the loud bassoon concert scene

Supergrass @ Metro, Chicago, USA
10 March 2003

A rare opportunity to catch Supergrass in Chicago – a show not to have been missed. And it didn't disappoint. Why these guys aren't routinely cited as one of the best bands in the world is beyond me … I think Americans, especially, just don't trust 'em. Is it because the lead singer looks like he could star in Planet of the Teen Apes? Is it the wild mélange of styles they are able to do well? Is it because they're confusing them with Superchunk?

Ah well, let those who aren't gettin' it continue to miss the good stuff. These guys brought all the melodic payoff of the Raspberries to the table, along with everything that makes the Strokes seem great, plus all the cockfosterin' thunder of Grand Funk. And with none of the cheesy elements of any of those bands.

Virtually every song was shorter than three minutes, and they played so many good ones – "Pumping On Your Stereo," "Mary," "She's So Loose," "Evening of the Day," "Sun Hits the Sky" (at least I think they played "Sun Hits the Sky" … it's kinda blurry, if ya know what I mean, Gene).

And there was a slightly disappointing "Caught By the Fuzz" at the end, in which we discover that Gaz Coombes can't hit the high notes he could when he was 17 … but shit, neither can Paul McCartney anymore.

It was a right good ass-kicking for the ears, and a much-needed musical recalibration to curb my slightly unnerving recent flirtation with Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. I only saw the last 15 minutes of opening act The Coral, and liked it very much, especially given that this was precisely the amount of time I wanted to invest in watching The Coral.

Review by Abel Packaday