Logan Square’s Quenchers Saloon was packed Friday night when Faade headlined the evening for their very first live performance as a group. Kaleidoscope images trickled through the room from behind the band, to put the audience into a mental pursuit. These visuals, coupled with famous poetry and speech excerpts, gave meaning to the breakout performance and new band.
Standing in the front row, I watched each band member – Guitarist and Bassist Kevin Richter, Guitarist Michael Thomas, Drummer Teddy Schrishuhn and Keyboardist Brian Pavloff – individually fall into each piece. It was like each track was a battle, original to each musician.
Richter moved back and forth between his guitar and the stand behind him, which held his bass. There were two rows of pedals on the floor in front of him, one of which he used to record riffs while playing. Then, he would switch back to his guitar to play over the bass loop he just created live.
Faade’s sounds should not be called songs, as the band is of the instrumental rock genre. That’s why visuals helped to bind each piece together, and to transport spectators through the tunnel of sounds Faade created in Quenchers Saloon.
But, though there were no vocals to hold onto throughout the performance, occasional interludes of a recorded speaker reading famous poems and speeches played over the room to introduce the next piece. One excerpt used in the performance was read by Madonna, and from Pablo Neruda’s poem, “If You Forget Me,” which speaks of the loss of love and life, sprouting from the soil, but impacting the human soul.
A thought like this would preface a piece, as the projection on the wall behind the band changed, and transitioned us into the next phase of the set list. Instead of being told through song what the yearning was for each track, the audience could feel and dive into it. Faade gives you the opportunity to decide what each sound should mean.
That’s the purpose of poetry after all. Another chilling excerpt used in the production Friday night was from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” speech. Chaplin’s voice was heard through Quenchers, describing what he believes has become of human nature. He laments that, “We think too much and feel too little.” Those words led us into the next piece, through which we raced with Richter, Schrishuhn, Pavloff and Thomas.
Like a wolf whose only purpose is to follow the light of the moon, the desire in each piece was to convey a pursuit of something. Perhaps it’s love, and perhaps it’s meaning.
That became especially true when we heard a speaker reading the words, “And his fingers were astronauts, found dead in their spacesuits/And his heart was a First World War grenade discovered by children,” from a Simon Armitage poem.