If you’re going to be reading this blog at all, you need to know something up front: I’m a Chaperone fan. And I don’t mean that I think they’re pretty good and they’re a good show to go see if there’s nothing else to do. I mean I think they’re a great band and it pisses me off that more people don’t get into them. So you won’t be reading any negative comments from me beyond something like, “Oh. That song was out of tune.” And they gladly admit that themselves. If something isn’t just right, Chaperone is the first one to say, “Sorry. That sucked.”
So we found ourselves again last night at a great Chicago venue to see Chaperone perform as openers for O’Death (which is a band that sounds kinda like The Felice Brothers on crack). Beat Kitchen is a fantastic, small room that reminds me of a not-quite-as-nice Schubas. I’ve seen a few shows at Beat Kitchen over the past six months, and I think that the bands feel a bit looser when they play at a place like this.
That was certainly the case last night. We arrived early to grab some dinner with friends and ran into Chaperone sitting at a table having beers. We stood there and talked for a while about the idiot that punched two women in the face at SxSw this year and also about this website. They were in a chatty mood and that’s good to see. I like my bands laid back before a show.
That all changed once they hit the stage, of course. If you’ve never seen them play, you’re missing one hell of a show. We tried to take pictures of the event, but almost every shot contained a big blur on the left side of the stage. That’s Miles. He’s constantly in motion, cracking a snare drum or headbutting Shaun during a song. I find it funny and disarming that a guy so mild-mannered can be so crazy on stage.
I won’t get too deep into the actual show. If you’ve read anything that I’ve written before about them, you know what I think. I will highlight a new song that they performed for the first time. “Son of Love Control” is, I believe, the first song that Mark Sheridan has written for Chaperone. It fits in well with the other songs Chaperone has done while remaining one that is easily discernible from the rest. After they played it, Shaun told Mark, “I think you’ve officially become our George.” A higher praise for a guitarist/songwriter does not exist that I know of. I was able to snag a video of that song, so here it is:
All in all it was a great show, beginning with “Tigress” and ending with “Dr. Scientist.” In between were all the classic Chaperone standards: “The Axe,” “Fed On Coal,” “Thomas,” “Letters To Home,” “Oh Ye Drowning Children,” “Raised By Wolves,” and the new song “Son of Love Control.” Unfortunately they cut “Witches and Sailors,” a song that I really love.
If you live in Chicago or the surrounding areas please do me a personal favor next weekend when you’re heading out for Record Store Day and consider hitting Saki Records in Logan Square, where Chaperone will be performing for free with a bunch of great bands like The 1900’s, Bob Dey’s Tank Engine Man, and In Tall Buildings.