Three bands that excel at trippy garage rock reminiscent of the 1960s played Feb. 6 in the Volcano Room, upstairs at the Bottom Lounge. The headliners, People’s Temple, have a new album, Musical Garden, out on Chicago’s consistently marvelous Hozac Records. The same label also just put out a new 7-inch by one of the other bands at this concert, Chicago’s Radar Eyes. The night also featured another outstanding Chicago band, Outer Minds. It was a solid night of great songs, though it seemed to fizzle out at the end, when some technical difficulties resulted in People’s Temple playing without drums for a couple of songs. Despite that anticlimactic ending, People’s Temple had sounded great when they were jamming out at the start of their set.
Wooden Shjips headlined Saturday night (Nov. 5) at the Empty Bottle, and their set was all about getting into one mesmerizing groove after another — a sort of quasi-psychedelic, quasi-Krautrock with hard-edge riffs over a pounding pulse of bass. The band’s latest album, West, is its first for Thrill Jockey records. Saturday’s show also featured a tight and hard-rocking set by Birds of Avalon, who sounded almost proggy. And the first band of the night, another great HoZac label garage band called the People’s Temple, were pretty hard-rocking, too — once they got started. Their disorganized pauses between songs created a sense of impending musical disaster, but the songs were strong once things started clicking.