Tomorrow Never Knows fest wrapped up at Lincoln Hall with Peel, Slotface and Hinds performing to the crowd you would expect at an 8 p.m. Sunday night show: The excited fans calculated set times and the subsequent amount of sleep they’d be able to squeeze in before Monday’s 9 to 5 grind.
I walked into the venue and ordered a Coke as a pick me-up (Red Bull was too strong of an option for 9 p.m. on a Sunday). Note: when ordering soft drinks at the bar refills are free all night, an exciting discovery until the bathroom seems like a mile away from your spot in the crowd and you’re nervous you might miss the first song of the next band…
The first-opener, Peel, threw picks, cassettes and iron-on patches in a somewhat cringey act of self-promotion. The cassettes were close to nicking heads and I was reminded of a 2015 Action Bronson show where the man in front of me (luckily) caught a french press before it nailed me in the skull. However, Peel isn’t Action Bronson and the thrill was more of an annoyance.
Slotface was also eager to engage with the Sunday-scary infiltrated crowd. They encouraged “a baby mosh” (read: a small mosh pit of dedicated fans not toddlers getting crunk, although the later is an entertaining image). They jammed under a disco ball and both the bassist, Lasse Lokoy, and singer, Haley Shea, ran into the crowd to drum up more mosh pit enthusiasm. The band responded to the shouted audience inquiry, “Tell us about Norway,” with a quick summary of good fish, beautiful fjords and f***ed immigration (an aspect, Shea said, that puts it in a similar political climate to the U.S.).
Headliner Hinds danced on stage to the tune of “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate. This entrance combined with the Madrid-based band’s personality-driven outfits (Amber Grimbergen standing out in red behind her drum set, Ana Perrote in a bright yellow blouse, Ade Martin in denim overalls accented with a white turtleneck and cateye sunglasses and Carlota Cosials in a white crop top and ponytail separated into two braids — still unsure how she pulled that hairdo off so well…) had the crowd excitedly awaiting the first notes, the people around me whispered “OMG they’re the cutest.”
The “cute” descriptor wasn’t patronizing, it was embraced by the band through choreography for “San Diego,” playing each others guitars and Cosials’ endearingly commenting on her observations of Chicago weather. These aspects of the show were accented by shredding, rocking and hardcore crowd-pleasing. The band’s lo-fi rock sound wavers between understated crooning and screamed statements.
The band is set to release their second album, “I Don’t Run,” on April 6. As such, they played a couple of new tracks titled “Linda” and “The Clap” to much enthusiasm (although, there was an awkward silence when the band announced the second song’s title — perhaps the name will change with translation before the album release).
“And now we have something new for you,” Cosials announced, smiling at the pun, as the band went into their recently released single “New For You.”
The band called Twin Peaks, who they toured with in April, out of the audience and both bands harmonized an adorable rendition of “Sweet Thing.” Cosials said the band never performed it live until Hinds encouraged them to do so and joined them on stage for the track on tour.
Hinds managed to drum up excitement in a Sunday night crowd, embodied by the Cosials telling the crowd their allowed to talk between songs noting the ensuing silence post-applause: the fans were there for the band, not to socialize and besides, they only had the energy for one of these at 10 p.m. on a Sunday. You’ll catch me back in the audience at Lincoln Hall for their May 15 show, this time on a Tuesday.