The Districts at Lincoln Hall, 2.20.15
w/ Pine Barons
OK wow, so this is a really late review. Sorry! The real world has been getting in the way for quite a bit. But here's a quick snippet on this awesome, awesome band - The Districts.
If you missed the Try This for 1.26.15 week, I wrote a bit of background about the guys - check it out here. The Districts give me hope for the Indie Rock genre - though they're young and still making a name for themselves, these four guys from small town, PA are incredibly talented, and I was not at all disappointed in their live performance. In addition to sounding great live, the songwriting quality and lyrical depth are key pieces that shouldn't be taken for granted.
..I'm young but I can't shake this feeling all my days are dwindling // That deep beneath facades and smiles is nothing much to hold // And when we used to run my eyes would fill with all that's glittering // But deep beneath this shimmer I feel nothing may be gold..
..Love is patient and wise, but it's not always kind when you learn how it leaves // So nimble and lithe, through your fingers like sand, it never lingers..
..Well I've felt the cold of a friendship unfold // Where once were pleats, comfort recedes into a violet glare, I'll try not to care // I will not be bold if you stay..
This show at Lincoln Hall was packed - I think the Red Eye did a fair amount of promoting both the band and the show, and I'm sure fans who saw The Districts in 2014 at Lolla were stoked to see them back in Chi town. [Rumor even has it that Aaron Carter may have been in the audience as well? ha!] Pine Barons were the opening band - a four member group from NJ - and they were pretty solid as well. Check out the Gallery page for some up close photos of the guys.
Unfortunately, I had to relocate to the back of the room for the start of The Districts set, but it made for some cool photos of the whole room and I got some quality audio for a few videos (visit the Media page for more fun stuff).
Like I said, The Districts do not disappoint [Rob's voice sounds just as amazing in person as it does on vinyl]. And they all seem like quality, down to earth guys. Rob Grote, Connor Jacobus, Pat Cassidy (most recent addition), and Braden Lawrence (and all under 21, what?!) perform songs that are angsty and buzzing, and their showmanship is also on point (you never know..some guys just stand around on stage). But this night included Rob climbing the amps, some interesting stage props for the lighting, and enough fog for a 10,000 person audience. Lincoln Hall was just the perfect size for a pretty rowdy crowd as the night wore on, and they usually do a good job with their lights.
The set included most of their new songs, like "Hounds", "Heavy Begs", "Chlorine", "Lyla", "4th & Roebling", "Sing The Song", and "Bold". Older songs like "Rocking Chair" and "Funeral Bed" also surfaced. Rob came out solo and sang an acoustic version of "Peaches", and a tension-anger-filled "Suburban Smell" - you could really tell he meant every word. He came out solo again for the first song of the encore, "6am", another emotional tune, on the verge of screaming. The last song of the night was their long 8+ minute song, "Young Blood", which contrasts moments of quiet with pure loud noise. The Districts ended the night in good rock and roll form, climbing amps, stumbling around on stage, and head-banging as if nothing else mattered. Needless to say, the audience loved it. And deservedly so.
These young guys took a chance, passed on college, and instead are throwing themselves into touring and releasing amazing music. They're playing a crazy number of festivals this year (SXSW, Governor's Ball, Bonnaroo, and a ton overseas), after a pretty full schedule last year too -- Check them out if you can! I would recommend taking a listen to "4th & Roebling", "Peaches", or "Funeral Beds", the first two being on their album A Flourish and a Spoil (2015 - Fat Possum Records). And don't forget to swing by the Gallery page for some cool photos - definitely one of my favorites for 2015!
Keep on keepin' on,