I have to say this past weekend Chicago wasn’t the best place to be for an out-of-town band. The young festival Distractions Distortions was in full effect, showcasing 30 local bands, so every Chi-town music lover and their mom was there. Well, except for a handful of fans of The Silver Palms and myself. We were at The Beat Kitchen on Saturday night checking out the rock and roll newcomers, of Camden, Georgia, who recently gained the attention of The Agency Group with their catchy tune “Georgia Boy.” These guys have yet to release an album, but they’ve already toured with The Orwells and Jake Bugg and are in the midst of a headlining tour. Does that speak for their talent or what! Sadly, the Beat Kitchen was practically empty, leaving their talent largely unnoticed.
These adorable Southerners started their ten-song set with “Trouble,” and despite the minuscule audience, they played their hearts out. As I stood staring at them, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Kings of Leon (early KOL, that is) and The Strokes. Not only did I hear hints of The Strokes in the boys’ sound, but also it was like I traveled back in time and was watching them play a tiny bar before their fame and fortune. Skinny jeans and leather jackets aside, Twins Dalton and Adam Drury look an awful lot like Julian Casablancas, while bassist Wade Beahm looks like Nikolai Fraiture. Drummer Jordan Scott’s sexy, curly ‘fro might have a one up on Fabrizio Morett’s locks. Every now and then I also heard tinges of The Beach Boys and surfer rock, as well as Johnny Cash and some good old country blues in songs like ”Shark” and “Badass.” By the way, Dalton will have you know that the B-side “Badass” is just, as he put it, “aight.” Dolton, my dear, you should know that most hardcore fans cling to B-sides as if their lives depended on it. So when you have girls screaming and going crazy for you – which I’m guessing won’t be too far along – do know that they’ll be begging you to sing tracks like “Badass.”
Of course The Silver Palms played their new single “Superstar” and followed it up with “Inevitable.” Both of which can be found on iTunes. They finished their set with “Georgia Boy,” and like the good ‘ole Georgia boys they are, they made sure to take a few photos with a fan when they left the stage. As she turned to walk away, Adam ran on stage, grabbed a set list, and rushed back to present it to her. She was all smiles. If they keep that up, The Silver Palms are sure to have one strong fan base and an even stronger career!
Local boys the Flesh Panthers dirtied the stage for The Silver Palms, thrashing around and pouring beer on one another, in true punk fashion. In case you haven’t noticed, punk and garage rock have been making a comeback, especially here in Chicago. Both hold a soft spot in my heart, right up there with whiskey. That said, to me most punk isn’t too mind-blowing. I mean, unless you’re putting a new spin on it, like how The Orwells have, then you need to wow me over with crazy stage antics. The Flesh Panthers did just that. I’m sure they noticed the bare room and said, “Fuck it!” They seemed to be playing most of their songs to each other, laughing, and flat out having fun. A lone girl at the foot of the stage went wild, dancing and whipping her hair around. After their set, the Flesh Panthers stuck around to check out The Silver Palms. However, once the show was over, they had to quickly head over to MULTIKULTI for their set at Distractions Distortions. Two shows in one day! Busy, busy boys, I tell ‘ya. They’ll be even busier the next two months as they tour the east coast of the U.S. Be sure to check out their BandCamp for tour dates.
Brother George, another local band, started the night off with their groovy 70s inspired rock. You’d think these guys weren’t Midwesterners, with their Cali-vibe and all, but one listen and you know these men are born and bred of the plains with their hearty, emotional lyrics and powerful songs. Although they ooze classic rock, they’re more indie sounding with influences of soul, funk, folk, blues, and rockabilly. One of my favorites was “Nothing.” Lead singer and guitarist Sagan Jacobson belted, “When I was an angry man, I swam in angry seas.” He also pushed through song after song despite being extremely hung over. Before they broke into their last song, Sagan thanked the few people in attendance and assured us that once done he would “find a hole somewhere to be hungover in.” I strongly encourage you to check out Brother George’s album Big Piney. You can thank me later.