There are a few times each year when I realize how great it is to live in Chicago. Think of it, we have bands coming all the way from Australia and Denmark and we get to experience them in clubs that are most definitely smaller and more intimate than the ones they must be playing to in their native countries. It’s a privilege, really, and I was sure I wasn’t the only one who appreciated it while standing in the crowded area of Schubas music room listening on Wednesday to hear both Dappled Cities Fly and The Figurines.
Download: The Figurines - "Hey Girl"
Though Australia’s Dappled Cities Fly (sometimes shortened to Dappled Cities) was technically the opener, they gave a performance more akin to a headliner with each of the five members creating a dynamic nothing short of wonderful. (It didn’t hurt that the keyboard player also looked like a younger and blonder version of Angus Andrew.) The band appeared happy on stage between songs, insisting this Chicago show was much better than other tour and cities dates they had played. The jangled tempos and vocal changes between three of its members really gave those songs an energy that can be felt thoroughly on their newest album Granddance which I would recommend. The crescendos such on “Colour Coding” are incredibly blissful. Though, the one song that can floor you beyond all others both on album and live is easily “Within Hours.”
Furthering a sense of melodrama, The Figurines from Denmark played with a clear passion. Much like the lead singer of Modest Mouse (Isaac Brock), the vocals came out in a sort of tumultuous anguish from a man who looked a bit like a clever elf. Touring to promote the release of their newest album When the Deer Wore Blue, The Figurines songs proved catchy in an unpredictable way. Much as in the case of Dappled Cities Fly, the keyboards added an extra sense of melody. However, The Figurines come off as more of an acquired taste with some of the albeit more subdued melodrama that fellow Danes Mew have.