Django Django at Schubas | Photos and live review
Wearing matching maroon shirts emblazoned with bleach-stained patterns, the members of Django Django don't exactly exude an overwhelming awareness of what is considered cool, hip or current. However, the Scottish group's psychedelic art-pop seems to have struck a chord among tastemakers, with its debut release recently garnering a nomination for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize. Embarking on its first North American tour with a two-night stand at Schubas, the quartet demonstrated its fun-loving brand of buoyant rock.
Chicago's own Deserters started the night off with a selection of tunes from their Weird Weather EP, co-produced by Wilco multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. The night's performance may have been the last under their current moniker, as frontman Jake Anderson remarked that the group is on the search for a new name and solicited suggestions from the crowd. The Deserters' luscious instrumentation and gleaming vocal harmonies went down smoothly, but didn't hold a candle to the onstage antics of the evening's headliners.
The shuffling rhythm of "Hail Bop" announced Django Django's entrance, as guitarist Vincent Neff and bassist Jimmy Dixon bounced along to the beat while delivering lyrics in a harmonic, chant-like tone. Surrounded by vintage synths and keyboards, Tommy Grace brought to life the electro-tinged melodies of tracks like "Waveforms" and "Skies Over Cairo." Each song featured strong percussive elements, aided by the group's liberal use of cowbells, noisemakers and a giant tambourine. Possessing only a single, self-titled record to its name, the band had blown through almost its entire repertoire well before the crowd was ready to stop dancing. But with the giant smiles of the performers onstage rivaling the beaming faces among the crowd, it was clear that everyone in attendance got what they came for.