The short version: Telling as many people as possible about this show was my incentive for getting my blog going.
The long version: The garage rock formula is straight-forward. All you need are a stomping beat, a wailing guitar and a crazed charismatic frontman. The Hives succeed because the charisma spreads beyond crazed lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist. The BellRays find a unique edge with lead singer Lisa Kekauka's channeling "Proud Mary"-era Tina Turner. And the Cynics do it by taking those basic elements to the nth degree. Singer Michael Kastelic is their focal point in concert. He's been known to dance on the bar and at least attempt to swing from the suspended speakers.
The band, formed by guitarist Gregg Kostelich in Pittsburgh 18 years ago, was part of the previous wave of Nuggets-inspired garage rock. After frequent touring, they kinda disappeared in the mid-'90s. For the last few years, they've been touring a bit, either going to Europe or doing shows within a day's drive of Pittsburgh. In other words, they've play Detroit and Cleveland a bunch of times but haven't made it to Chicago in ages. Well, at least not in the six years that I've lived here. They're so great live that I considered planning a road trip around seeing them. If you live here, take advantage of the convenience.
The Cynics play at the Double Door,
1572 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL, 773.489.3160 on Saturday, December 14 at
10 p.m. with the Dirtbombs and Baseball Furies.