This last Friday the thirteenth was definitely filled with freaky adventure, seeing that I almost got lost in the open, ironically trying to find The Hideout Inn (1354 West Wabansia). I met an old friend in the struggle there, a revolutionary who laid on me the truth about the dangers consuming our environment and those laying down their freedom to protect our most valuable resources. The real current events scared and infuriated me, and I wanted to retreat back to my candy coated world. The Universe obliged, creating a Segway made up of dissonance and pleasure. This new wave in my ear instantly cloaked my sorrow, making me forget temporarily the battles the human race are soon to engage in. Through a set of double doors we went, where we experienced the next stage of evolution in pop culture. For the first time (and definitely not the last) I heard Panda Riot play live.
Panda Riot is a four member band founded in Philadelphia who has settled in Chicago for the time being. It was explained to me that their genre is known as Shoe Gaze because of the amount of pedals used (and other reasons). After looking at their Facebook page, Panda Riot described themselves as Dream Pop. It was eating at me all week to find out what exactly I was going to hear.
Panda Riot covered several songs from their newly released album, “Northern Automatic Music”. What instantly appeared odd was their drummer, Jose Rodriguez, who not only stood up through the entire show, but also had his kit stripped down to one snare, one tom, and a cymbal. It was extraordinary to view him rock out and even play a few cadences on the low hanging ceiling. Between Jose and voicestress/guitarist/synthesizer, Rebecca Scott, lay a massive schism of energy, a divide between the chaos pushed out from Jose and Bassist, Cory Osbourne ( whom seemed to be going through a sugar rush and ready to tear up a playground) and a cool control by Scott and guitarist, Brian Cook. Panda Riot has the best example of instrumental efficiency I’ve ever seen, showing off a wide catalogue of basic instrumentation molded together and expanded to create an independence for each song played. It’s only fair to say their intelligence as a musical group is off the charts.
Panda Riot’s fourth release, Northern Automatic Music, is now available for purchase. You can pick up a copy and/ or check out their other music at the following links