I saw Canada’s great Sadies last night (Nov. 28) for the umpteenth time — well, maybe it was my 12th or 15th time seeing this band. Something like that. They never fail to deliver, and last night’s gig at the Hideout was yet another show filled with amazing guitar licks, evocative original songs and some choice cover tunes. From what the Hideout staff tells me, the Sadies came all the way from Toronto to do this one-off show because Sally Timms is celebrating her birthday this weekend. The Sadies played at least one new song from an album they’re working on and a good sample of stuff from almost all of their records, including a few of the best songs off their last one, New Seasons.
The encore included covers of Neil Young’s “Everyone Knows This is Nowhere” and Love’s “A House Is Not a Motel,” and then for the last song of the night, the band dragged Jon Langford onto the stage and called themselves Eaglebauer — that was the name that the Sadies used back when they played some gigs as a Mekons tribute band, opening for the Mekons. With an extra mike for Langford, “Eaglebauer” finished off the night with a properly loud rave-up version of the Mekons’ classic, “Memphis, Egypt.”
Chris Mills opened the night with a set of his solo music — but unlike the last couple of Mills shows that I caught, this one featured a backup band: Gerald Dowd, a drummer who often plays with Robbie Fulks, and bassist Ryan Hembry, who’s played with a number of Chicago bands and is often seen working the sound board at the Hideout. They gave Mills’ songs a little more muscle, and some of his tunes sounded downright anthemic.