Celebrating America’s Band: A Review of Dude York at Chop Suey

[Photo by Julia Olson / Happy belated birthday, Julia!]

I have been on the biggest Dude York kick. Normally this happens to me and I listen to a band for two weeks straight, and then wait three months to see them live. This time, I had just gotten into week one as I headed over to Chop Suey to see America’s Band, Dude York, at their album release show.

Due to extraneous circumstances (my Nighthawk taking an hour to arrive and a mix up at will call), I only got to see one of Mommy Long Legs’ songs. It was good and loud though, and I saw them when they played the KXSU in-studio a week prior, where they gave a killer set. I also finally got to see Lisa Prank play a full set, and she jazzed me with her utter adorableness. She’s really cute and plays really cute music. I’m a fan.

Before I get into Dude York’s music, I want to talk about their outfits. Peter came out in an orange M&M’s racing jacket and a matching orange hat with “The Performer” monogramed. Underneath, he had a moon phase crop top (you know, the Brandy Melville ones that every white girl had like two or three years ago? I remember it because I also had it), black Adidas track pants, and black Nikes. Andrew had an “Unf***theworld” Angel Olsen tee on, and Clare kept it classy with a black button-up skirt and black v-neck.

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Photo courtesy of @ashton.couture on Instagram

I also need to add that Chop Suey was decked out in balloons, streamers, and all sorts of party essentials. I’ve never seen Chop Suey look so homey/exciting.

Come showtime, and they kicked off their set with “Black Jack,” the lead single and first song off of Sincerely. All three members played the track with a huge smile on their faces. I’ve actually never seen a band so happy to be performing. Peter also got so into it that his performer hat fell off, he accidentally unplugged his guitar cord, and his guitar strap fell off of his guitar. I knew we were in for a treat after all of that happened within about a minute.

They pretty much played Sincerely track-by-track after that. I was a little familiar with it, as it was available to stream for a week on CLRVYNT, but “Life Worth Living PT 2” and “The Way I Feel” blew me away. “The Way I Feel” has legitimately been stuck in my head since Thursday. Dude York just has the happy-song-with-darker-lyrics thing on lock. A lot of Sincerely is based off of mental illness, and it’s refreshing to see a band dedicate songs to talking about such an important topic, and to also make them not-depressing to listen to.

Clare also took the mic for a couple of tracks, and stole the show during them. “Tonight” was the livelier of the two, but “Love Is” is probably my favorite song on the record. The crowd seemed to react better to “Tonight” by dancing so hard that it started a mosh pit, and Dude York proceeded to do the, “It’s okay to dance but be respectful to your neighbor” disclaimer. Andrew shouted from behind the drum kit, “You don’t have to be an a**hole just because rock music is playing!”

About midway through the set, they played a cover of none other than The Hamster Dance for about 30 seconds (they said you can’t play an album release show without a cover), leaving everyone laughing almost to the point of tears. As the clock got closer to midnight, Dude York got more and more rowdy. Peter took the mic and just started screaming “Woo woo woo woo!” for two minutes before crowd surfing to the last few songs.

As the three came back for the encore, they had all changed into different crop tops, including Andrew wearing one with Homer Simpson on it. They announced that they had a cake, but that there wouldn’t be enough for everyone. They played a couple more tracks before bring out a box, which was filled with hundreds of copies of Live from the Mountain Music Lounge Volume 18 – The Essential Collection, including favorites from Train and The Head and the Heart. They started throwing them everywhere before dumping the box out into the crowd, leaving CDs all over the floor of Chop Suey.

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Photo courtesy of @dudeyork on Instagram

I haven’t been to a show that was this fun in a long time; where the band was ecstatic to play, and the crowd was just as pumped. They played Sincerely in its entirety, with just a few songs out of order. They had tons of surprises up their sleeves, and kept it fresh and exciting while playing amazing tunes. If you haven’t checked out Dude York yet, you really should—especially before they go to SXSW. Time’s ticking folks!

ANNA KAPLAN | I ❤ DY | KXSU Music Reporter

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