As if a Saturday night couldn’t become more enjoyable at the Taste of Lincoln festival—a humidity escape, complete with a crisp breeze, wafted through the barbecue-scented air, accompanied by an immense side of sunshine; crowds of locals and tourists enthusiastically lined the streets of Lincoln Avenue; and vendors assembled to serve its patrons with food, drinks, crafts and more—then Chicago favorites Company of Thieves hit the Hi-Tops stage for an hour and a half of lucid delectation, equipped with blue and red-beamed lights and a huddled swarm of eager individuals. There’s no questioning this grunge-rock band’s talent, and, despite surrounding musical genius, Company of Thieves is undoubtedly a contender for the best musical act in Chicago, if not other major cities, too. One can’t possibly compare vocalist Genevieve Schatz (who was more on point than she ever has been)’s to anyone else’s, nor can it be described in quite enough positive words. Perfect could suffice, yet it’s too generic. Angelic, as mentioned previously, just doesn’t justify it enough. It is enough to make one cry with joy, generate goosebumps and chills, instill hope in quality music and the world in general, cause a heart to ooze affectionately with love, hug until one’s arms give out and want to bottle it up so it can be listened to whenever one chooses. Even the band’s sound is one that is too melodic and mellifluous to describe in a completely coherent fashion; the best way to experience it is to listen and then be transported into a world where contentment controls everything else. The emotion embedded in every song explodes from the moment the music materializes, and every single audience member can feel it rattle against their rib cages and tingle like tinsel along their hearts. When it’s paired with a setting sun, well, similar sensations simply do not exist. Essentially, Company of Thieves epitomizes a healthy ecstasy for the body.
During the set, the band played every song from their latest release, Running from a Gamble, as well as older classics like “Old Letters,” “In Passing” and “Oscar Wilde.” Their encore included the favorite, horn-infused “Tallulah” with instrumentalists Schatz referred to as “Beards,” as well as “Won’t Go Quietly,” a ballad that especially showcases Schatz’s pipes and a convivial, instrumental jam. The overall sound was at its peak for puissance for this particular event, and guitarist Marc Walloch, suavely adorning a dress jacket with plaid and jeans, maneuvered his guitar in a more frenzied, yet skillful fashion—true rock-star stature—evoking grittier and darker, though simultaneously stupefying and sonorous melodics. There was certainly a maturation present, and Schatz, clad in cream from head to toe (with the exception of her silver-glittered Doc Martens) and with dyed auburn curls, though with the same springy sprightliness, even stated appreciatively that the audience had “watched [them] grow up” over the years. Growing up has never tasted so impressionable, and there’s still so much more to come from this band.
While Company of Thieves may currently be on a hiatus to pursue other musical endeavors, it’s evident from this weekend’s turnout and the exuberant response that their fans will remain devoted and look forward to their next show and release, albeit impatiently. :) Stay tuned via their Facebook and Twitter (@cotlife) for more updates.