Normally, I don’t go to shows just to see one specific band. I like to know at least two of the bands performing on any given night just because then I feel like it was really worth the trip. However, The Dear Hunter is one of few bands that I would go see no matter who they are playing with. Hell, they could be playing a show with Insane Clown Posse for all I care, and I’d probably still attend. Alright, maybe not, but yes, yes I would. That being said, I hope The Dear Hunter never lowers themselves to playing anywhere near ICP let alone the same show. This is all irrelevant aside, TDH performed at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago on Saturday May 14th and it was far better than just about anything else I have ever been a part of.
After spending about 20 minutes driving around the venue trying to find a parking spot, my BFF and photographer, Hailey Williams, and I finally arrived at The Bottom Lounge; however, not before asking a man with a strikingly wonderful mustache where we could leave my car for the evening. We were a little late, so we only caught about the last 3-4 songs of The Trophy Fire’s set. However, I must say that what I heard was pretty impressive. The band had really solid vocals and the crowd really seemed to enjoy what they were hearing.
Balance and Composure took the stage next. It was immediately clear that a decent amount of the crowd had attended specifically to see this band. Almost everywhere I turned I saw at least one person singing their heart out. All in all I would definitely recommend checking these guys out at some point. These guys really did impress me and that’s hard to do when I’m internally bouncing off the walls waiting for The Dear Hunter to perform.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to wait too terribly long before The Dear Hunter began setting up. As soon as they began bringing equipment onto the stage I was taken over by anticipation. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I knew it was going to blow my mind. SPOILER ALERT: I was correct in this assumption.
TDH opened their set with “In Cauda Venemum”, the second track on their 3rd full length album, Act III: Life and Death. Upon playing just the first few notes my jaw instantly dropped. Everything about the song was flawless from beginning to end. So much so that if this had been the only song TDH performed that night, I probably would have left just as satisfied as I did.
I wasn’t really positive what to expect in terms of the set list, but I was not at all disappointed. The set continued mostly with songs from Acts II and III including, “The Procession”, “The Church and the Dime”, and “The Thief”. Each and every song was performed so remarkably well that I actually had goose bumps throughout most of the set.
One song I was particularly excited to hear was “Mustard Gas”. This song became one of my favorites very quickly when I first started listening to TDH and hearing it live just made me love it that much more. Lead singer, Casey Crescenzo, holds back absolutely nothing when he performs and his voice is just as incredible live as it is on any of their albums.
The Dear Hunter closed their far too short set with what is possibly my new favorite song, “This Body”. This song was just released a couple of weeks ago and is the 4th track on the up and coming Black EP due to release in June. “This Body” is, in my opinion, quite probably one of the best songs TDH has ever recorded and one that I was very much hoping to hear that night. This song was absolutely the perfect way to end the set. It was performed with such natural ease it was almost as though it was being played directly off of the album.
Needless to say, The Dear Hunter did not disappoint. After hearing how completely amazing they are live, I pretty much never want to hear anything else ever again. That’s a lie, obviously, but it was fantastic. The only songs I would not have minded hearing were “What it Means to Be Alone” and
“Where the Road Parts”. However, I’m really not complaining because they could have played just about anything and I would have been okay with it.
The Dear Hunter will be back in Chicago sometime in July and their newest album, “The Color Spectrum”, drops on June 14th. There will be a standard version for those of you who don’t feel like sifting through 36 songs to figure out which ones you like and for us hardcore fans, there will be a deluxe edition. I have no doubt in my mind that this album is going to completely blow listeners away.
Now that I have rambled on about how great I think The Dear Hunter is for probably way too long, I should probably talk about how Dredg is pretty sweet too. Though to be honest, after TDH I wasn’t really paying much attention to anything else. Also, it seems as though the notes I did take during Dredg’s set are not even kind of helpful! I seem to have made it a point to note that the super babe standing in front of me started playing the air drums at one point and that bros seem to really enjoy Dredg. All that aside, they actually performed really well. The lead singer’s voice was very different, and I that’s something that always grabs my attention. Their songs were catchy and they were a lot of fun to watch.
In the immortal words of my favorite gay, Collin VanBuren, “They dun gewd”. Thank you Collin, your help has been greatly appreciated. All that aside, if you are ever given the chance to see The Dear Hunter live I highly recommend it. Trust me on this one, this is a band you will not regret seeing.