Photo by Selden Paterson. For more shows, check out our photo section
Chicago's Lincoln Hall got spooky Saturday night with some help from the decked-out members of The Morning Benders
, Twin Sister
, and Holiday Shores
. The costumes demonstrated impressive dedication; the whole Oberhofer crew's face paint looked both labor-intensive and legitimately scary, Twin Sister pulled off their feline theme pretty well, and the Morning Benders all wore intense and cumbersome-looking headgear without any apparent detriment to their musical abilities.
Due to horrible bicycle mishaps that I don't wish to relive, I missed the first two bands entirely and arrived just as Twin Sister was setting up; I can't report anything first-hand, but I heard painfully good things about Oberhofer's set, and when I ran into guitarist/ glockenspieler (totally a word) Matthew outside he said it was "our best set since..." (though he never revealed since what). All the more tormenting...
To move on from whining about the worse parts of my concert-going experience, Twin Sister's set was a great start to the night. Singer Andrea Estella's completely enchanting voice engulfed the packed room quickly, and as the rhythms got groovier her enthused sway/dance/nodding got the crowd moving. They played a pretty long set, drawing from both their albums and throwing in a cover of La Bionda's "I Wanna Be Your Lover."
When I first heard about this lineup I was a little thrown off (though excited) by the combination — Twin Sister and Oberhofer fit together pretty well, but I don't really see them going hand in hand with the Morning Benders, whose sound I think of as a more solid rock as opposed to the other bands' more synthy, electro-ethereal vibes. When it came down to it though, they fell in line perfectly — Twin Sister was a little more energetic and energizing than on the records, with the vocals a little less affected, and The Morning Benders were a little more trancey live, just enough to fit them in with Twin Sister without losing any of the energy and integrity you hear in recordings. The stuff from the recent album Big Echo
fit with that sound better, though they played a good mix of the old and the new.
Frontman Christopher gave some instructions to go with the song choices throughout the set, suggesting we think dark thoughts to up the halloween-y mood during "Mason Jar" early on, and later demanding some dancing on "Cold War" and "Waiting for A War". They somehow worked in a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," a thoroughly weird but ultimately kind of awesome choice. They released an energized, super satisfied crowd into the windy streets around one, and presumably went trick-or-treating until sunrise.-selden paterson
[Ed. Note: If you happened to miss Oberhofer as well, stay tuned. We've got a full concert shoot with the band from last week's CMJ festivities, hitting the site later this month.
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Holiday Shores on Myspace
Oberhofer on Myspace
Twin Sister on Myspace
The Morning Benders on Myspace