Saturday, October 18, 2014

06 Oct 14 - Bike Thief

" a sense, we are [stuck in a dream] ...we all have our ways of escaping [reality]..."
Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the scene at an video arcade. However this isn't any ordinary arcade. It's a bar as well as a music venue too! Tonight, she's in the heart of Wicker Park at Emporium Arcade hanging out with the melodic indie rock band from Portland, OR  - Bike Thief. Currently on their US tour in support of the newest release, Stuck In A Dream, this quintet of musicians shared the stage with other local acts like Greg Jackson Combs band, Ariada and The Burning Ponies. So before wowing the audience of video gamers and music listeners with their performance, this reviewer had a chance to sit down with Febian (front man/guitarist) and Tom (bassist) of Bike Thief for an in depth look at band's music, songs and fanboy nerdism complex while on the road.
After describing the band as "...indie rock with other stuff...", this reviewer was very curious about what was so secretive about the "other stuff" that makes Bike Thief unique from other bands she has seen throughout the course of the year. For one thing, each member brings a little extra something to the music, blogspot readers. For example, Greg has classical background in which he pens the beautiful melodies meanwhile Steve adds a bit of jazz and Febian completes the group with his modern rock (mostly from the 80s, 90s and 2000s) fusion. "...we all come from a lot of different places..." especially since you might also hear some influences by Rush to Pink Floyd and Genesis within Bike Thief's soundtrack. Yet most of all, blogspot readers, this band is trying to stay original ...and don't want to be compared to someone else. That being said, what could you expect from a band with a vast musical background like this? SouthSide was told to expect a very theatrical performance with face painting and costumes because they are not the type of band who stand stage and stare at you. Right then and there, she got the distinct feeling she was going to be part of the performance too, blogspot readers.
And what a haunting performance it was. Melodic orchestral floetry of rhythms and sounds that surround the auditory senses with vibrant electro-pop rock sound while your eyes are kept busy with the silent Italian movie running on the screen behind them. She loved how they used the dark venue atmosphere to not only set the mood and atmosphere for their Chicago set but also to illuminate the stage with the orange neon glowing fa├žade (including drum kit) which seemed to mesmerize the audience more about their music than them. Plus the movie had a unique role to play as certain scene ran in sync with Bike Thief's songs thus furthering your experience with this band, blogspot readers. She liked how the different musical backgrounds and genre combinations (for example in song "Kiss The Light", you might hear pieces of Klezmer-like folk music) had either a melodic flow and/or tempo setting to draw you closer into being stuck in Bike's escapism from reality. At times, Bike's orchestral music tends to have an air of seriousness in being so dramatic to it but then are others when you might find yourself dancing along to the fun upbeat rhythms like SouthSide did when Bike's added some hot spiciness of Latin-flavored sounds (in which spiced up the rain scene during the movie).

And when they perform instrumentally, blogspot readers, be prepared to have your mind blown from the hard crescendo rises and the heart-dropping falls from the electro-classical melodies that sometimes could be heard from the violin and Febian's guitar amidst the rest of the band. It was an intense experience to behold especially when feeling both music and lyrics flowing together to which (believe it or not) drown out the videogames that being used by gamers. In a nutshell, blogspot readers, this was one original show by one original band. During her interview with the band, SouthSide asked Febian and Tom to recommend songs off their current release Stuck In A Dream for blogspot readers to listen. They recommended first listening one of their older songs "Ghosts of Providence" because it's easy to get into plus it will help you move towards the next song recommendation "We Once Knew You". According to the guys, you get a taste of where the band is "...heading towards the future..." It features a backing choir, orchestral movements and guest vocalists. And finally, they recommend the album's title track "Stuck In A Dream" which they disclosed to this reviewer this is the song that's "...transcending where we want to be for the future..." because for them this album feels more like a debut than sophomoric release. As if the band is growing up towards maturity, blogspot readers. Yes, they did admit to SouthSide, they're stuck in a dream since in a sense reality can be so hard and it's fun to escape it for a bit.

So what's it like in Portland? "...cold ....rain ...and beer..." though they did like the weather SouthSide has here in Chicago since rain tends to keep people inside over there. However, they did mention that during the summertime, it's green and nice - that's when people out and about checking out what's happening in the local music scene. And speaking of their local music scene, Bike Thief called it "...weird but really unique ...but also consistent..." Like any other city, Portland has its share of unique bands like Bike Thief (and SouthSide's friends Die Robot) as well as its band cliques and those who dominate the scene. Still bands there are quite friendly. "'s all about who you know..." especially when performing at the bigger named venues yet at least it's not as cut-throat like it is in LA, blogspot readers. Yet, Bike Thief does have dream of one day performing at a venue like Metro ...or House of Blues here in Chicago.

Lastly Bike Thief wanted to say this before rockin' out the stage " our fan...". Honestly, blogspot readers, this reviewer has never met a group of humbled, modest quiet guys before now who are also HUGE fanboy nerds! While on the road, they're having discussions from everything Star Wars to Star Trek (probably who was the better captain - Kirk or Picard) and Game of Thrones. Interesting conversations to be had with them about the new Star Wars movie coming out next year. They are totally down-to-earth and quite easy to talk to if you should ever attend one of their upcoming shows soon. They did tell SouthSide about a recent show in Omaha, NE where they were in a lineup with three funk bands (one band had the fusion of metal-funk that's something SouthSide needs to check out herself).

For more information about Bike Thief, visit



Until next time, support your local scene,

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