I always find it funny when I show up late to anything. I’m one of those people who likes to be early or on time for everything. Lately, it’s been a problem for a few reasons. The biggest of which has been our big move from Lakeview to Lincoln Park (though I think technically both places are right in the middle). That wasn’t the case last night, though.
No, last night we were late because we had to stay home long enough to be sure Purdue was going to beat Illinois and stay undefeated at home for the season. Perhaps a trivial thing to many, I assure it was of the utmost importance to us.
So, when we got to Schubas a few minutes late, Project Film was already on stage. I think we missed one and a half songs. The one they were playing when we arrived was a new one, so I wasn’t entirely sure that the band up there was, in fact, Project Film. But after the song was over they announced that it was new and that they were Project Film (phew!).
One of the first things I noticed about the band was Sam McAllister’s glasses. Standing up there on stage he looked like a mix between a youthful Rivers Cuomo and a clean-cut Ben Gibbard. His appearance led me to catching a lot of Death Cab For Cutie influences (probably all in my head) throughout a lot of the songs. Thankfully they didn’t do “Soul Meets Body.”
Overall I think my original impression of the band is true, they play the kind of music that I would probably play if I were in a band. Lucky for you, I’m not. The sound at Schubas is always fantastic, and it captured alot of the softer things Project Film do that would be lost in places with sound equipment of inferior quality.
There were just two things missing from the 45-minute set. One thing missing was a moment where things just get crazy. I thought it was going to, for a brief second, in the instrumental jam “Ink.” It just kept building and building, not unlike the Ryan Adams song “Nobody Girl.”
I brought that up with Sam after the show, and he told me that they had discussed whether they should go balls-out or not. I think it was a mistake to hold back. Especially when you’re in front of a good crowd that seems to be fairly into it like the one at Schubas on this particular night.
The second thing missing-and this one is a personal belief, not something that was actually wrong with the show-was the lack of a great cover. I think it’s important for a band, especially a young band that’s just starting out, to help inform the audience of their influences and educate them about where the music comes from. A great example of this would be a couple weeks ago at Subterranean when Chaperone covered The Misfits. Maybe the influence doesn’t shine through on every song, but now we know that one of the bands Chaperone enjoys is The Misfits. Then the audience can go out and check out The Misfits if they haven’t already (for shame!). It’s a circle.
Other than those two nitpicks, I thought the show was great. Sam and Megan have a good chemistry on stage together, which is important especially in a live setting. It can be faked a bit in recording, but during a show, you either got it or you don’t.
I’m expecting good things for Project Film in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed their debut LP, Chicago, and this live show didn’t change my feelings. I suggest you and your friends all buy a copy of their record and show up at their next gig-whenever that is.