Whenever a band or musician says that "tonight's crowd is the best" I always have a tendency to question how true that actually is. However, last night when both Cory Branan and Dave Hause made that bold statement about the crowd at Schubas I believed them. Dave said it the best when he commented that it was because of the crowd it didn’t feel like a Monday. The audience was so enthralled by both performers that Dave also brought to attention the respect and silence that happened between each song change. He compared it to playing in Tokyo where apparently after the crowd claps at the end of a song there is often complete silence.
Having seen Dave earlier this year perform many songs off of his debut solo album, Resolutions, I knew that tonight would be one of not only great new music, but also story telling. Dave admitted that he had not foreseen touring behind this album for the entire year but was happy to be doing so. Dave, the front man of the Philadelphia based punk band The Loved Ones, has taken a much mellower backdrop for his brutally truthful lyrics for the majority of Resolutions but the passion and often pain of living is still very present in his performance. During the set he dedicated his song “Prague” to Dan Andrino of Alkaline Trio, a local band though and through, and a close friend of his whom he had been on tour with for the whole Revival Tour (along with Chuck Regan and Brian Fallon). After the dedication he also mention the song to be about shrooms which gained a chuckle from the crowd.
In one of the lyrics of his song he comments on his lack of ability to play guitar well, and I am very comfortable saying that it is not the case. His guitar skills are definitely adding to his lyrics and his vocals are some of the most heart felt I've heard first hand in a long time. I can not wait to see Dave again, however he did mention after these last 5 shows of the year he was going back to write and recording. I am not sure if alone, or with The Loved Ones, either way it might be a minute till this man comes through Chicago again, but I can guarantee I will be there the next time it happens, along with most likely the rest of the crowd.
Following Dave, Cory Branan, a household name for my family took the same stage I saw him on months back. Cory will always hold a special place in my heart because he was the first musician I ever shot and have never looked back. I was introduced to him 5 years ago and there has yet to be a Chicago show he’s played that I’ve missed. As a performer I can not compare him to anyone I have seen before. He has mastered the art of spastic guitar playing that sounds not only amazing but purposeful to every song. While he happened to play a lot of “happy” songs during the set last night, which is often not what he’s known for, his talent still amazes me every time. I was pleased to hear several new songs, he also informed us that there will be an announcement about his new album the first week of the new year.
Cory might be one of the hardest working travelling musicians I’ve ever encountered. I feel there is rarely a time he is not on the road and I would take advantage of seeing him the next time he is in a town close by. He a good ‘ole southern boy that will make you want to drink whiskey and party with him from the first time you hear him play an opening chord.