The Locals: Chicago 4.18.11

all words and media by Emily Rose Larsen
Lake Michigan, view from Foster St. Beach

On Tuesday April 12th, the Rumble Tour made its debut in Chicago, showcasing a three-course meal of local talents. The evening marked the Rumble’s first tour de Chi Town, hitting all of the marks needed to court the crowd- local studs Rambos, The Great Society Mind Destroyers, and Pet Lions all delivered stellar sets and the Hideaway provided clutch PBR specials.

Seated amid the industry and train tracks of the northwest end of the Chicago River, the Hideout has been harboring the windblown and the restless since your great-grandfather lived here. More covert than modest (the entrance lacks any pronouncement other than a generic Old Style sign), it harbors the same “port in the storm” mentality it opened for the Irish factory workers of the city with in 1934.

I met up with my friend Joey Murphy outside of the Hideout prior to the show and discussed his anticipation for the evening to commence. It was the first Tuesday boasting comfortable weather in the Windy City and construction season was already underway (a bitter Chicagoan once told me that the city hosts two seasons, “Winter and Construction”). Joey was playing with indie pop-rockers Pet Lions on the keys for the first time since they began practicing together three weeks prior. In the moment, we smoked cigarettes in the wind and looked out at the skyline, discussing our early shifts the next day and a Chicago wonder known as Tomalli Space Charros; a space-inspired food truck with reverence for Futurism and Mexican wrestling (more on this to come). It seemed he was nervous, or at least I was nervous on his behalf.  As he took the stage, it became clear he was more prepared than he had led on earlier. “I’m not sure if you fully caught the wind of self-deprecation that I was blowing all night long,” he told me a couple days later, “it’s kind of a defense mechanism.”

Whatever the case, Pet Lions played a great set, putting the icing on an evening of ear-ringing rifts with their dance-able cuts. The crowd looked like they had just tumbled out of a dryer with their lint-lined flannels and static hair until a school of girls with bangs swarmed the floor, snapping pictures of the Lions and twirling with an air of signification. I was proud; Joey was going to be a star!

The Rumble seems to exist for evenings like this where the everybodies meet the anybodies; a traveling showcase based out of Los Angeles with fingerprints on the most authentic venues of noteworthy cities including San Francisco Milk Bar, LA’s Echoplex, and NYC’s Pianos. Chicago is a pivotal addition.


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