ISSUE #75 / September 5, 2019
Fire Talk Records 10th Anniversary Showcase
Dehd / Deeper / Patio / FRAN
Thalia Hall “In The Round”
Dehd / all 📷 : TLM
Independent record labels come and go every year, so making it to their 10th anniversary was a big accomplishment for fiercely self-sufficient label, Fire Talk. They celebrated in style last Friday night at Thalia Hall with an “In The Round” showcase featuring some of their top Chicago talent with a homebase NYC act thrown into the mix. Based out of Brooklyn, Fire Talk has a slate of 38 artists creating some of the most compelling indie music around, and it was pure pleasure taking in the offerings on display to celebrate the decade of stellar efforts.
Local artist Maria Jacobson’s project Fran opened the festivities with quite a few new tunes off her upcoming record, due out this Fall on Fire Talk, and her excellent EP More Enough. Light and airy, but with a back element of melancholy, her indie rock always feels like she’s speaking directly to each and every member of the crowd individually and collectively all at once. On stage she has always been a cool character for the most part, but Jacobson began to open up toward the end of the set and really start to jam for the last several tunes, getting the crowd warmed up for the evening’s party atmosphere. The room started to fill during her short set, as more revelers arrived to celebrate and wandered around the centrally-placed stage to find a quality view.
What seemed like a momentary set change breezed by as Brooklyn trio Patio took the stage with their churning post-punk swagger. Their debut full-length Essentials dropped in April to great reviews, and with a few sound problems aside, their live show lived up to the hype. Alice Suh’s metronomic drumming laid a base for Loren DiBlasi’s rolling bass lines and Lindsey-Paige McCloy’s swirling chords that swept us up in their den of dissonance. When they really got rolling, it was like a catapult into warp speed; their minutes-long jam-outs warmed our souls with repetitive impacts.
Another insanely quick turnaround brought local heroes Deeper to the small central stage for a tight, intense set that featured their quartet lineup. Core members Nic Gohl (vocals, guitar), Drew McBride (bass), and Shiraz Bhatti (drums) have ditched the multi-instrument experimentations they were contemplating this winter and solidified into a close-knit jagged machine. With their ‘80s post-rock beats and style, combined with a compact patented indie rock sound, they flew through a set loaded with tunes from last year’s fantastic self-titled record along with new tune “Run” (on 7” coming October 5th). Deeper welcoming Jason Balla and Emily Kempf of Dehd, and DiBlasi and McCloy to the stage for a cover of “Boys Don’t Cry” was the highlight of the evening and brought the celebration to a peak as they ended their set to the throngs of screams from the newly-packed house.
The stripped-down Chicago trio Dehd were built for the intimate space of an in-the-round show. Drummer Eric McGrady’s stripped-down two drum kit (recently added drum pad makes it a three piece!), and Balla and Kempf’s amp and single-instrument set up, they could take the band on the road in a Toyota hatchback, and probably have. However, they can also fill any room with their infectious energy; they had no problem hitting every corner of the large hall with their jangle pop energy. When Kempf jumped on her amp at the set’s climax, the crowd went nuts, and Balla executed his typical never-stop-moving routine set off by McGrady’s stoic center grounding the sound. Surrounded by plenty of dancing fans, the three dug into every part of their catalog, including several new songs rumored to be on a record already in the can and set to release early next year. Balla and Kempf have always known to strike when you’re on top; with all their projects, and since-hit record Water has been making waves all summer, it’s no wonder the three are in it to win it. With their most energetic and engaging hometown performance to date, Dehd is hitting the road at just the right moment, ready to take on the world, with McGrady’s new drum pad in tow and a group of killer new tunes to flush out.