Monday, May 12, 2008

Sybris w/ Bon Savants & Apteka @ Subterranean

Apteka frontman Adam Lukas followed his initial greeting with his best Max Fischer impersonation, informing the audience that free earplugs were on hand back at the merch table. Such an offer was not merely a public service, but portended the type of sonic intensity they intended to deliver. From their first thunderous notes, it was clear that they would leave no doubts about fulfilling Lukas' promise.
Audience requests for "Fuckin Jam Numbers 1-4" were satisfied with glee. Pounding away on the drums, Jesse Hozeny acted as the engine pushing the ferocity while Lukas' intense vocals carved out their own space in the sound. The set peaked about halfway through with "The Sheet." It ended all too early with the thumping "She Is Riots," while indie-rawk babes eagerly danced it out directly in front of the stage.

Boston's Bon Savants don't exactly look to blow out the speakers with their music, so their set felt a bit subdued after Apteka's assault. But with a streamlined sound and very clean vocals, their set was well-received by the now nearly full audience.

But most were here to see Chicago's Sybris, celebrating the release of their (excellent) new album. They are led by frontwoman Angela Mullenhour, whose voice was spot-on, even though much of the night was spent rocking out. The band was embraced by their die-hard aficionados as well as anyone who just happened to wander upstairs to catch the show. Honestly, I can't see anyone disliking this band.

They do sound a bit like 13 years ago, but are really freaking good at it. Plus, 13 years ago, music was pretty darn cool and I'm willing to embrace it. Things could have been a bit louder, but again, perhaps that's all Apteka's fault. Sybris finished strong without an encore (which frankly would have felt unnecessary for some reason), capping off a superb night of performances in a solid venue for the low-low price of ten dollars.

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