Rocking Out With Diners

by Clara Copps

Diners Lead Blue Broderick sits in an office at a desk holding a blue electric guitar

Photo by Rachel Kehlee Lewis

The excitement was tangible walking into Beat Kitchen Thursday night in anticipation of Diners, an indie rock band from Phoenix, Arizona. Frontperson Blue Broderick was manning the merch table during the first opener and handing out little business cards with fun facts and a Spotify link to their newest album, Domino. I had never seen anything like this before, and the attention to detail let me know that I would be in for a great night.

The openers, Mairy and Rust Ring, are both local Chicago bands that did a fantastic job of setting the bar high and creating a very welcoming, energetic environment in the back room of the Ravenswood bar. It was Mairy’s first time performing as a band, and after their fiery debut, I noticed them hanging out and dancing in the audience for the rest of the night. Rust Ring carried on this energy with some selections from their newest album, a pop punk record titled North to the Future.

Diners opened up their set with a faster paced song, saying they heard that “Chicago likes to rock out”, and then settled into their charming, west coast pop sound. They played a variety of tracks from Domino such as The Power, Someday I’ll Go Surfing, and title track Domino, which has been featured on the WLUW rotation the past two weeks. Broderick’s clear voice rang throughout the room and complemented the 60s, twangy electric guitar seamlessly.

Blue Broderick was playing alongside her friends Aaron, Corbin and Ava on bass, guitar, and drums, respectively. One of the songs they highlighted is Brain Song, which repeats the line “I think my brain might have a little brain of its own, it doesn’t do anything that I want it to do”, which demonstrates Diners’ ability to deliver poignant messages with a slightly humorous twist.

To me, Diners is an apt name for this band because it sounds like something you’d hear in a retro diner while splitting a milkshake with your best friend. The band released their first album in 2012, and it’s cool to hear how their sound has refined over the past ten years. Although there is a wide array of music to pick from, songs from their oldest albums made it onto the setlist last night, for example Good Zone, off their 2014 album Always Room.

The band ended the night on a nostalgic note with Fifteen on a Skateboard, a song filled with dreamy guitar riffs and lyrics calling the listener back to sentimental teenage memories. Broderick even interpolated a few verses of John Denver’s classic Take Me Home, Country Roads, which made for a fantastic conclusion to the show. And, of course, the band punctuated song with a little synchronized hop at the end, a move they had been incorporating the entire evening.

The music of Diners is reminiscent of bands like Summer Salt, The Beach Boys, and Her’s, and you can check them out on Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.

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