Screaming Smiles of Joy: Thermals in Chicago

 

 

The Thermals bleed happiness. Even their latest album “Desperate Ground” – which is about killing and death and fear and darkness – screams cheer.

The Portland trio’s show last night at Lincoln Hall in Chicago was a blitzkrieg of loud, super-fun serendipitous music.

Fast power chords and fuzzy distortion pedals embody the band’s signature sound. For the uninitiated, The Thermals are like a hipster version of Weezer, but better.

Their fans are zealous – hollering along to every single song.  Songs like “Here’s Your Future” and “Born to Kill” were massive singalongs.

Indeed The Thermals have an extremely intimate relationship with their fans. There is no third wall. Frontman Hutch Harris jumped into the crowd at one point, spinning around with his guitar, rocking out surrounded by his followers.

The friendliest mosh pit ever erupted early on in the show, rearing its head intermittently throughout the performance. Like every Thermals show, it consisted mostly of people bopping around and pogo-ing.

Mid-show – bassist Kathy Foster and drummer Westin Glass – whooshed to the front of the stage to high-five everyone in the front row.

This is a band that has a ton of fun onstage. You can see it on their faces, smiling ear-to-ear. The Thermals are truly the most underrated band in indie rock. They’re on tour through mid-June. Catch them if you wanna smile yourself. 

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