The Autumn Defense at Schubas

FEB. 23, 2006
Schubas, Chicago


The Autumn Defense‘s concert at Schubas sold out in advance. Is it just because of the Wilco connection, or are more people starting to appreciate this band’s beautiful music? Yes, it’s very soft, maybe a little too soft and sleepy, but the Autumn Defense’s music is quite lovely. It reminds me of 1970s music — acoustic numbers by Big Star, for example. The band might also remind some people of Bread — not necessarily a good reference, though I take some guilty pleasure in enjoying a few Bread songs. (So do Jay Bennett and Edward Burch, who played “If” in concert and proclaimed it the best song ever written. A little bit of an exaggeration, but I won’t argue that it’s a great tune.) Backed by drums, pedal steel guitar and trumpet, the Autumn Defense sounded slightly more lively than they did when they opened for Jeff Tweedy at the Vic. Man, the crowd was very quiet tonight, which John Stirratt made note of…

Some new songs that the Autumn Defense plans to release on an album later this year sounded good, very much in the same vein as the Circles tracks. The last song of the encore was Stirratt’s only song in the Wilco catalogue, “It’s Just That Simple.”

John Klos was the opening act. This is the second night in a row I’d seen him (see below), which was a bit much. But his music is growing on me.