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Review Tue Nov 23 2010

Review: No Age @ Lincoln Hall 11/21

No Age's Randy Randall (photo by Rory O'Connor)

Sometimes you leave a show wishing you'd kept the $15.00 ticket price in your pocket. That feeling is especially disappointing if you went in expecting an hour or more of abandoned gyration to charged noise slash pop-punk and all you got was diluted pop-punk slash garage rock. Unfortunately, that was the general feeling after the (much anticipated) No Age show at Lincoln Hall on Sunday night.

The stripped down duo of Randy Randall (guitar) and Dean Allen Spunt (drums/vocals) stepped out from behind a white-sheet-made-projection-screen, clamped onto Lincoln Hall's normal black curtains, to an amped up, mostly wristband-less, crowd. Under pink lights (and to an inexplicable absence of fog), Randall strapped himself into his guitar and Spunt took a center-stage seat behind his drum set. The first spurts of feedback and heavy drum beats to "Life Prowler" (from latest album Everything in Between) incited instant mosh-pitting amongst the more angst-ridden members of the crowd and headbanging from the 21+'ers in the rows behind them. But as the set progressed, the collective mood averaged out to a dull boredom.

No Age's Dean Spunt (left) and Randy Randall (photo by Rory O'Connor)

The short burst of a song "Teen Creep" (from the previous album Nouns) sounded more like a slower tempo garage rock song with flat vocals. "Fever Dreaming" was punk-structured, with heavy handed power chords, but the chorus-like distortions of the "ahhah ahhah ahhah" screams were missing the raw energy associated with punk and present on the recorded version. It sounded like punk partied too hard all weekend and it was all it could do to just show up on Sunday night. By the time No Age got to "Eraser" even the 18 year olds had stopped jumping and gyrating.

photo by Rory O'Connor

There were a few later moments of energy, like when the Justin Bieber look-a-like made a weak attempt at a stage dive to the lyrics "I'm in trouble" during "Common Heat". He fell a little short when the crowd decided not to participate in his dive. Ironic. Or during the encore when shaggy-haired Randall, so into his riffs in "Boy Void", nearly knocked his microphone off the stage in a fit of fuzzy electric feedback (he made a good catch). For a second, it almost looked like Randall was going to really rock star-out and smash his guitar. Unfortunately, he did not do this.

photo by Rory O'Connor

Overall, the crowd showed up ready to ingest some hard-edged, fast-paced music and then spit all of that back in the form of motion. But No Age left them a little unsatisfied. The set seemed to be missing a lot of the feedback and general noise that you'd expect from No Age live and lacked emotion and force. But, based on the live-buzz surrounding these two, maybe it was just an off night?

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john yingling / November 23, 2010 8:47 AM

i'm 26, the one mouth agape in the third pic, and thats pretty much what it stayed like the whole time. i could have cared less what was going on behind me...i was however, lost in the vocal-less noise up front. sometimes that's all you can ask for from a show. Nice review. Nice pic. ;) - jy

nick / November 23, 2010 5:27 PM

Have you listened to the new album? I think they've obviously moved in a more focused and less "punk" direction so I don't see why you would go in expecting a show they might have done 3 years ago. also, there were three people performing not two so they're not a duo anymore. Also, they requested not to have fog.

Piero Soria / November 24, 2010 9:06 AM

I have to agree with the reviewer. I was just listening to the new album again this morning and their live show was missing show much of the vibrancy and force that is on the record. I've been to hundreds of show and know a mediocre one when I see one, this was one for sure.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
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Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
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Oh My Rockness
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
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