!!! (Chk Chk Chk) | Live at the Metro, 5-23-07

PICT2894

That band with the funky name, !!! (aka Chk Chk Chk), blew into the Windy City on a Wednesday night and tore up the Metro with the help of electro-rockers Holy F**K. Thanks to a Metro media pass, we were able to snap some pretty decent shots.

Photos and comments after the jump…


Holy F**K plays a concise kind of electronic rock. Driving beats and lots of melodic sampling make for a dense sound and distinct groove. I was impressed and am eager to hear more, but we were only able to catch a few of their songs. However, I heard enough that I will definitely make the effort to see these guys again.

!!! look to be the heirs of the ‘disco-punk’ throne, although that label probably doesn’t due them justice. I’ve hyped these guys quite a bit since getting my hands on their latest album, Myth Takes. But until Wednesday night, I had yet to see their live set…which became the topic of some debate. Their music led me to believe they’d be a fabulous live band, but I kept hearing otherwise…

PICT2884

I think I geneally disagree with the naysayers of !!!’s live show. This band offered up a super-energetic set of dance-oriented rock music that I thoroughly enjoyed. Frontman, Nic Offer, is basically the disco-punk version of Jim Morrison. He shouts, grouls, whispers, flails about, and generally provides a crowd-pleasing type of visual entertainment. He was joined by a female singer, who added some soulful high-end to a few numbers, most notably, the infectious “Heart of Hearts.”

PICT2766

PICT2904

But behind all the big stage presence of these two vocalists was the backing band, which adeptly ripped into some serious funk-laden grooves, thereby attempting to provide the real reasons for the crowd to dance. And it did. The crowd merrily lapped it up, bouncing, yelling, and even occasionally moshing. !!! tore through most of their ‘key’ songs from Myth Takes (“Myth Takes, Must be the Moon, All My Heroes Are Wierdos, Heart of Hearts, and Yadnus”) along with a few big tracks from and Louden Up Now.

PICT2921

PICT2890

PICT2865

PICT2794

PICT2760

But all the fun madness ended a bit too abruptly, providing me with one of my only complaints about the show. A schedule behind the bar gave them until 11:30, but they ended their set even before that mark. Not only that, but following their final song, the crowd gave them a good 10 minutes of raucous applause to no avail. Sorry, no encore. This whole situation led our group to a later discussion of whether it’s better to give the crowd one last taste in an encore, or leave them wanting more. My opinion? More please.

I might also quibble over the sound quality, their mediocre light show, and the fact that they neglected to play my favorite track from Myth Takes (“Bend Over Beethoven” — why would you not play this song every night?). But these are small gripes in comparison to leaving a hungry crowd without its dessert. Of course, maybe I’ve just gotten too accustomed to seeing long-winded jamming and three-hour shows?

PICT2852

PICT2839

Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the way !!! can rock rock rock.

Then again, a 15-minute extended “Bend Over Beethoven” would have been the icing on the cake of a great show. I guess I’ll have to wait until next time for dessert.

WHITperson -- aka Marc Whitman or simply "Whit" -- is a long-time LMB contributor known for his in-depth posting style and his knack for crafting interesting podcasts. Whit currently resides in Brooklyn, where he's building up his web development chops and hoping to put his technical skills towards something interesting in the music world. Follow his updates over at whitperson.com and on twitter @whitperson.
  • Tony

    I saw their May 21st show in Cleveland at the Grog Shop and had the pleasure of meeting Nic Offer after the show. He said they were missing one of their bandmates for the Cleveland show and so were only able to give a reduced set of possible songs. I don’t know if this was the case in Chicago, however, but it might explain them ending early / not playing Bend Over Beethoven.

  • Tony

    I saw their May 21st show in Cleveland at the Grog Shop and had the pleasure of meeting Nic Offer after the show. He said they were missing one of their bandmates for the Cleveland show and so were only able to give a reduced set of possible songs. I don’t know if this was the case in Chicago, however, but it might explain them ending early / not playing Bend Over Beethoven.