by Kyle Smart
Ever meet someone that has a huge love for the same thing as you, and you just kind of share a moment together? It is a pretty great feeling that you carry on. Now imagine there being 2,000 plus people around you and you are all sharing a moment together, because of a band you love. I had the pleasure of seeing Two Door Cinema Club on Oct. 19 at the Riviera Theatre in Uptown Chicago. The best way I can describe the show so far has been unlike any other.
So I trek out into the cold, windy afternoon to stand in a line for about four hours before getting into the venue, chatting with some friends and seeing everyone get excited for a band that, only about five years old, has gained a rather substantial following, enough to sell out one of the largest venues in Chicago that isn’t arena level. We get inside, happy to warm up, and I end up in the front row, off to the side a little. It always pays off to be in line just a little longer than other people.
The buzz is great, the crowd is surprisingly friendly, everyone is being kind and chatting, people you think are going to be obnoxious are actually fantastic and with the exception of a drunk girl who wouldn’t stop touching people, and another girl pushing her way to the front, I’d say it was one of the best crowds I’ve been in for that size.
Peace, the first opener, took the stage right on time and, for a relatively unknown band, the crowd was already warming up and giving a strong cheer for them. I did not know Peace before the show, but I certainly will not forget the flamboyant stage presence, and the fantastic vocals and new age Brit rock sound. Guitars wailing, drums exploding with power. My favorite song for them was slowing it down with “Float Forever,” but I loved whenever they stopped to talk to the crowd because the lead singer was hilarious to listen to kind of just ramble. They were eclectic and punky and all around a wonderful up and coming band.
Second opener, St. Lucia brought a more electronic synth-pop sound to the show. Another band I was not familiar with, they grew on me quickly as well. I didn’t care as much for the lead singer/frontman who technically is the band, but the entire band looked like they were having a great time, so naturally, the crowd was. The band finished off with a song called “September,” by far the catchiest of them all, I have been replaying for days now. I expect in another year or so, we will see St. Lucia headlining their own shows.
Finally, the moment of the night we have all been waiting for, Two Door Cinema Club came on stage to a massive roar from the fans. Smoke on stage allowing a dozen laser lights to slowly set down onto the crowd, turning the band silhouettes. Alex Trimble, being the classy guy he is, carried out a glass of wine with him (which was refilled many times over the night). Drums, guitars and Trimble’s smooth voice become a rock show I was not expecting. The songs on record are indie pop/rock, but played live, they become so much more powerful, more rock and roll and it was brilliant. When they said there was going to be heavy lights as well, they were not joking. The strobes and flashing lights were so intense and fast, there was no avoiding it. I was a little worried for myself for a while.
Two Door Cinema Club played the night away, each song being just as good if not better than the one before it. By the end of the night, the set list came out to an impressive 18 songs. So yeah, I would say I got my money’s worth. Getting to rock out to favorites like “Sun”, “I Can Talk”, “Something Good Can Work”, “This is the Life” and “Come Back Home” were a dream come true, but honestly the entire set list was perfect, because there is not a song by them I do not like. This is a band I’ve been trying to see for years now, and they did not disappoint. The singing was phenomenal, the band had great stage presence, climbing up on boxes and lights, towering right above us. They were trying to get as close to us as possible, it all came together when they spoke to us between songs. They were genuine and honest. You could hear in Trimble’s voice that he truly meant what he said. It wasn’t all scripted.
After they left for the encore return, the roar of the crowd was unlike anything I have ever heard. Honestly, the crowd was louder than the music. So when TDCC returned to the stage they didn’t just start playing again, they said something I have never heard from a band before. Trimble looks out and said, “Guys, that was amazing, you are fantastic, and it would be our pleasure to play you some more music.”
They continued on to play three more songs for the encore, and before that last song, they spoke out one more time, “We have played more shows here in Chicago, we come here so often now, and we love it. You all keep coming out to see us, so we will keep coming. Trust us when we say, this is a night we will not soon forget. You hear that a lot, but we mean it. This is amazing.”
The band took a moment to soak in the crowd, realize all these people are cheering for them, loving them. It was the look on Trimble’s face that sold me on his honesty. He meant every word. This is a band that has played huge shows like Lollapalooza where the crowd is a sea of people with no end, but this night, this was still important. The way they talked to us was in admiration and thankfulness. The fact that they saw it as a pleasure to give us more music, that’s special. That shows they know it’s about the fans, and that they are there for us.
Two Door Cinema Club finished of the night with another favorite, “What You Know,” and as they started, Trimble raised his glass of wine to the crowd, said “cheers” and gave us one last song for the night. When it was all over, the band looked out and took it all in one more time. They truly loved what they were doing, and they love their fans. They just wanted to save that moment in their heads. They didn’t want to forget, and neither did any of us.
At one point in the night, while talking to us about playing shows in Chicago, Alex said, “How about this; We will go make another record, then come back here and party again, sound good?” Count me in, Two Door Cinema Club, count me in.