Rock, Rain or Shine!: Mates of State with Fictionist and Babes at the Bootleg Theatre (January 26, 2015)

It’s raining in the California desert.  In Chicago terms, there is a slight drizzle.  However, this doesn’t stop live music fans from coming out to the Bootleg Theatre.  This venue has two stages: one small side stage and a main stage.  Tonight, only the main stage is being used.  It has a large open standing area in front along with many rows of seats in the back of the room.  They host concerts and plays here.

First up is Babes, a tough band to Google with their generic name.  The two lead singers are brother and sister, and the other guitarist is their brother.  Friends on bass and drums round out their band.  They are big fans of their music as displayed by the very joyful song, “Life Is Always Turning Me On”.  See the video here: http://www.vevo.com/watch/babes/atmo/USUV71401657

Next up is Fictionist.  Another band with two lead singers, but this time one is a guy with big hair and another with a very closely shaved head.  They open with “Free Spirit”, a high energy song that features the catchy lyric: “You gotta free, free your spirit!” Later on, the lead singer says “See if you can guess this cover” and then they play a fantastic version of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics. For many of the songs, the talented drummer sets a solid beat with great energy.  Bass and synthesizer add great groves with a fantastic guitar solo on top for their excellent jams which gets the whole crowd dancing.  It’s evident this band is well rehearsed and only needs to find their audience to be successful.

By the time Mates of States takes the stage, the theatre is packed.  As with the other bands, they have two lead singers also.  This married duo is on keyboards and drums.  The drummer thanks the crowd for coming out in the rain.  He asks if the locals like the rain.  It’s a mixed response to this question, and to their music too.  Later on they say the next song is about kidney stones and Hurricane Katrina, an odd grouping.  Suffice it to say, this show is a bit random.  Perhaps this was not the best match-up for them to tour with Fictionist.

Quinn Delaney

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