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STRFKR wraps fans in surrealism with “Parallel Realms” live


One of the hottest new music venues in Chicago is the Salt Shedd. After renovating the old, iconic Morton Salt Shed factory off by the river with the skyline in the background makes for a wonderful ambiance. Walking into the main hall, there is plenty of space on the main floor to let loose but also bleacher seats should you need a rest. There wasn’t too much sitting though as fans came out in droves to support the spacey band known as STRFKR. Having spoken with band members Josh Hodges and Shawn Glassford last year, it was great to see them play live again on their current tour promoting the latest release Parallel Realms.

The joyful tunes of STRFKR bring out whimsy in their devoted fans and their shows are always a fun experience to witness. Events like these are what fans look forward to making them go all out in wacky attire to get in the right headspace for the performance they’re about to see. Fans took advantage of the peaceful aura by dressing up in everything from spacesuits to reflective neon jumpsuits to dragonflies with wings that light up. We conversed with friends and bonded with strangers over drinks. But once the lights went dim, there was an uproar. STRFKR had arrived.

The band didn’t waste time with introductions and started with a bang, quite literally as canons blew confetti into the air and jolted up with frenzy. The hysteria continued as they began their set with a classic, “While I’m Alive”. We vibed along to the haunting yet catchy lyrics, “Last night all black and white, when I was sleeping. I felt shadows and emptiness surround me. Just keep telling myself to live my life alive.” STRFKR followed up with “Together Forever,” a new track off their latest project Parallel Realms. The echoing mantra of professing one’s love rang throughout the venue as purple lights set the mood, “Shorty will you take my love? I don’t wanna break your heart. Shorty will you take my love? Isn’t it hard enough.”

From there, the band slowed things down with “Kahlil Gibran” from Miracle Mile. It was a change of pace to catch your breath and zone out as manta rays swam in space on the projected screen on stage. They made the atmosphere more cheerful with yet another fan favorite “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second”. A delightful tune that feels like taking a stroll on a bright sunny day. That feeling continued with “Sazed,” as STRFKR got the crowd to chant along to the simple chorus, “Gloria!” during which their stage crew dressed in full spacesuits and crowd surfed throughout the entire arena.

Photo by Corinne Schiavone, courtesy of the artist

Upcoming tour dates

07/25 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
07/26 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo #
07/29 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory #
07/30 – Jackson, WY @ The Mangy Moose #
07/31 – Missoula, MT @ The Wilma #
08/02 – Bozeman, MT @ The Elm #
08/03 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station Ballroom
08/04 – Mishawaka, CO @ Mishawaka Amphitheatre #
08/07 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theatre #
08/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren #

# w/ Ruth Radelet

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