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Review Fri Oct 30 2015

Ought Brought Their Best to Beat Kitchen

darcy ought.jpg
It's hard not to compare Ought to the myriad of bands that often come up when discussing their sound. Sure, if you like Talking Heads and Television, you're sure to like Ought. However, I think that Ought's music has quality that supersedes the comparisons, particularly due to Tim Darcy's enigmatic cadence. They take the comparisons in stride and are good enough to find a realm all to themselves. They more than proved that this summer with their intense set at Pitchfork, managing to garner a huge crowd despite behemoths Wilco playing at the same time. Earlier this week Ought filled up Beat Kitchen,continue to show just how intense and frantic their great performances can be.

The night started off with two amazing local bands, Split Feet and Blizzard Babies. It's hard to separate the groups in my mind, partly due to their intense punk sound but more likely due to Taylor Kelley pulling double duty and playing wonderfully with both bands throughout the night. Split Feet went on first, opening their set with "Double Blind" an incredibly rip roaring song about putting up a false smile while being told what's "right" by men. It's a quick song and makes it point even stronger thanks to Jes Skolnik's voice injecting the perfect amount of confidence into every word she sings. Later on in the set they performed a cover of Pink Turns Blue's "Walking on Both Sides," which fit the band's ethos to a tee. Despite not having played it live before, Split Feet nailed it.

Blizzard Babies came on next and where great. The group admitted that they hadn't played live since the summer, but you simply couldn't tell. Meghann Fae was in complete control of her bass as Liz A. was lighting those drums on fire. Kelley and Pamela Joy shredded their guitars and traded off vocals through out the set. Sure their was a tiny misstep in the middle of the set, but their songs always came together. The biggest highlight came when they capped their set with "Disaster Babies." The song dips into rocking moments of anticipation before blowing up with the band pouncing on the echoing woahs trickled through the song.

As Ought set up their equipment, one could easily tell that their attitude just screamed fun. There was no pretense or falseness as the laughed and stared out into the all ages crowd of an incredibly packed Beat Kitchen. Tim Darcy walked through the crowd to get on stage with a few eager fans almost blocking his way, not realizing who was actually trying to get to the front. After keyboardist Matt May successfully turned the stage lights down and a round of applause exploded from the rest of the band and crowd alike for the feat, Ought fell into "Men For Miles" and "The Weather Song." This combo hit the crowd in the right spot sending them bouncing into the night.

The crowd was seriously into Ought and the band seemed pretty ecstatic to that fact especially when drummer Tim Keen's smile became a permanent fixture and bassist Ben Stidworthy's grin emerged. "The Combo" sealed the deal on how great Ought were going to be during this set. Darcy pointedly exclaimed "Yes, thank you so much. We will play another." It was a great lead into "Beautiful Blue Sky" off of their latest album, which features equally deliberate phrases like "How's the Family?" and "Beautiful Weather Today" repeated to tremendous effect. When "Around Again" had its time in the set, Darcy delved into manic fits of guitar playing. He looked as if he was convulsing, draining himself into the song bit by bit before succumbing to the dead stop of the spoken word section. "Why is it that you can't stay under the sun but you can stick your head into a bucket of water and breathe in deep?" The crowd knowingly hushed for the words to impact even harder than they normally would before jumping back into the groove.

Ought finished off their night with "Gemini" an obvious favorite and another song that had the band playing at their best. They were completely absorbed by the song. May and Keen pounded on their respective instruments methodically while Darcy and Stidworthy strummed bust as aggressively. Darcy fell back into sharp bursting movements that were accentuated by his tall frame. I would have like to have heard a little "Clartity!", but there set ended there.

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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.

Read this feature »


  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
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
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Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
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