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Re-Viewed: 4 Bands for $3

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2005 8:17PM

happy cheeseLast night Chicagoist headed over to the Double Door for a night of eclectic and cheap music. Not knowing what to expect, except that our friend The Rich Experience (look him up at would be playing a couple of his classics as an opener, we went in with an open mind to hear some of Chicago's lesser known bands.

Calumet, Homeland Security Orchestra, Riddle of Steel and 40 Piece Choir were the bands on the bill and they covered the musical spectrum. It was Calumet's 2nd ever show and for being so green they held their own on the stage. Our favorite songs were the one's that the xylophonist/violinist provided vocals for in her Americana-based twang. Homeland Security Orchestra, a side project of The Dirty Blue, were slower and a more melodic piano-based group. Their songs reminded us that the Conor Oberst depression based songs are the new norm.

40 Piece Choir
Next up were Riddle of Steel, a hard rock band out of St. Louis. ROS brought with them quite the throng of fans who were not at all scared to get right up to the stage and rock out. The 3-piece were clearly led by the power drumming of Rob Smith who was lit from his bass drum causing him to appear as Jesus Drummer! Lead vocalist and guitarist, Andrew Elstner, used Nirvana-esque reverb and wasn't afraid to make his guitar sound like anything other than a guitar.

Closing out the evening were 40 Piece Choir. Chicagoist didn't believe that one band could sum up the sounds of the previous bands, but 40 Piece Choir were up to the task. They first came off as white boys rockin' the blues, but then turned the corner into good ol' country boys and skidded around to old time rock-n-roll. 40 Piece Choir mixed all these genres and more without coming off as schizophrenic. Quite a feat!

Double Door was a great scene for these bands still coming into their own while looking for a broader audience. We loved the fact that we got to see 4 bands for $3 by picking up reduced tickets at Reckless Records down the street before the show.