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Allah-Las blow into the windy city


by Madeline Reynolds

As much as we’ve tried to live in denial, it’s that frosty time of year again. With the cooling of the temperature outside, Chicagoans were more than receptive to a little California sunshine, à la psych-rock group the Allah-Las. Bringing along rising indie pop trio, Tashaki Miyaki, the two bands made their windy city stop at local Chicago venue, Lincoln Hall, where they put on an excellent show, to say the least.

First up to bat was fellow California natives, Tashaki Miyaki. Before the trio even began to play, the immediate impression was that this is a band who pays attention to the details. They wanted to put on a show, not just sonically, but visually as well. The stage was adorned with string lights as well as fake white flowers, which could also be found atop the head of the female members (comprising 2/3 of the band). In addition to this, above their heads they had an elaborate video reel projection, made up of clips of various old films, which complemented the music harmoniously. In terms of sound, Tashaki Miyaki is very reminiscent of Dum Dum Girls, both in frontwoman Lucy’s sultry vocals, akin to those of Dee Dee Penny, as well as their reverb-laden noise pop. The highlight of their set was when they brought out a couple of the members of the headlining band to join them for a song. Most definitely an act to watch in coming years.

And now, on to the main act. Also choosing to incorporate a visual element, a video was being projected during the Allah-Las’ set, but rather than old films, all you could see was the view of a wide open road as you travelled along, letting the music take you for a ride. Their laidback style was completely cohesive with the laidback, lo-fi quality of the music. The Allah-Las have been making a steady rise in popularity over the past few of years, since the debuted their first single back in 2011. This rise in popularity was more than evident in the loyal Chicago fans, who were buzzing with an eager energy. The group’s sound was clean live, as each member juggled vocals and instrumentation seamlessly. The set included a good mix of titles from their new album, Worship the Sun, as well as old favorites from their self-titled debut, such as “Catamaran.” The entire crowd was in tune with each song, dancing along and swaying with each new melody. Everything from their sound to their stage presence was on point.

We may have a long winter ahead, but with their beachy tunes and infectious spirits, The Allah-Las were able to give Chicago a little warmth, even if only for one night.

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