A Band on the Verge

Last night, @MuskyCanadian and I took in a Lollapalooza aftershow at Schuba’s here in Chicago, featuring The Vaccines and Tennis.

Both artists impressed, but The Vaccines’ set was particularly notable for how it represented a band that is almost fucking there. Not quite. So close. Almost.

Image via Stereogum

The Vaccines’ set lasted about an hour and consisted of pretty much every song off debut 2011 album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? — plus a couple of well-known non-album singles and B-sides.

The band’s songs are short and catchy — they’re in and they’re out. Live, they take an an extra dimension of early Strokes-like drive and swagger.

The crowd, mostly comprised of drunken Lollapalooza revelers, was legitimately into the show. And several times throughout the night, The Vaccines seemed on the verge of sending them into a frenzy. The setlist would build, climax with one of the band’s mot popular songs — Wreckin’ Bar, If You Wanna, Norgaard — but they seemed to be missing the one massive song that would let the crowd unleash its pent-up energy.

This isn’t a problem at all — The Vaccines put on an impressive and tight show, and they do it with only one album’s worth of songs to play. But you could tell the crowd wanted to lose itself and shift from happy bouncing to something more intense, and the band couldn’t quite get them over the top. If The Vaccines were a lover, they would be able to bring you so fucking close to orgasm but not quite get there. You still leave feeling happy and satisfied, but you know it could have been something exquisite.

I’m anxious to see if their second album contains that one or two songs to take them to the next level.

Tennis’ set was mostly notable for Alaina Moore’s ridiculously powerful voice and ridiculously tiny frame. Also: a cover! Yay!

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Filed under Music Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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