CoCoComa @ Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

Live Reviews | Sep 8th, 2009

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Opening Band: So So Glos, Titus Andronicus
Date: September 7th 2009

CoCoComa’s sound harkens back to the stripped down New York garage band revival. You know when they said that sound was coming back with The Hives, The Strokes, and The Vines. Well no one bangs their drums as hard as this band. CoCoComa is a glorious mix of pounding beats and danceable/singable/drunk-able harmonies. You just can’t go wrong. The only sad thing is that it was a Monday and I had to go back to work the next day.

You know that scene in Back to the Future where Marty is playing guitar and is blowing everyone away? That’s what the So So Glos where doing to the small crowd assembled Monday night. Not since The Clash has rock and roll sounded this fun. It was no wonder that men 50 yrs. + were sprinkled throughout the crowd. That being said, they aren’t doing anything that The Clash hasn’t done before. They also acted like they were playing to a packed room instead of a sparsely filled one. I mean, “Hello Chicago”??? I didn’t know people still said that. Maybe they were just acting their rock star part. Either way, this band is worth checking out. So go get out your prom shoes.

It’s 11 pm and I’m a responsible adult. I have a full time job that I need to be at 8 am. I go to school too. I have some homework to finish up on. And I’ve had a few beers so I’m getting tired. And no sooner does the thought of leaving cross my mind does Titus Andronicus take the stage. With a Chicago style introduction from poet Thax Douglas, Titus Andronicus strums their guitars and the gathering begins.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Titus Andronicus live with their whirring guitars and bluesy harmonicas then you’re missing out on something grand. Last night’s performance was a little muddled sound wise. Was it singer Patrick Stickles’ beard masking his vocals or was it just the sound guy? I don’t know. Usually I’d say that when it’s this kind of party it doesn’t really matter, because the louder you are the better. This was not the case, though. Patrick Stickles’ voice, which is often compared to Conor Oberst, needs to be heard in all its screeching and yearning. Somewhere in the middle of the set the sound guy and Stickles’ seemed to find a common ground. It came just in time for Stickles’ to proclaim “You’re arms are too short to box with god” and then roar into their song “No Future.”

Their songs literally took hold over them as they trashed about on stage and possessed the crowd as well. Taking cues from their namesake (Shakespeare’s play), Titus Andronicus’ set was composed of violent and thrashing songs. Their “Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, New Jersey” was an organized destruction of sound that they single handedly rebuilt. They ended their set with the So So Glos joining them on stage for a Billy Bragg cover. It was a true rock spectacle in the greatest sense of the word.


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