“All the Cool Kids” Are Seeing The Orwells

Banner Photo by Jory-Lee-Cord

It’s [was] about two weeks before finals and one week before Thanksgiving break. My workload has suddenly tripled and I’m in over my head with commitments (oh, and I finally caught the college sickness plague. Go me!). I’m full of angst and in need to let go. Recently, I mentioned Chicago natives, The Orwells, are notorious for their frenetic live performances and overall mantra of not caring, and they definitely did not disappoint during their recent stop at The Crocodile on November 15th.

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Photo courtesy of The Fix Magazine

Here’s the scene. It’s a rainy Seattle evening, but as soon as the openers hit the stage, I am suddenly taken aback. Guitars start to sound, a similar mix of Mac DeMarco and Beach Fossils vibes kick in. A smooth and pleasant sounding voice begins to sing. The rain has disappeared and I’m now cruising down the west coast on a bright, sunny day in some cliché indie movie scene. Santa Barbara natives Dante Elephante brought the California sun and cheer with them to the stage. Lead singer Ruben Zarate sported no shoes while going away at his guitar, warming the crowd with songs from their recent album, Anglo Saxon Summer. Songs like “Pasadena Dreams” and “Pop Song” allowed for the crowd to escape the rain and reminisce on sunny summer days. Halfway through their set, Zarate loses the guitar and takes the mic to sport some spunky dance moves. For their first time in Seattle, Dante Elephante seemed to be pros with warming up the crowd, as many were dancing and swaying their heads.

Suddenly, it was time for some in-your-face, loud, angst-ridden garage rock with arrogant lyrics that make you want to disregard everything and just go for it. Also known as The Orwells. The lights go out, and out walk those five Chicago guys looking more than eager to create a show. As soon as lead singer Mario Cuomo begins singing, the crowd goes crazy and multiple mosh pits begin.

Throughout the night, The Orwells played tracks from their first release in 2012, Remember When, and recently released tracks off of their upcoming album, Terrible Human Beings. Their newly released track from Terrible Human Beings, “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” allowed the crowd a little taste of what to expect for the future of The Orwells.

Since The Orwells started back in 2009 during high school, they’ve stayed true to their ‘youth in America, let’s just not care and live how we want’ motto. With a consistent sound and performance style, there’s no wonder why and how The Orwells are continuously touring off of their older releases.

More highlights throughout the night included Cuomo’s dance moves and, of course, his voice. While Cuomo only sings, he made sure to interact with the crowd throughout the show. At times he was singing directly to people (or a wall), and other times, he was crowd surfing in the minor section with his legs hauled above the crowd, almost hitting a speaker. (I give him an A+ for his landing on stage shortly after.) By the end of the show, Cuomo was so tired of his possessed-like dance moves and moping around on stage—again showing the band’s careless tendencies—he sat on stage and continued singing.

Anytime you go see The Orwells perform, expect to let go of all of your responsibilities and angst throughout the show. I know I did, and felt like I could conquer all of my workload and stresses afterwards. Their new album, Terrible Human Beings, is set to be released February 17, 2017. You can pre-order the album here.

Keep up with The Orwells: Website | Facebook | Twitter


CELENE KOLLER | This show was sick, and so am I. | KXSU Music Reporter

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