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Review Mon Jan 31 2011

Review: Tapes n' Tapes & Oberhofer @ Lincoln Hall 1/29/11

20110130-tapes n tapes_4.jpg
Tapes n' Tapes (photos by Steve Stearns)

Josh Grier's black Sturgis slogan'd t-shirt was a fitting choice; Sturgis tends to represent a rough and tough rock n' roll crowd. The same kind of raw energy that Greir's Minnesota-based indie-rock band Tapes n' Tapes pounded down on Saturday night's Lincoln Hall crowd. The quartet, framed by Erik Appelwick's visceral, fuzzy bass lines and Jeremy Hanson's insistent drum beats, compelled the crowd into a jerked dance motion from the first chords of "I'll Leave the Light On" to the house lights coming down after critically acclaimed "Insistor" and every song in between.

T-shirted Grier complimented his shaggy hair and '70s throwback mustache with plenty of hints of hazy Southern rock as the band, to percolating crowd fervor, intermixed songs from 2005's The Loon and 2011's The Outsider. The Outsider hasn't received the same critic fanfare afforded to their earlier release, but it's hard to follow up genius. Overall, tracks from The Outsider are softer, poppier and less stylized. The album also lacks the emotion and drama of the band's debut. Not one of those adjectives, however, applied to the band's Lincoln Hall show. The show could be described as hard hitting, jammed out rock n' roll anthems texturized by Matt Kretzmann's horns and keys plus a dramatic echo'd vocals — a straight up rock show, never mind the indie part.

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Tapes n' Tapes (photos by Steve Stearns)

Tracks like "Hang Them All" paired hard bass lines to anathematic climaxes. And crowd-owning "Conquest" demanded shoulder-to-hip movement. While on a quieter vibe, Grier breathed "I've been waiting so long" into the microphone on the crowd favorite (and persistently requested) "Omaha," while slowly arching backwards, eyes closed to the ceiling during the softer "ahhhaaaahaaaha." Tapes also made sure to play a number other favorites from The Loon ("Cowbell" and the energetic-bass-slapped "10 Gallon Ascot" ) before finishing up the pre-encore set with The Outsider standout, "Freak Out." The set almost didn't need an encore. But Tapes n' Tapes retook the stage to finish up with a cover of Wilco's "A Shot in the Arm" and the sing-along "Insistor."

Oberhofer (photo by Steve Stearns)

Tapes n' Tapes is lucky enough to be touring with Brooklyn-by-way-of-Tacoma opener, Oberhofer. The ridiculously catchy indie-noise-pop band (so many adjectives!) won over what otherwise may have been a lackluster pre-Tapes crowd. Frontman Brad Oberhofer rocked a look that was something like '50s greaser gone '80s thrifting. Fittingly, he fantastically roughed up a cover of Beach Boy hit "Be True to Your School."

Oberhofer combines almost nursery-rhyme-like Ooh's and Ahh's with upfront lyrics aside complex musical patterns and strummy guitars. The innocence of Oberhofer's sound may sprout from Brad's age (20) or it could come from the oft and apt use of the classic nursery instrument, the xylophone. But as innocently as Oberhofer may lead into a particular song ("AWY FRM U") they crush it to the end ("Haus") with screaming guitar wails or start-stop breaks set to angst ridden red lights. The angst occasionally subsides to catchy pop and pretty guitar lines. Overall, the age-defiant band is king of super catchy hooks, repetitive lyrics and a bit of noise. Oberhofer could have been difficult act to follow.

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Piero Sorai / January 31, 2011 10:39 AM

Spot on. Great show.

Piero Soria / January 31, 2011 10:39 AM

Spot on. Great show.

missy / January 31, 2011 11:45 AM

Tapes' new record is called Outside, not The Outsiders. GREAT show!

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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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Largehearted Boy
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Live Fix Blog
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Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
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Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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