Though sometimes it seems a sold-out show is all a musician can ask for, a band with such mileage and stage presence as Thee Oh Sees deserves a more attentive audience than the one at Logan Square Auditorium on Fri. Sept. 28.
Not to say the under-21’s bravely moshing forth with lack of wristband weren’t thoroughly enjoying themselves; it’s more that they only seemed to pay attention to each other; at who was headbanging harder, or when the appropriate tempo for shoving would return.
Regardless, though, energy was high and Thee Oh Sees rocked on.
John Dwyer, lead singer/guitarist, got to work quickly after a lightning setup. Dwyer leaned in hard, bobbing and strumming wildly, eyes hidden behind his signature hair. The first song of the night was “The Dream”; a dizzying song, fast and loud, with vocals high and riffs flying.
While “The Dream” is high and fast, “Tidal Wave” came later—a little more traditional as songs go—with some California sound, channeling Dick Dale. For “Tidal Wave” Dwyer lets his voice go a little lower; closer to what some might call “regular”; though he changes vocal style more frequently than he switches guitars between songs, to fit the purpose of each one. Here, as in most of their songs, Brigid Dawson, on vocals, keyboard, and tambourine, sings in great, weird harmony with Dwyer.
Petey Dammit, bassist, is always a spectacle onstage, his body moving in abandon, in complete servitude to his instrument. His jeans came up just before the tops of his blazing red boots, and his arms and neck were decorated with tattoos. He (honestly) probably doesn’t want to, but he just looks cool.
Dwyer didn’t pander much to the crowd or introduce songs this time; he let the music speak for itself. At one point between songs, he did show playful concern for a fan with a crazy enthused screech, asking if someone was dying out there.
The band continued into the last song of the night, “Dead Energy”, off their 2009 album, “Dog Poison”. This is more of a garage rock song; rough, loud, and full of force, yet singable, with another great harmony between Dwyer and Dawson, and a fun “ah, ah, ah-ah-ah” in the chorus. An appropriate ending to a short, but sweet, show.
The lights came up, and the band packed up almost as quickly as they’d set up. There’s no telling how many times they’ve set up their equipment and broken everything back down, but if the past few years are any indicator of what’s to come, they’ll be together for awhile, and they’ll be back.