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It’s the Saturday night before St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. The family friendly title for it is “Parade Day”, mostly because “sea of drunk people roaming the streets in green clothes they only bought for today” doesn’t sit as well.
It’s 10pm at the legendary watering hole Schuba’s, and there’s one double door separating the crowd of green clad, heavy eyed partiers who are clearly running on fumes from the dedicated rock fans who have come to indulge in the lush, rich, solid acoustics that Schuba’s is known for.
Opening the sold out show for Johannesburg’s Parlotones is Chicago’s own “The Bright White.” Lead singer Matthew Kayser’s voice is immediately reminiscent of Kaleb Followill’s of radio heartbreakers “the Kings of Leon,” and that’s not a bad thing. On the track “Red Summer Rose” from the bands recently released EP “Until Then,” the parallel became most apparent. Kayser threw his arms out and belted the chorus, which fit perfectly into the small and intimate space. The band also handled vocal harmony very well, while not overdoing it.
The show was reminiscent of the solid pop rock that helped blow out the speakers of many a late model 90s Japanese car. The delivery was reminiscent of early Foo Fighters, Oasis or Superdrag, and one couldn’t help but look at the leather jacket clad rockers and be taken back to a time in their life where they threw up a fist and banged their underage heads as they sang along on a school night at their favorite dingy, smoke filled venue. But just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean that The Bright White doesn’t do it well.
The band was solid, tight, and the thumping, hard hitting drumming had most of the crowd at least shaking part of a tail feather, even with one hand in their pocket, and another on their beer.
In today’s current glam-grunge, 5-o’clock shadow rock climate, there is definitely a place for The Bright White. While the show was short, the crowd seemed to desire more from the band. The amount of love they received from the crowd definitely grew as the show went on, and why not? Their sound is simple enough to be approachable, and solid enough to keep the audience impressed. Keep an eye out for these Chicago natives, and check out a show if you get the chance.
PHOTOS BY: David Sampson WORDS BY: Michael Stump ( @stumpbone )
Hey, blogpsot readers, Chicago's in a river of green for St. Padddy's Day! After taking in the traditional city parade, SouthSide continued her long weekend around town with not one but two hot shows in the Lakeview neighborhood. Her first stop took her to Elbo Room to riot with pals, Riot Inside before heading to Schubas with number one fan, Joe, to see The Bright White and The Parlotones (South Africa). Also performing at Elbo Room were SouthSide's other good friends, Arma, Social Hero and Echoson. This reviewer's sad to report that this was Echoson's last performance on stage however the two principal members of this rockin' band, Alex and Brynn, will return again under a new name, blogspot readers.
SouthSide highly recommends checking out the soulful yet dynamic vocal power (by front man Matthew) and rockin' Brit pop/alternative rock of The Bright White, blogspot readers. This band literally blew this reviewer away that she found herself deeply intrigued as well as mesmerized by the vocals more than its music throughout this performance. Matthew's vocal powress and charismatic presence commanding the stage not only fueled the rest of Bright's momentum but the crowd's too. Song after song this front man generated passionate screaming from the ladies whenever he belted such dynamic vocal tone over the microphone to make the lyrics pop to life. And yes, blogspot readers, he also generated a subtle hint of sex appeal (from his dance moves) especially while hitting those high falsetto notes during Red Summer Rose (track 1 off debut CD - Until Then). Fans will enjoy the simplistic yet melodic tone that gave a "feel good" vibe permeating throughout the crowd from this song's catchy hooks and rhythms. This vibrant sound was also felt within Upon The Wall (track 3) and We Are More Than Animals (track 2) in which SouthSide liked the radio-ready energy and lively tempo off the guitar riffs in both songs. Bright's These Are The Days should be taked as the millennial message of the decade for its realistic words of hope and brighter future. What a show, blogspot readers, full of falsetto vocal power and charismatic charm behind a rockin' melodic pop sound. And ...thanks for the shout out, guys. Visit http://www.thebrightwhite.com or http://www.thebrightwhite.bandcamp.com for more information about this band.
Until next time, support your local scene, SouthSide
The headline of a recent Metromix Chicago article on The Bright White boldly reads "Beatles maniacs." A single listen to the locally-based band's debut EP Until Then offers plenty of proof why. Packed with ringing guitars, well-crafted melodies and heartfelt, rootsy appeal, its five songs are founded on the classic pop elements of the ever-revered British foursome. But that's not all there is to The Bright White; they expand on that core sound with touches of prime-era American alternative rock and then inject it all with an extra shot of raw energy.
Until Then opens with the passionate "Red Summer Rose," featuring a bright melody contrasted by less-than-optimistic sentiments that lie just below the sheen; "There she goes, red summer rose / sure as I was born I'll find a thorn," assert the rich, hard-charging vocals of frontman Matthew Kayser. This sort of split between music and lyrics typically makes for more interesting pop songs, and it's definitely part of what makes The Bright White's debut so grabbing.
"We Are More Than Animals" and "Refugees" continue in the same spirit, pairing power pop hooks with a deep, hearty intensity. "Upon the Wall," quite possibly the standout, hits upon the sound that made classic material by college rock acts such as the Replacements and R.E.M. so captivating; it's a sound that's upbeat and guitar-driven but also a bit gray, and the band get it down perfectly. "She Never Forgets Me," the track most overtly inspired by Beatles songcraft, closes the EP with a positive, acoustic jangle.
The songwriting and performances on Until Then are consistently strong enough that anyone who is a fan of this sort of sound will likely be sold after just one or two plays. The Bright White have delivered an incredibly energetic, likable introduction that deserves to be heard.
By Frank Krolicki Windy City Rock