Photo by Alyssa Kriner and article by Chloe Rafferty
On November 11th, the LA based psychedelic rock band Drugdealer came to Thalia Hall to showcase their newest album Hiding in Plain Sight. The opener Revered Baron played songs from his new record From Anywhere, consisting of tracks that could either put you to sleep (in the best way possible) or slow dance with your crush. As reflected through his songs, the description of his music goes somewhat like “making you feel like driving down an avenue with the wind blowing through your hair on a warm day into the sunset” The navy lights made for a comforting yet exciting environment.
Onto the headliner- Drugdealer! In Hiding in Plain Sight, the soft vocals, and keyboard made for a trippy 70s dream manifesting itself through this album. This album was nearly Beatles-adjacent. The show stirred a wide variety of emotions, while watching I felt the euphoria of being in love reflected through their sultry tracks such as Madison, Pictures of You, and Valentine. The deep chords made for a surreal experience. Consisting of many guitar solos, even a trumpet solo, the experience was unique. The entire band was accounted for, each having their own showcases of talent throughout the show. At one point, a band member played an unreleased EDM song, which transformed the environment from moody and fun, to a full-on rave, with flashing lights and hardcore dancing.
The stage presence of each member was different in their own way. Vocalist Sasha Winn was entertaining and lively, dancing in his own part of the stage, while lead member Michael Collins was cracking genuine jokes and had a more chill vibe when performing. Collins also loved talking to the crowd, when audience members did their excited heckling, he always responded in the same hilarious fashion. The other members did their own thing in the background but still engaged with the audience through their solos. The crowd was pleasant and polite- but knew how to dance at the right times. Everybody in the crowd did their own boogie, some just bumping their heads, praising their hands to the artists, jumping up and down, or making their own moves in their own worlds. The neon lights transformed according to each song, from calm blues and reds to exciting greens and oranges, some of which lit up the crowd and made it feel like we were the ones performing. At certain times, audience members were even allowed to come onstage, with a member playing the “tin whistle” and dancing as if he were a part of the band.
Overall, the Drugdealer experience was fantastic. One of the best shows that I have ever been to, with the band agreeing, claiming that this Chicago show was one of the best they’ve ever played. An engaged crowd and a passionate band always create a memorable experience. Each person could be themselves in this crowd, including Drugdealer, which made each indie lover feel included and ready for more tracks to come.