Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Safes / The Differents at Beat Kitchen, 11/25/09

Wednesday was one of those nights where the world's events fell into place like just so many perfectly laid Tetris pieces. I promised my wife I wouldn't leave until our kids were asleep. I bathed my daughter, got my son cleaned up and PJ'ed, got both to sleep and in their beds, got dinner for my wife and I, then went as fast as I felt I could on the day before Thanksgiving to go from my house in the western suburbs of Chicago to Belmont and Hoyne. I found parking two blocks away, trotted myself to the club, paid my $10 admission, then made it to the back room with two minutes to spare. As I walked in, Frankie O'Malley of the Safes (yeah, the same guy I've known since 1st grade) catches me and we hug; Frankie is still one of the coolest guys I know in the world. I can't even tell you why (well, that's not entirely true; I guess I should say that I can't express it in the short space of this blog). I think one of the things I admire about Frankie (and Lou, who I think is just as cool) is that not only are both incredible musicians / performers / songwriters, that somehow, they find it within themselves to keep on making music, playing shows, and rocking my world. And I know that it isn't the easiest job in the world; they're just particularly good at it.

So Lou and the Differents rip into a great set of both old and new songs, both from their first two and a half albums, but also some newer songs I'd never heard. Old Differents line up was a trio: Lou on guitar, Dan on drums, and whoever they could maneuver into the bass slot (I was thrilled when it was for a while there Michael O'Malley). This time around, the Differents is still Lou and Dan, but also Eric Quinlan on guitars and organ (damn, that boy can play!) and Brian Stout on bass (excellent choice). The quality of tunes was great, and they really ripped them out.

The Safes also put on a great show; for three guys, they really have amazing stores of energy. I've known these guys since they were the Shakes (early '90s), and they have only gone from strength to strength. Wednesday's show was no exception. A phenomenal show from both bands. My apologies to Kim Schaefer and No Enemy; my own personal timetable prevented me from seeing you guys play. But I'm certain you guys had great nights, too.

The photo I used is from Dan Blume, with my gratitude for the kind permission for use of the awesome shot.


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