Make all the 4:20 drug references you want, but going to see new psychedelic rock band, Sleepy Sun, play on the drug user’s holiday was a great choice. While the crowd gathered at Chicago's Subterranean, it was apparent that many audience members had partook in celebrating the day before the show.
When first entering the venue, the first thing that struck me was the average age of those in attendance. While the range was what I expected to see, think mid 20s – 30s, I was most excited to see that several audience members with the tell tale black X on the back of their hands, which meant they were underage. This demonstrated the youths of Chicago were still hip to music beyond hte mainstream.
These teens appeared just as eager as I was to hear some of the latest tracks off their latest release, Spiny Hits, and was pleased that the majority of the set were new tracks. As the band hit their stride during “Stivey Ponds,” the first single, the stage was illuminated with blue glowing mannequin arms mimicking their latest album cover.
The band flawlessly mixed new and old tracks with very little crowd interaction, it was all about the music. While playing “V.O.G.” I couldn’t help but be overcome by the music and join in with the crowds obvious grooving out. Part way through the set, lead singer, Bret Constantino, grabbed a stray non-illuminated mannequin arm and raised it above his head encouraging the crowd to join. He also made a cryptic remark as this was their “first show and last show,” which didn’t make any sense.
The best comment of the night was was prior to “Pigs on L,” when the singer announced to the crowd to close our eyes and just listen because this song was about cops on LSD. Throughout the set I couldn’t help but make a Black Mountain comparison, especially to a specific show I had seen them play a couple years back at Lincoln Hall. Both Sub-T and Lincoln Hall have an intimate small venue feel, that lends itself to the encompassing heavy fuzzy feeling this genre of music has on the body and soul.
I don’t have any complaints about the night. There weren’t any obnoxious drunk people to ruin the show, the sound guy did an amazing job and the overall show was easily more enjoyable and pleasing then I had gone into the night thinking it was going to be. If you are in the mood for good psych rock then this is an easy to listen to very enjoyable live band. They are currently touring U.S., Canada and Europe in support of Spiny Hits. You can also check out our review of the album here.