Eleventh Dream Day shows up at least once or twice a year for a show somewhere in Chicago. They had a great record last year, Zeroes and Ones. This time around (July 20 at the Empty Bottle), there was no new record to promote, but the band was still in fine form. And it was the biggest lineup of Eleventh Dream Day ever. I’ve been more than satisfied with the group’s shows as a trio, though having a keyboard player or a second guitarist does give Rick Rizzo a little more freedom with his soloing. For this show, regular keyboardist Mark Greenberg was there, as well as former EDD guitarist Chris Brokaw. Brokaw’s presence was especially welcome on some of the early songs.
Someone (Rizzo, I think) remarked that Doug McCombs had seen the ZZ Top concert the night before, calling it the best musical performance he’d seen in his life, and McCombs picked up a few ZZ Top moves for his switch to guitar during the encore, with Greenberg taking over on bass.
The first opening band was Faceless Werewolves from Austin, Texas. They were pretty enjoyable. I detected a little bit of bluesy roots music within their garage/indie-guitar-rock sound. See my photos of Faceless Werewolves. The second band was The Means, who were all right. I have to admit I was biding my time at that point, waiting for Eleventh Dream Day to play. See my photos of The Means.