Castevet @ Subterranean Chicago, IL

Live Reviews | Feb 1st, 2010

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Date: January 20th, 2010
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Less than a year after releasing their Summer Fences EP, Castevet headlined their record release show for The Echo & The Light at Subterranean last weekend. Taking the stage after midnight, the group displayed an explosive combination of indie, emo, punk, and instrumental. It’s almost as if the group single handedly picked the best element from their favorite bands and magically placed them into their songs.

Before their show I spent a better part of my week listening to Summer Fences to try to get a feel about what this Chicago quartet was all about. It’s no doubt that on record their instrumentals rule the show. One of their songs has only two lines and most are over five minutes long. Needless to say, I was curious as to how this group of young guys were going to parlay the scenic aesthetic of their ep onto the stage. They didn’t. They did better. Often being compared to Cap’n Jazz and American Football, Castevet borrows from nineties midwest emo and adds a hardcore feel with Nick Wakim’s vocals. Although Wakim’s vocals weren’t easily audible (they were more like screams), the group’s thoughtful compositions were. Each note resonated throughout the room. Standing in the balcony, it was easy to hear each member’s contribution to the songs. Each layer of music tessellated almost perfectly in this live setting. I can’t even begin to describe how crisp the bass sounded. Their vibrant melodies combined with Wakim’s visceral voice had the crowd erupting. There was countless pushing/shoving and stage dives, something I had never seen at the club before. It was very clear that this punk show was worth watching.

While Summer Fences takes you through images of long drives and front porch kisses, their live set places you directly in the now. Every song immediately becomes the perfect soundtrack to whatever is going on in your life. In many ways, this band encompasses all that Chicago has to offer. The push and pull of each song represents those restless summer nights or long winter train rides. After all, they say this city only has two seasons. Castevet does nothing less than exhibit that fierce juxtaposition in their live show. I genuinely look forward to seeing what The Echo & The Light has to offer as well as any of their future shows.


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