Ezra Furman + The Boy-Friends At Chop Shop 3/2/2017


I hadn’t planned on reviewing this show, seeing as I paid for a ticket like everyone else and didn’t bring the main camera or anything. I had a point and shoot with me (it’s a really nice one, but still), so the pictures kind of suck, but the show was amazing. This was already my third time seeing Ezra Furman (once solo, second with the band), and you’d think I would get tired of hearing the same songs over and over, but you’d be wrong.

One of the things I love about seeing the band shows is the crazy intensity with which they play. Everything is left out on the stage. As soon as they came out and the music started, I could feel it in my bones-they came to tear it up. This was their last show in Chicago for a while, though I’m told they’re working on a new record right now, so who knows? If they get it out quickly they might be back this summer/fall. Add that fact to their normal show and you get something really special.

They got after it quickly, turning the generally soft song “Can I Sleep In Your Brain?” into a barnburner. That was followed by “Restless Year,” “Ready Teddy,” and “Little Piece Of Trash.” The opening section was capped with “Body Was Made,” and then they took a moment to catch their breath with “Cherry Lane” and “Ordinary Life.” By the time those were over the show was half done and it felt like they’d just started.

They went through a few more before they got to a three-song, non-stop, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. It started with “I Wanna Destroy Myself,” followed by “Tip Of A Match,” and ended with “Tell Em All To Go To Hell.” And just like that, they were done. About an hour of almost constant joyful aggression went by in a flash.

I noticed before they came out that on the setlist at the bottom it just said “(Maybe close solo).” Sure enough after a few minutes of loud cheering, Ezra returned to play one more. He said he wanted to try something he had been too afraid to play live before. A cover that he truly loved but didn’t think he could pull it off. After dedicating the song to all the vulnerable people, he launched into Dylan’s “Chimes Of Freedom.”