Bad Copy

Show Review

The Flatliners, Typesetter, & Arms Aloft in Chicago, IL

Kevin likes things... we swear it!

Photo: Kendra Sheetz

I got a lot of shit a little under a year ago when I wrote an album review saying The Flatliners latest album, Inviting Light, fucking sucked. At this point, I have probably listened to it 40 or 50 times trying to like it. And while I have started to come around to it after a particular night drive through Wyoming and an ongoing inside joke of us screaming “YEEEEAHHHH” as loud as possible, songs like “Chameleon Skin” will always put it in the ‘not their strongest release’ category in my brain. But the good news is you can still be a huge fan of a band despite not enjoying every single album they release. Just ask Against Me! and White Crosses. Woof. The point is, I am a huge Flatliners fan. The only reason I do not have one of their lyrics tattooed into my skin is because I can’t decide which one to get. They are all so good. So you better believe when I heard about this show at the Cobra Lounge right after seeing them play Riot Fest AND at Quenchers, I was counting down the days until January 12th.

We got to Cobra right as opener, Arms Aloft, was starting. I did not watch them. I’m not a petty person in the slightest (ha), but a certain ex of mine was a huge fan of this band and ruined them for me forever by being dumb and boring and generally not a good person. That’s what I associate them with through no fault of their own. I got some food instead, the ‘Cobra Club’ with the pepper jack cheese subbed for cheddar, and a side of tots. It was a fairly standard Turkey-Avocado-Bacon sandwich, but you capped tell they used high quality meats and shit, because that simple sub blew away any mediocre Jimmy John’s or Quiznos you could imagine. It was really fucking good and filled the empty hole in my stomach despite every one of my so-called ‘friends’ and ‘girlfriend’ eating all my god damned tater tots. I mean, I got a few, but I wanted more to dip into that awesome sweet barbecue sauce Cobra makes. It was all washed down with a nice cold PBR , which if you are reading this, I know that you know it’s…fine.

Editor’s Note: I did watch Arms Aloft. I watched their whole set. And they were great, as always. I have seen this band with different lineups, down members, drunk as hell, and upsettingly sober and they always give it their all. Tonight, Seth was ill. His face was pale and he was dripping with sweat as he played his heart about and spoke about how one day, *he* (refusing to use the president’s name in protest) is going to die on the toilet, cheeseburger in hand, mid-Tweet. While Kevin was enjoying his sandwich, I was enjoying Arms Aloft. Plus I got to steal a ton of his tater tots after their set, so I’m fairly sure I came out the true winner.

I was interested in seeing Typesetter. I have heard nothing but good things from almost everyone, and I have somehow managed to have never actually heard them at all until this night. But first I had to fight my way through the mega packed venue. I got nothing but death glares and people refusing to budge an inch as I made my way to the front of the stage where Kendra was. The weirdest part was the front of the stage was not crowded at all. For some reason almost every single person was by the back door and in the middle of the room, like their was an invisible wall keeping everyone a minimum of ten feet from the stage. It was fucking odd. As far as Typesetter went, they were… fine. I tried to chalk it up to maybe the sound wasn’t that great where I was standing or maybe I had them too hyped up in my head. But I’m listening to them as I type this and nah, they are just not for me. It’s not like I outright hated them or anything. They were good at what they did, just nothing particularly stood out and grabbed me in that special way some bands do except maybe when the keyboardist, Sarah Bogosh, stepped away from the keys and fucking tooted away on a trumpet. Is their a cool way to say someone played trumpet? I feel like ‘tooted’ might not be the best word, but it’s the first that comes to mind. Anyway, more trumpets in 2018 please.

Editor’s Note: The sound actually was kind of rough where we were standing. But I would like to add that Typesetter is filled amazingly talented musicians who are masters as what they do. However, for me, the best way to explain the band is to see them live. I first saw the band when they graced the Metro stage last year, and their presence filled the whole of the massive stage. Cobra’s much smaller seemed almost a little constricting. If you choose to ignore Kevin’s sass and good-willed, honest negativity (which you should totally do. Don’t ever let other people tell you who to listen to), I would suggest checking out Typsetter live over listening to recordings. Or do both.

Whelp, so far this has been another patented Negative Kevin Review™, so lets keep this complain train rolling. I was kind of disappointed in The Flatliners set. This was billed as “The Great Awake 10 year anniversary tour” and they mostly played the exact same set with some of the exact same stage banter they have done the last five times I have seen them. So maybe it’s a little on me for seeing them that many times in that many months. They mainly relied on Inviting Light to fill the set, but they did divert slightly from the carbon copy of the Quenchers show towards the end, throwing in a couple of extra songs off The Great Awake, and closing the encore (ugh) with the seven minute long “KHTDR.”

I know, I know. It sounds like I am complaining a whole bunch (which come on, that really shouldn’t come as that much of a shock), but I had a lot of fun at the show. It’s hard not too when you get to see “This is Giving Up” and “Mastering the Worlds Smallest Violin” back to back, or watch Jon Darbey groove away on his 5-string bass. It’s The Flatliners; it’s impossible not to have a great time.

Plus I had a pretty damned good sandwich.

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