This was Spitalfield's first Chicago area show in a few months, and their fans definitely let them know it. The venue, a quaint little mini-Metro called the Wheaton Grand Theater was bursting at the seams with pre-pubuscent boys and girls, accompanied by their frowning parents. Couple that with your suburbanite high school skanks and your fashioncore kids, and it was one hell of a shitty crowd. I almost wish it would have been a 21-and-up show, but then I realized I would have been the only one in attendance.
First up were locals Crown The Rookie. They sounded like a really sloppy version of old Spitalfield. They covered an old Spitalfield song. The singer is Mark Rose of Spitalfield's brother. The end.
Up next was Eli. I opted not to watch their set, instead talking to about a half dozen 12 and 13 year olds about their musical tastes. Surprisingly, the kids knew their shit, and they were asking me to tell them more about their favorite bands, who begat whom, et cetera. I told them all to go buy The Shape Of Punk To Come and they wrote it down on their hands with permanent marker, presumably to be used for autographs later that night. I'd like to think I made a difference.
Finally, back to music. Long Island natives Diffuser were up next. Kicking their set off with "Karma," I had high hopes for a killer set of Injury Loves Melody-era material. Instead, I got 5 songs in a row off of their utterly disappointing sophomor[ic] effort Making The Grade, the best of which were "Don't Ask Me Why" and "She's All Mine," which featured Mark Rose coming out to take over lead vocals. The girls swooned when he came out. It was cute. Diffuser thankfully closed their half hour set with "Leaving With A California Tilt," showing that the band still has talent. Hopefully they rediscover it for their next album.
Silverstein was up next. Unfortunately, my shoe became untied and I bent over to tie it. By the time I finished, their set was over. Oh well.
Spitalfield took the stage to a sold-out crowd of pre-teens and teens screaming their hearts out, and kicked into their en-song set with "Five Days And Counting" off their new album Remember Right Now. They sounded much tighter musically than when I saw them at their record release show seven months ago; I guess the nonstop touring paid off.
The rest of their set was basically all the faster-paced songs off Remember..., each one being eaten up more heartily than the last by the rabid crowd. Surprises on the setlist included "Are We Still Here?" off their Cloak & Dagger Club EP, as well as a roaring cover of the Promise Ring's "Is This Thing On?", which left most kids in the audience scratching their heads in confusion, watching Rose sing about Delaware.
After obvious set closer "I Loved The Way She Said LA," the band left the stage to a tremendous ovation, only to return and give the crowd one last song - "Stolen From Some Great Writer" - before sending them on their merry way. It was nice to see the hometown boys really make it, and there's only bigger and better things ahead for them, no question.
Here's To You
Don't Ask Me Why
Leaving With A California Tilt
Five Days And Counting
Those Days You Felt Alive
Kill The Drama
Am I Ready?
Is This Thing On? [Promise Ring cover]
You Can't Stop
Are We Still Here?
I Loved The Way She Said "L.A."
Stolen From Some Great Writer