By James Currie
San Francisco based alt-rock band, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (AKA BRMC), return to Chicago in support of their latest release, Wrong Creatures. The three piece continue their dark, moody rock with an album of twelve new tracks. Tour kicked off a few weeks ago and continues though the end of the month before a short break when they will head to Australia and the rest of the world throughout summer.
The Wrong Creatures Tour 2018 marks the bands 20th anniversary. Not much as changed since 1998 except for one member. Original drummer and co-founding member Nick Jago left the band in 2008. Halfway through the bands career. Since then, Leah Shapiro has taken the thrown carrying the band through the second half of their existence. She had some tough times as she went through brain surgery a few years back, but bounced back incredibly fast and the beat goes on.
On this tour, Peter Hayes, Robert Levon Been and Leah Shapiro burn through classics and several new songs from the latest album. The night kicks off with the eerie new track from “Wrong Creatures”, Spook. The lights are pulsing through dark green and white with occasional high blast strobes. Staying with their traditional layout, Hayes takes the lead, stage left with Shapiro center rear and Been flanking stage right. Hayes and Been both have a hodge-podge collection of amps and effect pedals surrounding them. Shapiro submersed behind her tribalesque kit.
BRMC continue the show with tracks spanning their entire catalog. They break in the fan favorites like “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo”, “Stop”, “Love Burns” and “Six Barrel Shotgun” before taking a short break and returning with a couple more for the encore.
The band is tight as always but not so much they sound like a recording. They keep it loose enough to be real but professional. Their stage persona is stoic. There’s no banter with the audience or each other beyond the occasional thank you and eye contact while playing. That’s not to say their not enthusiastic or entertaining. They’re almost to cool for school. Not enough to be conceded, just doing their job. They’re not much for limelight. They just want to make great music and play it for people who are like minded.
This show was not unlike others they’ve played in town. When you come to a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A true to heart rock concert by a band that isn’t into fluff and filler.
For more info on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, click here
For photos from the show at The Vic, click here
For a video sample of them live, click here
Setlist: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club live in Chicago at The Vic Theatre February 10, 2018
22. Ninth Configuration
23. Whatever Happened To My Rock n Roll
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