Equalizer Showcase, Chicago: Sunday Runners, The Pumps & City Electric

The Pumps perform the inaugural Equalizer showcase
photo by Alex Pilichowski

KEXP’s newest local music showcase, Equalizer, kicked off this past Thursday night in Chicago at darkroom and it was a hit! Always up for another reason for drinking, revelry and rock and roll Chicago’s KEXP loyalists did not disappoint and they showed up in force to support the fantastic line-up put together by darkroom. As the doors opened, DJ’s Johnny Kesh and the ever stylish Mikey Dance Panther threw down the beats in their on going battle to be the most shameless MP3-Js in the universe. KEXP listeners who RSVP’d took advantage of the drink specials as others kicked themselves for not being on the “KEXP Chicago Posse” invite list. Stickers, buttons, posters, and t-shirts of all manner abounded! A swag fest to behold indeed!

Sunday Runners got the evenings live music going with a high energy set of smart well polished pop that conjured visions of Wilco if they had formed in the UK or perhaps The New Pornographers if they weren’t so damn Canadian (I keed, I keed). Regardless of the multitude of band comparisons overheard that night Sunday Runners rocked it good and proper and warmed the crowed up just right. The Pumps took the stage next and followed with their sassy mix of Go-Gos style pop and the more macabre lyrical and synthy undertones of a band like The Cure or someone with an equally iconic fashion sense. Did they look good doing it? Hell yes they did! Laura Lovekill and her wild blond mane prowled and pounced all over the stage like a lioness; playful and menacing at the same time. Once we had all toweled off from The Pumps hour of sweaty sexiness it was time for City Electric to drive it home. All of that beer and booze was doing it’s job at this point and the kids were ready for more grooves. City Electric was just the right fit and kicked out a tight set of easy hooks coupled with smart insightful lyrics and a well calculated delivery. Bill Bungeroth’s vocals reminded me of Britt Daniels of Spoon and the band’s up beat guitar and synth combo was a cool train ride through a number of post punk and new wave sub-genre’s.

Mike TurnerAfter some quick shout outs to The Chicago Reader for helping KEXP to sponsor and promote Equalizer, Johnny Kesh and Mikey Dance Panther resumed their digital feud at the decks until the “ugly lights” came on and everyone had to take their mistakes home with them. Because you CAN’T STAY HERE KIDDOS!! Stay tuned for more Equalizer next month!

Check here, for more pictures of the showcase and updates on future Energizer showcases at darkroom.

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  1. Posted June 12, 2007 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Yo, Mike Dance Panther. sure wish I lived in Chicago. You rock! Have the good folks in Chicago ever heard of the Walla Walla band from the 90’s, known as the Gods of Rock. They should.

    Thanks for the brilliant review of the “Equalizer Showcase”.

    Your faithful fan

  2. Posted June 12, 2007 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great review. It makes me wish I was there.

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