Celebrating the recent release of their Polyvinyl debut Summer Fling,
The Red Hot Valentines heated up the stage of Chicago’s Metro with their
Cars-influenced brand of anthemic power pop stylings. The synthesizer-tinged group wasted no time in giving the sold out (and mostly teenaged)
crowd what they wanted as they launched into the album’s opening track
“Wait For Summer,” and never slowed down.
From the pounding of Eric Humbert’s machine-like drumming to the wall of
guitars contributed by Jeff Johnson and Tobin Kirk, it was clear that
RHV’s mission was to rock the kids. The mission was an astonishing
success as the previously staid crowd morphed into a sea of movement as
their set went on. The night saw its first crowd surfer as the
Valentines temporarily abandoned their new material for an older song
called “Everything’s Fine,” a cheery number with a clap-along led by
keyboardist Tyson Markley.
“All You Get”, their arena rock-inspired ode to one
night stands, simply by saying “This next one’s a sing-along, so let’s
see everyone sing along”. Unbeknownst to him, the crowd had obliged
his request not only for “All You Get” but the ten or so songs before as
there were scores of kids mimicking every line of Jeff Johnson’s Billie
Joe Armstrong-like vocals.
As the band wrapped up their blistering 45-minute set, I realized how
comforting it was to see a roomful of people have so much fun with music
as honest and unpretentious as the RHV’s. The band left the stage to a
sweat drenched room full of smiling faces, and who can really ask much
more of a rock band?
Source: Rod Boggin, Guest Reviewer