Elliott/Liars Academy/Christiansen - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Elliott / Liars Academy / Christiansen

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

So as of right now, Elliott is the best band in the world.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Arriving at the Fireside Bowl, I meet up with my friend Carol [you might remember her from my Krazyfest adventures last year] and we venture on inside to take up our spots at the front of the stage for this surely-to-rock early show. Inside, I encountered Katie and Kendall [who you might recall from my Jimmy Eat World concert review from last fall]. Those girls rock hard [and if they're reading this, they should email me]. Anyways, it was nice to be with old friends and recognizable faces, as that set the mood for the whole night.

Louisville natives Christiansen opened up the show with enough 3 minute blasts of intensely frenetic rock to get the crowd moving somewhat. While their singer looked like Sammy Hagar, he danced like David Lee Roth on acid. Coupled with their pounding drumming and wicked guitar interplay, this made for one fun half hour. The icing on the cake was at the end of the set [the last on this tour for the band] when the guitarist, in a fit of rage, threw his guitar through the drummer's bass drum [after the drummer had already demolished the kit onto the floor]. Crazy. And this was just the first act! Revelation Records was smart to sign these guys - I can't wait to hear their EP coming out next month.

Equal Vision Records' The Liars Academy were due up next. This band features ex/current members of Strike Anywhere, Cross My Heart, and Dead Red Sea. I've never really gotten into any of those bands, but I definitely got into the Liars Academy. They reminded me of, say, Superdrag, if Superdrag dropped the pop aspect sometimes and threw in a curveball of emotional punk. Definitely a power trio to be looking out for. Their drummer [who I believe is the one from Strike Anywhere] is fucking crazy, too.

As Elliott took the stage, my heart began to pound. I had only heard the band once before, on the third day of Krazyfest 4. Their performance floored me; was it just a fluke? Would they sound just as good tonight? No.

They sounded exponentially better.

The band's sound had grown incredibly tighter from that show 11 months ago, and this being their first proper tour in a year and a half, by the time they got to Chicago [their last show], everything seemed to be falling into place. Older material such as "Blessed By Your Own Ghost" was worked into a new material-heavy set that spanned the better part of an hour. The band had no setlist - they didn't need any. The connections they all had between one another on stage were electric. Guitarist Benny swayed with his guitar as if he was making love to it's electic sounds; drummer Kevin blasted away his pain on the poor, unsuspecting drumkit in front of him; singer Chris's voice wailed over the rousing crescendos of the almost completely pause-free set. I have rarely been more moved than I was that Saturday night. Elliott proved that you can still exist in today's world with subgenre after subgenre and label after label being placed on bands. Furthermore, they proved that you can make innovative, emotional, and highly intense rock music with no pretenses, no gimmicks, and no obvious influences. Elliott is the best band in the world right now, and I dare you to prove me wrong.