words & photos by Zack Baker

The Dirty Nil

Restorations, Creepoid and The Dirty Nil hit Chicago's Cobra Lounge last Friday (4/1) on their BrooklynVegan-presented tour. The club was packed by the end of the night and each band sounded great.

The night kicked off with Canadian energy-powerhouse The Dirty Nil's blend of straightforward indie rock with off-the-rails punk. Even if the crowd was hesitant to push against the stage, frontman Luke Bentham refused to hold back anything. Even as Bentham collapsed to the stage floor or bent backwards, guitar to the sky, he never missed a note. Backed by the impeccable rhythm section of bassist/aggro vocalist David Nardi and drummer Kyle Fisher, all three beamed throughout the set even before they converted the initially hesitant crowd to get into their set.


Psych-heavy shoegazers Creepoid took the stage next, complete with their signature fog-heavy stage setup that was missing from the NYC show. Having seen the band a handful of times, the almost-impenetrable haze seems inseparable from their loud, dreamy approach to bringing classic psych and shoegaze into a grittier era. Between the swells of music the band made veiled requests for weed (apparently they had their stash confiscated by the hotel the night before) and made light-hearted jokes in honor of the show's April Fool's Day occurrence. Their set closed with an tremendous jam session that seemed like it could never end (and it didn't seem as though the crowd wanted it to). As bassist Anna Troxell pulled herself back up from the floor in front of the bass drum and thanked the crowd, Creepoid disappeared but the fog hung in the air.


Almost as soon as Creepoid cleared the stage, the whole crowd surged forward to snag the best spot for Restorations' set. Suddenly the crowd that was simply digging the past hour of music became ravenous. Smoothly transitioning from Creepoid's ever-unfolding final jam, Restorations took the stage and launched into some of their most post-rock leaning tracks. The crowd seemed to know every word, and for the first time all night there was a pit of bouncing, screaming fans fighting each other to get closer and closer to frontman Jon Loudon. By the time the band launched into "Separate Songs" as their third track, it seemed like the entire crowd was singing in perfect time with Loudon. Their set covered the entirety of the band's discography and gave even more of an edge to their sound than is present on the studio versions, tying the bill together nicely.

All three bands continue on the tour in Columbus, OH tonight (4/5). All remaining tour dates are listed on the poster: