On Saturday night, I ventured out in the Chicago wilderness to catch Dialogue, The Felix Culpa, Hanalei and Wax on Radio play at the Metro.

A newly smoke-free venue, $6 gin and tonics, and emo-based indie rock = a fun time had by all. I didn’t actually stay the entire time so I didn’t catch Wax on Radio, which is a shame. I’m sure I would have liked that part of the show but I guess I just felt like jettin’.

Onto the music…

Dialogue came out first, right at 6:30pm when the show started, and played for about a half hour. This was a special night for the band, as their EP had just arrived pressed and finished right before their set started.

Dialogue 1

Dialogue takes some rock structures and puts them together in a very Death Cab for Cutie-like manner (for lack of a better comparison)–emotionally charged, anthemic at all the right times, and overall just some great rockin’ songs that aren’t metal-ish at all. Their set was a run through of the songs on the EP and some of the tracks that they’ve yet to formally record.

Dialogue 2

I’ll try and get some tracks up soon, but in the meantime, you can stream their EP and some live tracks at their website, ILikeDialogue.com (click the little volume button), or their MySpace page.. If you’re a fan of the emo side of things, this would be a band to catch during 2006. Honorable mentions: “Sleep”, “Really Don’t Think So”

Next band up was The Felix Culpa, and this was not their night. They started their set with something like “uhm, thanks to the people at the metro for helping us because we had issues today…”–whatever the hell that means. However, I took this to mean the following: “today was not a good day for us, we almost missed our gig, we don’t have our own equipment, this promoter is never going to book us again, so i better apologize as it’s the least i can do…”

The Felix Culpa

Once they started playing, I was hooked. Fantastic, high energy drummer, schizophrenic-like skinny-and-quiet-looking-but-wasn’t frontman, and a tall tree-trunk of a bass player that swayed with the snap and intensity showing that he was there to play–very powerful band for a three piece, that’s for sure…

Some of their music was out there–it reminded me of The Mars Volta at times–and I think they could have worked on their timing. If they let a little more room for the music to breath, I think it would be a good thing. I liked them, though, and I would definitely go catch these guys again. Check out their stuff at myspace.com/thefelixculpa

Up last for me was Hanalei, which has a more similar genre sound to Dialogue as opposed to The Felix Culpa. This made for a good break between the two bands, and Hanalei came out with some exceptional emo tonight that really got the crowd moving slowly. And, at a show like this, it’s a great thing to see people moving and dancing.


For me, nothing stood out as memorable about their set other than the fact that I liked the music. That’s the best thing I could say about it, as the band looked comfortable and full of emo on stage–I mean, that’s a very, very good thing. Great set by the guys and look forward to seeing them again…

Wax on Radio — I’ll catch you next time.