words by Parker Langvardt

Mono at Subterranean on 9.21.2012 (photo by Lewis James Purdy)

On Friday night (9/21) Mono visited Chicago with tourmate Chris Brokaw to play Subterranean with local opener TAL.

Experimental musician Natalie Chami performed an ambient electronic set under the name TAL, utilizing analog synthesizers and a loop pedal to create flowing washes of sound. The audience gathered close to the stage, watching silently and intently.

The room filled out more for Chris Brokaw's solo set. The former Codeine drummer began by singing over warm, intricate acoustic guitar, later picking up an electric guitar that he ran through odd effects. His set was well-received by the crowd, but there was a lot of talking throughout. I mostly chalk it up to rainy day restlessness, though he may have had their undivided attention if he had a drummer and bassist for the electric songs.

Mono opened with "Legend" from their new album, For My Parents, and though that album featured The Worldless Orchestra, the band were able to carry the songs on their own. Other new songs included "Nostalgia" and "Dream Odyssey", with bassist Tamaki Kunishi switching to piano for the latter. The simple melodies were captivating and relaxing as they worked toward massive walls of sound. Drummer Yasunori Takada's drum set included a couple timpani and a gong, which contributed to the large swells.

The setlist from Mono's Friday night (9/21) show at Subterranean is below...

Mono -- 9/21 Subterranean Setlist:
Dream Odyssey
Pure As Snow
Follow The Map
Unseen Harbor
Ashes in the Snow
Everlasting Light

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