Tommy Pickles and Chuckie were nowhere to be found, but Reptar was in full effect last night at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. Touring behind their new record Lurid Glow, the band worked the crowd into a tizzy playing new stuff and some of their better-known hits like “Houseboat Babies.” It was the coldest night of the year in the Windy City, but the dancefloor was heating up all night.
This was a new-look Reptar for the evening. Frontman Graham Ulicny was joined by fellow Georgians, opening act Breathers members T Lee Gunselman on keys/synths, Jake Thomson on drums, and Mike Netland on an odd snare/cymbal samples setup that got a lot of great use. I believe bassist Ryan Engelberger was also up there with them. This new lineup sounded great, but this was my first Reptar show, so I have nothing with which to compare.
The night belonged to Ulicny anyway, with everyone a distant second. Whether he was shredding a massive riff or jumping into the audience to dance with fans, his performance set the tone and kept everyone grooving. On his second trip into the crowd he asked everyone to get close, stating “I ain’t Bono. I don’t need a big walkway.”