I’ve been a member of the Teenage Fanclub fanclub for 19 years now — ever since hearing the Scottish band’s wonderful 1991 album Bandwagonesque — but somehow I’d never seen the group until now. Bandwagonesque was the band’s biggest moment as far as popularity, but Teenage Fanclub has never stopped making highly appealing power-pop with strong melodies and harmonies. All of that came through loud and clear on Tuesday (Oct. 5), when Teenage Fanclub played the first of two concerts at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.
Teenage Fanclub has a fine new record out this year called Shadows, and Tuesday night’s show featured several songs from it, including the catchy “Baby Lee.” The set also drew on records from throughout the band’s two-decade career, though just one from Bandwagonesque, “The Concept” — which sounded positively epic. It was also great to hear “It’s All In My Mind,” from the 2005 record Man-Made, a song that really sticks in your mind.
The affable Norman Blake stood center-stage and handled most of the stage banter, but he’s not the only singer-songwriter in Teenage Fanclub. He was flanked by Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley, and both of them took turns singing lead vocals. Teenage Fanclub finished the show with the very first single the band ever recorded, “Everything Flows,” from the 1990 record A Catholic Education.
SET LIST: Start Again / Sometimes I Don’t Need / The Past / It’s All In My Mind / Don’t Look Back / Baby Lee / Verisimilitude / Shock and Awe / I Don’t Want Control / About You / Sweet Days / Your Love Is the Place / The Concept / Ain’t That Enough / When I Still Have Thee / Sparky’s Dream / ENCORE: Can’t Feel My Soul / I Need Direction / Today Never Ends / Everything Flows
PHOTOS OF TEENAGE FANCLUB
The opening act was Radar Bros., a band on Merge Records with a pleasant-enough if not terribly exciting indie-pop sound.