My first show of 2017 was a part of a huge festival that hits Chicago early every year, Ian’s Party. It brings multiple venues together to celebrate a ton of great local music, with some out-of-towners brought in to make it even more enticing. The lineup at Double Door last night featured something like 15 bands on 2 stages. I stayed upstairs and caught 4 sets, but I was really there to see Austin’s A Giant Dog.
I had seen them once before, opening for Titus Andronicus at Bottom Lounge last year. I’d also met them previously at a festival in Austin where I interviewed them, but didn’t see them play. My first impression of them was that they were nice people just looking to do their thing and maybe it’ll take off, but they didn’t seem worried about what would happen if it didn’t. At that point they’d already signed to Merge, and since Pile came out early in 2016 they’ve gained a lot of momentum.
That’s probably got a lot to do with their live show, which is insane. There’s enough energy on stage during one A Giant Dog show that they could probably power Wrigley Field for a doubleheader and have enough left over to keep the guitars blaring out of Cubby Bear that night. It’s loud, aggressively fun, and a great hour of entertainment.