energy the band exuded was borderline hypnotic– it was nearly impossible to look away. Frankie and the Witch Fingers have been in the game long enough to know how to work a crowd, and they really show it.
While getting to Sleeping Village may have been a trek for some and the weather was less than merciful, the show definitely made it all worth it. Flesh Panthers and Modern Vices showed what the Chicago music scene has to offer and set the crowd up for Frankie and the Witch Fingers, who left nothing to be desired.