WARPAINT @ THALIA HALL – CHICAGO, IL

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WARPAINT @ THALIA HALL – Chicago, IL

September 30, 2016

Review By Dan Scheiman

Photos By Nicci Allen

Warpaint is a psychedelic and dancey rock band consisting of 4 badass ladies that clearly love what they do thoroughly. I have not seen a group enjoy themselves on a level like this since seeing Walk off the Earth or Turkuaz live. Even though they were obviously ecstatic to be playing for their fans, this band presented themselves with a professional, composed, and very experienced demeanor from start to finish.

This concert, without debate, was the best sound and production I have seen at Thalia Hall to date. The mix was so well balanced and right in the sweet spot to allow utmost dynamic expression by every member. If at any point you wanted to hone in on one specific member there was no struggle differentiating them from the rest of the mix.

The entire band contributed both complex and technical musical parts along side fantastic vocal harmonization reminiscent of Fleet foxes, Yeasayer, and Mountain Man. The song structure and design of some of the tracks had a brilliant wall of sound effect that reminded me of Vessels, Explosions in the Sky, and even Sigur Ros while keeping a solid dance beat going underneath it all. Throughout the show there were a few select groups of fans that were feeding into that same dance beat. These fans were dancing, laughing, and cheering like it was the last chance they had to do so for the rest of their lives.

While every member was excessively talented, the two that stood out most for me were the drummer and bassist. The two of them were having more fun than anyone in the entire building. Drummer Stella Mozgawa at work was so much fun to watch. Her hands were constantly busy as she put together very smooth, complicated, and well-written drum grooves all without ever overplaying or being too flashy. At one point Stella spoke to the crowd in between songs saying “There’s no place I would rather be” followed by an explosion of applause. Jenny Lee Lindberg layed down some tight and edgy bass lines that acted as an incredible foundation for her to bust a move on top of. Jenny’s smile, giggles, and dance moves are aspects that are often underappreciated in musicians as well as live performances. The pure unfiltered enjoyment pouring out of every member of this band was a big part of what made this show so wonderful. I have not been this pleasantly surprised by a live performance in quite some time.

At the very end some members from the opening band Facial and friends came out to greet vocalist and guitarist Emily Kokal with a cake and lit candles. The entire crowd took part in singing happy birthday to the overwhelmed and flustered singer. After this performance I feel like I am part of a very exclusive group of Warpaint fans and it feels like family. If you get a chance to see these girls do their magic live I highly suggest you do.

Dan Scheiman
Dan Scheiman With an entirely open and unbiased obsession with music, Dan decided to take the opportunity given to him to share his thoughts for On Stage Review. Having been to hundreds of concerts of a variety of styles and genres over the years, he's no stranger to live music. He has been playing bass guitar for over twelve years now and has been dabbling in vocal work, drums, and piano for almost as long. Growing up listening to metal and industrial then transitioning into jazz and classical, and now having a particular love for funk or anything that grooves; his perspective comes from a well-rounded musical background and some amateur experience as a musician. He has too many favorite bands to list, but some of his favorite live experiences include: Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree, Papadosio, Tool, The Ocean, Animals As Leaders, Lettuce, and of course, Victor Wooten.