Bands that perform live as well as Warm Ones did Thursday night at Beat Kitchen is the reason I work on a blog like Chicago Tunes. Their gig that evening in front of a sizable crowd went beyond what I expected from the four piece.
I enjoyed their album well enough — hell, it’ll probably have good play on my best-of post I intend to upload by the end of the year — yet I didn’t have much to work off of in regards to live performance. Chicago Tunes’ Josh Terzino, of course, said in his review he was “pleasantly surprised” by Warm Ones when he went to see them in August. Other than that — and some video — I all but had to use my imagination in deciding what songs like “Quiet Epilogue” and “Business Relations” would sound like off album.
If I had any preconceived ideas of what I was in for, they were, in a word, off. Warm Ones does any number of things that gives them a leg up on the Chicago music scene. Among them:
- Their tunes — something Josh alluded to as well — are, for the most part, brief. Warm Ones dig into the meat of each song quick and do what every great rock band does: They rock. I mean really, have you heard “Bacteriostatic“?
- Tony Sackett (vocals/guitar) is a personality. He’s a frontman’s frontman. His skills, energy, between song banter — all exceptional. I had a hard time averting my eyes from Tony because, like Elsinore‘s Ryan Groff, Tony commands the stage.
I’m gonna begin things with “Get Shit Set” because that tune live was, oh I don’t know, transcendent. Like on Sprezzatura, it followed “Ulysees” without break. Guitars and drums flooded an otherwise emptied sound space, increasing in intensity until breaking finally into a deluge of noise. The buildup from zero to fracas seemed to go on way longer than it did on record. Well, it worked brilliantly. The song was easily an evening highlight.
Minutes into “Get Shit Set,” the thought crossed my mind to capture the experience on video for you fine folk. Then I smartened up, said “Ef that… I’m gonna enjoy this!” and did just that. If anything, it gives you reason to see Warm Ones for yourself.
Next to “Get Shit Set,” I enjoyed Warm Ones’ version of “I Don’t Know Where I Was Going With This” — one of the many goodies off of Canasta‘s The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather. Funnily enough, it wasn’t written by the men and women of Canasta, but rather Warm Ones’ Tony. This was all explained to me minutes before Warm Ones took the stage by Canasta’s Matt Priest. Then halfway through Warm Ones’ set — wham! — Warm Ones dedicates a song to Canasta, and it so happens to be “I Don’t Know Where I Was Going With This.” (Which, by the way, Warm Ones dubs “I Don’t Know Where This Is Going.”)
The difference between the two versions is extraordinary. Warm Ones’ take moves along at a brisk pace — two and a half minutes compared to four and a half minutes — and switches from verse to chorus to verse again with little room in between. A video — albeit incomplete — is embedded below.
Anyway, make room in your schedules for Warm Ones, yeah?
- Check out my review of Warm Ones’ debut album, Sprezzatura.
- Check out Josh Terzino’s review of Warm Ones’ show at The Empty Bottle in September.
Warm Ones performing “I Don’t Know Where I Was Going With This”