Baathhaus, Big Dipper, Swaguerrilla | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Baathhaus, Big Dipper, Swaguerrilla Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Fri., June 12, 9 p.m. 2015

Chicago synth-pop phenomenon Baathhaus have mostly been a live phenomenon, and with good reason. Since singer-producer Dan Foley turned his gay-centric, industrial-influenced solo project into a group—vocalists Jesse Young and Patrick Andrews joined in 2010, and drummer Jesse Hozeny got on board a couple years later—the performers have gotten even more out of their meager budget and supplies. While their engaging, hypersexual in-your-face theatrics can overwhelm an audience via heart and imagination alone, an early Valentine’s Day Baathhaus set included a fake-blood-soaked story in which one member played a butcher who’s ripped out the hearts of his bandmates. Another show was devoted to robot fetishes and involved medical tape, PVC piping, and a dryer-vent hose, and no matter the setup, what I’ve seen usually includes healthy doses of glitter and lots of sharply choreographed dancing, as well as plenty of thrusting. (The group have also done a great job of translating their live artistry to the screen—check out last year’s “Cave Song” video.) Baathhaus’s music dovetails with the thrill of their live sets, drawing upon the evening-gown sensuality of 80s synth-pop and the carnal titillation of industrial music—and they’re only getting better at producing sophisticated and accessible dance tracks. “Sweet Baby,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming self-released debut, pumps with a steady, trancelike rhythm and features dramatic synth swells and flashes of stirring vocal harmonies that evoke the magic of being glued to the dance floor and feeling like time around you has slowed to a crawl. —Leor Galil

Price: $10

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