The Changes are the only unsigned band playing this summer’s Lollapalooza festival and upcoming shows include an opening spot for indie rock god Stephen Malkmus in their hometown of Chicago. Having heard these facts and a few songs off of their self-titled EP, I felt the need to check out their live show last night at one of NYC’s best rock spots, the Mercury Lounge.
The Changes’ boys sauntered onto stage, clearly excited and perhaps slightly nervous to play an opening spot for the typically-jaded NYC crowd. From the get-go the audience stood about 12 feet from the band and stayed there for the majority of the show. I don’t think they were trying to make any sort of gesture toward the band, I think they just got comfy staying there, and so did. The band opened with a song that I had never heard before, but it proved a good warm-up for the rest of the set. They continued to run through a batch of slightly jazzy, upbeat pop songs reminiscent of The Police, but there were sadly several incidences of technical difficulty, including a fickle KORG and an uncooperative drum machine. Between this and the audience’s unfounded fear of the stage, The Changes had a lot of cards stacked against them, but they completely pulled it off like true professionals.
The Changes possess many strengths, highlighted by a super drummer and creative harmonies. In lieu of their broken drum machine, the drummer managed to play maracas and keyboard at the same time while the two guitarists engaged in a killer vocal harmony. By the end of their last song’s semi-jam session the audience began to hoot and holler causing all four band members to become mighty smiley. It was a great happy ending to a solid, albeit slightly rocky set. Be sure to check them out at Lollapalooza.
Source: Cara Heller