Schubas Tavern was yet again graced by the presence of Diane Coffee to ring in the New Year, who spent 2017’s Eve as well as December 30th in the cozy Lakeview venue. Immediately upon entering the space, there was an apparent amount of positive energy coming from the Chicagoans ready to say goodbye to treacherous 2016. It was clear that, despite what many considered to be a difficult year to get through, they were ready to be inspired by some powerful music to end the year on the right note. On this particular evening, the first of the two-night residency, the anticipation of the New Year was only enhanced by the balloons secured above us, just waiting to drop in a little over 24 hours.
Accompanied by local openers, retro rockers Modern Vices on this evening and the glamorous up and comers Yoko and The Oh No’s the following night, Diane Coffee dazzled with his eclectic nature and stunning light show for a venue of this size. For those that haven’t seen the youngsters of Modern Vices yet, make it a priority in early 2017. Lead singer Alex Rebak can wail like no other at his young age, and the instrumentalists behind him embrace a pleasant balance of simplicity and technicality in their nostalgic rock tunes. See a stripped-down living room set with Sofar Sounds: Chicago here.
First timers and avid followers alike have no trouble understanding Diane Coffee frontman Shaun Fleming’s influences; Picture David Bowie and a healthy balance of Foxy Shazams’ Eric Nally and Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. There was no force in the room to stop the infectious energy exalted by Diane Coffee, and it was difficult to look away from the captivating performers and video projections on stage. These video images, crisply projected from different angles onto big hexagons behind the band, were at a professional level beyond anything we’ve ever seen at Schubas. It was captivating and beautifully accented the high-energy tunes that rocked that room for two nights.
Needless to say, any fans of Bowie, Foxy, or Of Montreal need to make it to a Diane Coffee show. It felt translucent of these fantastic performers, but at the same time didn’t feel like a copy whatsoever. This performance and persona is Diane Coffee’s alone, and we highly recommend you make it out to see what we mean next time he runs through the Windy City.