I love Eve 6. My unhealthy proclivity for the repeat button during the albums Eve 6 and Horrorscope led to more than one destroyed copy of each of those CDs and could easily be described as bordering on obsessive. That’s an impressive feat in and of itself, but it’s not the point. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. Kids from the suburbs love Eve 6. Most of those kids were at Cubby Bear for this show–they were just grown up and drunk. The point is, unless they killed a kitten on stage, I knew I was going to like this show before I ever set foot in the Cubby Bear. I’m obviously biased. Consider yourself warned.
The whole reason Eve 6 is on tour is to support their new album Speak In Code. It should come as no surprise that they were going to play a set filled with the “new hits” from that record, but they made their decade older fans happy by playing plenty of old gems like “Promise,” “Amphetamines,” “On the Roof Again,” “Open Road Song,” and that one song about the human blood pump in a kitchen gadget that everyone knows the words to. As a die-hard fan, the only song they didn’t play that I wanted to hear was “Rescue.” They managed to strike a balance between old and new that kept everyone happy, or only left them pissed off for a single beer. If only the engineering and the music itself was as balanced as the song selections.
Here’s the thing: Chicago was the first stop on their first tour in like a decade. Chicago is filled with giddy, schoolgirl Eve 6 fans (guilty as charged). Combine the two of those things and you get a musical slurry with recognizable guitar riffs and vocal hooks on top, but mostly you get lots of screaming people drowning out the audio unless you risk permanent deafness by standing in front of a speaker. In all honesty, I’m probably one of the assholes singing over Max’s voice in the YouTube videos. I’m sorry. That’s not ok. But this is one of those situations where I’m not going to feel even the slightest bit guilty because the entire room was filled with dudebros and whoo girls (that are both probably former high school classmates of mine) screaming much louder than I was.
That’s the thing about the music of Eve6. It’s not going to win a Grammy. It’s not going to be some seminal work in the annals of music history because alt rock isn’t even going to be a footnote in that comprehensive tome. It will end up in a movie about partying in high school starring a well endowed girl that you’ll instantly fall in love with (if you knew what love was). She’ll eventually have a TV show on Lifetime Network, and you’ll grow out of the phase where you think bands with numbers in the name are the greatest thing to happen to music since recreational drugs in pill form. It doesn’t sound the greatest coming out of the speaker stacks at Cubby Bear. It doesn’t sound quite as perfect as it did the first time you heard it or saw them live because either your tastes have evolved or, let’s be realistic here, you’re probably drunk. Knowing all of that doesn’t change the way you feel about them though.
At one point, they dedicated “Here’s to the Night” to nights “like this one.” I would agree with that if, by the end of the evening, I had any recollection of where I was or how I managed to get home. But I did feel alive. Alive like a container of 4am Mexican food left on the dining room table overnight following six or seven unnecessary shots of some rum that was probably actually lighter fluid. The thing about that entire quesadilla debacle is that it actually parallels the concert experience. It sounds like a fantastic idea when you place your order. For ten to thirty-five minutes after consumption you’re in heaven. Reality sets in the next morning when you wake up with no pants on, a dead phone and a sneaking suspicion that you did something incredibly stupid last night. The texts from last night let you piece together a basic timeline of what happened. Your minimal recollection of the evening is right; it was awesome. It wasn’t perfect, but it was awesome.