Friday night Metro held a local showcase featuring Jeff Brown & The New Black headlining. Common Shiner opened the concert, playing their last big set as a band before they go their separate ways. The Lauren Wolf Band, a great blues band worth checking out, was there as well. And of course our friends The Future Laureates, who we’ve seen play live a whole bunch of times, played right before the final act. It was a good collection of bands that fit well together.
The crowd was pretty slim when The Future Laureates started setting up, and I thought to myself “Oh geez…a few more people better show up.” But worry was not needed, as three songs into the set I looked around and noticed that the place had filled up quite a bit. People were cheering and yelling and it was a lot like every other Future Lauretes show I’ve attended. Dancing, clapping, singing along to every word; the band has cultivated a great, loyal following around Chicago. The only thing that’s really changed for the recent RedEye Rock N Vote winners is the music.
They continue to grow as a band, and it’s never more apparent than their live show. Matthew Daigler’s voice has improved (and I thought it was already pretty good). Danny Surico’s lively onstage persona goes up to 11, and he seems like he’s getting more used to playing the hype man role. James Hyde, consummate professional, lost the shades but not the rhythm as he grooves the band along on bass.
Rob Durkee and Joe Haggenjos on drums and lead guitar aren’t part of the songwriting trio, but when it comes to playing live the band would be lost without these two. Haggenjos seemed to be taking his game to the next level, shredding through solos and making me wish (if only momentarily) that the band would do more electric blues.
My favorite song from their set actually was a blues tune. Matt wrote “My Baby” for his wife, and it’s straight out of the Chicago Blues Handbook. The music is great, and the vocals even get a little growly and it sounds fantastic.
As this was Common Shiner’s nadir, Future Laureates brought the whole band back on stage for a song, and then Michael Brooks stuck around to kick off “Sleepwalking” with some big “OH!” shouts. A nice moment for everyone involved and a lot of fun for the crowd.
You can check out most of their songs going all the way back to 2008 on Bandcamp by clicking here.
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