Monday, December 05, 2005

The High Dials w/ Le Concorde and Charlemagne @ Schuba's - 12/4/05

You may remember that I mentioned this band in my review of the Brian Jonestown Massacre show a few months ago. The High Dials opened for BJM that night (as did Richard Swift), but I missed pretty much all of the opening stuff, and got there in time for probably their last two songs. They sounded good, so I searched out some of their stuff, and I really like it. So a good band at a great venue for only $8? Couldn't pass it up.

The combination of the brutal cold and the fact that it was a Sunday meant that the crowd was pretty small. There couldn't have been more than 25 or 30 people for Le Concorde, about twice that for Charlemagne, and about 80-90 for the High Dials. While it would have been nice for the bands to have more people there, my selfish gene was just fine with the small crowd.

Le Concorde opened the night, and they were pretty good. Nothing earth shattering, but a nice way to pass the time. Charlemagne struck me more or less the same way. Finally at about 11:00, the High Dials took the stage. My very incomplete and very out of order setlist (more or less some stuff I remember them playing):
  • Regeneration
  • Fields of Glass
  • TV Mystic (maybe)
  • Holy Ground
  • Soul in Lust
  • Our Time is Coming Soon
  • Strandhill Sands
  • Sick With the Old Fire
  • Things are Getting Better
Plus a few more. Honestly, the titles of most of their stuff aren't quite burned into my head enough to really remember all of it. And I've been listening to both A New Devotion and War of the Wakening Phantoms so much lately that it's hard to remember if I heard the songs last night or at some other time (like today at work for example). They closed with the last one on that list, and it's really an impressive number in person. Rishi, the bass player and backing vocalist, is of Indian descent (I think). He busts out the sitar for that one, and it's about a 15 minute instrumental jam around a melody from the sitar.

These guys have been touring since something like March, so I'm sure they're ready to take a break and head back to Montreal. But even after a late show on a Sunday night (they took the stage at about 11:15), they were nice enough to hang around and chat afterward. The downside was that they were pretty much out of a lot of their merch, so although I've been listening to New Devotion on Rhapsody, I couldn't buy it last night, and I'll have to get it from their website or Amazon or something.

Chatted with Thax Douglas a little bit too last night. If you've spent any time going to small venue shows in Chicago, primarily at either Schuba's or the Metro, you've probably seen Thax. He's the heavy set guy with the big beard who reads really odd poems that are supposed to somehow relate to the band that's performing. I don't get him, really, but he's a nice enough guy, good to talk to, and it's some local color, so that was kind of cool.

Honestly, I can't reccomend these guys highly enough. If you have a soft spot for jangly psychelic-style pop/rock, they're right up your alley. The new album is a little less on the psychedelic side, but the first three tracks are really a tour de force and not to be missed. So go buy their new album. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Tim said...

I know I'm responding to a very old post, but The High Dials are going to be playing IN CHICAGO on Friday October 24.

We're doing an in-studio performance at Stereophonic Studio on the north side (2415 W. Barry) and the doors open at 9pm. Also on the bill are two local pschy pop outfits, Memphis Graham and The Red Plastic Buddha.

$10 admission includes tap beer & entry to raffle for studio time, CDs, more.