McCafferty - Chicago, IL - 08.22.17
Words & Photos by Brandon Phipps
Family was definitely a theme the night of this show. The lineup included Chicago artists Lettering and Beach Bunny; both of whom clearly had friends and family in the audience. The lead singer of Lettering shouted out his mom at one point, who was filming his whole performance on her phone. Beach Bunny, with several friends in the audience and even more lyrics about how okay it is to cry, created a space where everyone was there together with each other to have a great time.
McCafferty is having a comeback of sorts, after a hiatus lasting roughly since 2014 when lead singer Nick Hartkop decided to take a break from music to pursue his career in Special Education. They are apparently here to stay this time, declaring themselves “full-time musicians” and coming out with a touching EP “Thanks. Sorry. Sure”. With lyrics full of references to strained relationships with parents and the refuge that can be sought in friendships, Nick brought the whole venue within a metaphorical arm’s reach. Which he made literal by talking to fans at the merch table for the entirety of the show (outside of their set).
Closing out the night were the Minnesota pastel-punk powerhouse Remo Drive. True to their Saved By The Bell aesthetic, they took the stage in short shorts and strutted around with high kicks and contagious laughter. They played plenty of songs off their ironically titled debut album “Greatest Hits”, which is picking up a lot of traction on music discussion boards across the internet. Their ironic, unserious presentation is undercut by the fact that these boys fucking rocked. They tore up their set, even including a cover of The Killers’ “When You Were Young” which had the whole crowd singing along. Keep an eye out for these guys in the future.