I decided to hold out until the fourth and final residency at Schubas Tavern - DESPITE my itch to see Ez and the boys fresh from the studio, with hocking new tunes in tow. Luckily for us the temperature outside was a balmy low 70s, otherwise it would have been another ridiculously incinerating Chitown summer club night in August.
My evening started out a bit miffed that I missed the opening act J. Roddy And The Business. I'm sure it was a great set from this Baltimore based band, having seen them earlier in the season. Talk about energy... picture Jerry Lee Lewis hopped up on MORE speed than he can actually handle. Oh well, next time.
Dan Smart & Musicians played center to the three band bill. His fluctuating highs and lows didn't disappoint the crowd - well at least the unruly ones next to me. Good times being wedged between drunks that emphasized the "high" parts a wee bit too much with Billy Idol fist pumps and an occasional elbow in the side (of me), followed with, "that was cool, right?" No joke. I guessed I picked the wrong night to stop drinking.
It wasn't long before Chicago's very own quirky kook (and I mean that in a positive manner) made his way to the stage. It was all smiles (always) as he greeted the packed house in this Lakeview neighborhood. It looked like The Harpoons found a new guitarist after Jahn Sood decided to split. A loss that happened right before the recording of their new album. Not wasting any time, the band brought in the skillful talents of Andrew Langer from The Redwalls. It may be a temporary move, but a good choice nonetheless.
After some wacky disconnected banter, Ezra announced that they would be performing the new record in its entirety, top-to-bottom. That's fine I guess, considering that I need to spend more time with their forthcoming sophomore record, Inside The Human Body, due out in October from Minty Fresh.
I'll be honest, the new album hasn't been as immediate with me as last year's Banging Down The Doors. I mean, that record was definitely in my top three faves of 2007. So the affinity is way too friggin' strong to mess with. I will take the time with this new album. I won't force it upon my musical psyche, but I will pay closer attention.
After performing the twelve album tracks, the band exited the stage and Ezra came back for a two-song encore, both tracks from the debut. Just him and an electric gtr. The set was great. Yeah there were a couple tech glitches, but the new songs translated live. Ezra was Ezra.
To me, Ezra Furman can be one of those genius talents that we continue to listen to years from now. Possibly generation to generation. Could he be that classic artist? Maybe. He has that glimmer. A glint that tells you something special is going on in that tornadic mind of his.