Elefant @ Double Door

Elefant | Double Door (Chicago, IL) | February 29, 2004 |

Recently New York City’s own quartet, Elefant, graced the stage at Chicago’s Double Door with a performance that felt unique to the atmosphere of that night. Not being a newcomer to the Elefant live show experience you go in knowing a few things that tend to happen throughout the performance. Generally it’s those few things that stick out about a performance that keep you coming back again and again. For me it’s frontman Diego Garcia’s over-confident attitude and quirky hand gestures that leave that lasting impression; but until now it was not a very positive impression.

It seems Elefant is like a good wine in that they seem to get better with time. Don’t take this the wrong way because an Elefant live show is not something to be missed. Each show that I’ve attended has been completely packed full of energy, beautiful bass lines (compliments of James Jeffrey Berrall), and majestic moments. It just always seemed that the band was separated by the frontman and to me, that makes the music unattractive. But their recent Chicago show finally blended the band with their frontman and left the crowd to witness the true brilliance of Elefant.

The show kicked off with the fourth track of their debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, “Bokkie” which slowly introduces each instrument as it works its way towards the peak of the song where everything finally begins to rock. It is the perfect song to pump up the crowd and introduce their set into the night. The energy bar seemed to be continually raised a notch with the passing of each song. Four brand new tracks were revealed to eager audience members including “Black Magic Show” and “The Clown” and the night came to a close when they stepped out to play an encore consisting solely of their title track “Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid.” A song, if nothing else, that leaves you wanting more. Other highlights of the night included their live performance of “Misfit,” which has an uncurably addicting guitar hook, thanks to guitarist Mod, that would get anybody out of their seat and instantly dancing.

Elefant’s potential is just starting to shine and you’re looking at one person who is going to make sure to keep my eye on them in the immediate future.

Actually being able to watch Elefant this time around as a whole band had quite a different effect on me. The music felt much tighter than before as the band seemed to play off each other instead of reluctantly repeating an old routine as some bands tend to do. Especially impressive were moments between the various members of the group and their drummer Kevin McAdams where Kevin would stand up behind his kit, stare into the eyes of whichever band mate had come his way, and seem to outplay them. It’s times like those that make you remember why you became a music fan in the first place.

With all that said I leave this thought, music is something to experience. Whether by listening, playing, attending, and so forth. And the Elefant live music experience is not one to miss out on.