We had the pleasure of attending the Chicago date of “An Evening With The Dear Hunter” last Friday at the Bottom Lounge. You can check out our review of the tour, after the break.
Two bands playing a 3 hour show? This was the thought that baffled me as I waited for Naive Thieves to take the stage at The Bottom Lounge. It was a very unorthodox show line up but hey, it was The Dear Hunter headlining at one of the best venues in Chicago, so I really couldn’t complain too much.
At 7pm sharp, Naïve Thieves took the stage and needless to say they had the typical New York mid 2000’s indie band style, so I was halfway sold to how good they would actually be. After the first five seconds of their set, I immediately began to bob my head and tap my foot. In order to open for The Dear Hunter on a two band bill, I guess you have to be something special. They had a reminiscent sound of The Strokes, but they were a little less gritty and had more of a sweet demeanor to their songs. Also, I want to address the elephant in the room, Cameron Thorne (vocals), has a killer mustache. Just like any band I hear for the first time, I knew that the music was really good, but since I wasn’t a fan previous to the show, their songs and overall sound was pretty homogenous throughout the set and there wasn’t a song that really stood out in my mind. In their defense, when compared to a band like TDH where every song is bursting with its own personality, it is pretty tough to have songs that essentially hit you upside the head. All I know is that, at the end of their set, I was disappointed, only because they didn’t have a longer set. I could have honestly been ok with them playing a 45 minute + set.
One of the best things about the show was honestly the quick set change. Usually if you’re alone at a show you either, A: make new friends or B: go on your phone and check every social media app and look busy. Before I could even scroll halfway through my newsfeed, TDH had taken the stage. Much to my surprise, despite having their new album Migrant just released, the first half of the show was chalk full of older hits off of their Act I-III and Color Spectrum albums. Midway through the set, they nicely asked the crowd if they could play a handful of songs off of their newest album. The crowd went wild with applause and shouts of approval from the crowd. To say the least, the crowd was not only attentive, but actually a bit wild that night. Casey had expressed how amazing it was to have such a lively crowd which was the polar opposite of the crowd they had just played to in St. Louis. The new songs were actually pretty solid, from what I heard at SXSW and the show at Bottom Lounge I am excited to listen to the actual full album. The best thing is that they eased the new songs onto the audience and didn’t play over half the set with new songs like I had anticipated they would do. Near the 2/3 mark of the two and a half hour set, Casey played a few solo acoustic songs with the help of Cameron Thorne. It was definitely a nice and much needed break from the enthralling set that they had put together. They closed the night off strong and pleased everyone at the show. In theory the set length they chose to play seemed daunting and I was apprehensive about it, but they constructed it so well that the total time only felt like a hour set at most. I was totally satisfied and The Dear Hunter has yet to let me down with their live show and the amazing music that they create.
Information about the review…
Tour: An Evening With The Dear Hunter
Bands: The Dear Hunter, Naive Thieves
Reviewer: Jim Vondruska
Date: April 12, 2013
Venue: The Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL