Opening with "Dial Up," off of their first LP, The Tyranny of Distance, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists took the stage with a vast amount of energy this past Thursday evening at Chicago's legendary Fireside Bowl. The vim and vigor of this New Jersey five-piece was so evident that the audience broke out dancing before lead singer, Ted Leo, could even open his mouth. They continued their set with "Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone," from their upcoming album, Hearts of Oak, which I might add is due out February 11 on Lookout! Records. If you don't get this long-awaited release, you're really missing out! The new songs revealed in Thursday's show start you right back up where The Tyranny of Distance left you off.
Throughout the rest of their set, Ted and The Rx's played a number of loyal fan favorites, including "Under the Hedge," "Timorous Me," "Parallel Or Together?," "The Great Communicator," and "Biomusicology." They even played "Bridges, Squares," off of their latest split 7" with k. The crowd ate up Ted's lyrics though every song, and literally screamed for more.
For those of you who need to catch up with some of the news on The Rx's line up, there are a couple new faces you may be curious about. Joining the group this past spring on Hearts of Oak, keyboardist, Dorien Garry now changes this quartet of talent into a quintet.
After guitarist James Canty left the group to embark on his project with French Toast, who had actually opened for Thursday's show, The Rx's picked up Bostonian guitarist, Drew O'Doherty just before this December tour. While he wailed away on his guitar, Drew definitely proved to fit right in with the group.
Amazingly enough, Teddy took his trademark jacket off towards the end of their set, revealing an old-school Smiths T-shirt! With every show I have seen, he has never parted with that jacket!
With the audience begging for the group to continue on, Ted and The Rx's decided to play one more, closing their show with "Stove By A Whale," which is an old favorite everyone could not resist singing along with.
In my opinion, as well as many others, there is NEVER a disappointment when you're at a Ted Leo show. You can't help but get your whole body into their music. It's just an event one has to experience for themselves before they could ever understand.
Once again Ted Leo, you have blown me right out of the water, as well as many other Chicago fans with just how amazing your sound really is. As Ted Leo and The Pharmacists continue their tour, I highly suggest that you go and check them out when they roll into your town.
Source: Katie Ramsey