We recently had the opportunity to check out the Chicago date of Hospitality’s winter U.S. tour with Alvvays. You can check out our review and concert photos, after the break.
The polar vortex, we thought it was gone forever, nope. It’s back and it’s back with a vengeance. So much so that it took its first casualty of the night, Air Waves. Not being able to make the show due to being stuck in the snow, Air Waves called in sick and honestly I was pretty excited about that because A) They postponed the show for an extra 30 minutes. B) I was running late (because of the snow) and C) It meant Alvvays would be playing an extended set.
I’ve been swooning over Alvvays since I saw them open for Yuck at Lincoln Hall a few weeks back. They are the epitome of a Pitchfork band but I can’t really hate on them like I do other uber hip, too cool for school type indie bands. There’s just something about Alvvays that makes me feel like a lovesick little kid. Maybe it’s the fact that their music embodies a care free, we’re young forever vibe mixed in with a dash of surf rock and ten pounds of catchy hooks. Everything about the band from its members to their gear is simple and the farthest thing from flashy.
If you were to judge a book by its cover, one would assume Alvvays would be a bunch of bland and boring indie kids. In reality their overall presence and music pulls you in like a tractor beam and there is no escape. Sure the stage might not be riddled with 8×10 bass rigs and half stack guitar cabs but they can fill a room on a Tuesday night in a foreign city. And that was the best turn out I’ve seen from small time opening band, did we mention there was a foot of snow outside too?
You can find their music video on Youtube, and if you really, really dig (check Soundcloud) you might be able to find an additional song, other than those two options, you can’t buy anything online, so if you slacked and didn’t buy their cassette at the show, you’re up shit creek without a paddle.
Hospitality was the big name on the bill that night and Schubas was literally packed to capacity. The ever-growing theme of the night and for indie music in general is simplicity. With a minimalistic set up, it puts more emphasis on the music rather than the glitz and glamour that mainstream music presents. Unfortunately this made me focus on the music as well as the lack of enjoyment almost every member was blatantly displaying. The music wasn’t half bad, I was unconsciously “grooving” from time to time and I will admit that their bassist was absolutely outstanding, this guy shred and didn’t even break a sweat. I wish I could say I enjoyed their set but it wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be.
The new fad of too hip to give a shit about our music needs to end. I’m really tired of seeing big named touring bands along with up and coming bands simply just not caring. There are so many people who would love to be touring and playing music for a living and many great musicians who bust their asses trying to make it never get to the point that bands like Hospitality have. I guess my biggest qualm with all of this is, being a touring musician means you love what you do (because it’s definitely not about the money). I’m pretty sure there’s no band playing original music that just absolutely hates it in a comparable way one would hate working the grave yard shift at McDonalds. Maybe smile once or twice and look like you enjoy what you’re doing, that’s all.
I really wish I could say that I enjoyed Hospitality’s set, but there was just something missing. I do enjoy listening to their recorded albums but the live show was just so lackluster I couldn’t find much enjoyment past a few dancy bass lines.
Information about the review and gallery…
Tour – Hospitality Winter U.S. Tour
Bands – Hospitality, Alvvays
Reviewer/Photographer – Jim Vondruska
Date – February 4, 2014
Venue – Schubas Tavern in Chicago, IL