Sunday night’s Chris Shiflett & the Dead Peasants show
at Schubas offered a welcome escape from the monotony that is suburbia. I
graduated from college up in
The Dead Peasants are a new band, but frontman Chris Shiflett is no music scene newbie – or to small venues. He referenced his days playing the Fireside Bowl with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes during the show. But if you didn’t know that or notice the Foo Fighters-branded gear case in the back corner of the stage, the band’s polished performance alone proved they knew what they were doing.
Opening act and
Bones was followed by another acoustic set from Ari Shine, an LA-based singer/songwriter who played songs from his first full album, Ghost Town Directory. This guy has a great, gravely rock voice and balanced out his own work in the set with solid covers of Eurythmics’s “Missionary Man” and Ray Davies’ “Waterloo Sunset.
Shiflett and the Dead Peasants took it up a notch from the relaxed openers, bringing a heavier sound live than you’ll find on their self-titled debut album. Shiflett dotted the set with lighthearted banter with the audience, including a particularly jovial heckler named Miguel. Miguel’s antics had Shiflett distracted with the giggles while trying to start a song toward the end of the set, dubbing the man his “favorite heckler ever.”
When Shiflett announced they had just one song left, Miguel demanded three more, then five. He didn’t get them, but the band seemed amused.
“It’s not every day you get heckled by Cheech and Chong,” Shiflett said.
They played all but one song from the nine-track record, filling out the rest of the hour long set with old country covers by the likes of Merle Haggard. The, in Shiflett’s words “honky tonk” covers were where the band’s Americana country vibe was able to really shine through, featuring sliding pedal steel solos and slower tempos.
The band ended the show with a rousing rendition of “Baby Let It Out,” where Miguel was encouraged to “shake his ass. For all I know he probably did.
The photos in this post were taken by RFC contributor John Brunner. Click here to see the full set.