Live Review: Marrow at SubT 8/19/2015

Marrow played a really great set last night at Subterranean in Chicago. How great was it? Well, great enough that I stuck it out despite wanting to murder about 75% of the audience who were too busy talking to one another to pay any attention to the band on stage. Between the guy about 5 feet behind me talking to his friend (I’d say girlfriend but I can’t imagine a world where this guy has a significant other) about a voicemail he received from her father and the bros halfway across the room that I could hear LOUDLY bro-ing it up, I was pretty much ready to go after the second song. Then Treesus showed up and after wandering the desert he decided to plant his 7 foot tall frame directly in front of me (along with his 12 pals). I tried moving three times before finally landing in a spot that I could see-you guessed it, right next to the chattiest Cathy you could ever hope to not meet.

Despite the obnoxious mouth breathers and ogres, I thought Marrow sounded fantastic. Better even than when I saw them at Riviera in December, which I did not expect from SubT’s sound system. There was almost no vocal loss due to the drums and bass, guitar was clean, and Macie Stewart’s keyboards stood above all.

They kicked off the set with “Oceans Of Glory,” introducing those that could be bothered to listen to their new album The Gold Standard (out Sept 4!). It’s a nice, mellow tune for the most part. At 8 1/2 minutes there’s a lot going on. About halfway through it turns from laid back to an aggressive rocker-Liam’s cool, Dude-like delivery gives way to Macie’s more foreboding declarations. Works great on the album and just as well if not better live.

Marrow only played about half an hour. That’s not nearly long enough in my mind, so I’m hoping to see them headline somewhere in the city soon. They hit most of the major successes on The Gold Standard, including the title track (probably my favorite), “Paulson,” and “Mother Of Maladies.” They got a chance to show off their many talents, and did so without trying to be too cool, just played the songs and let them speak for themselves.

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