The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Check Into Saint Motel At Taste Of Chicago July 8

By Chicagoist in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 29, 2015 4:30PM

About seven years ago, I was working for a pretty popular beverage company, and a friend of mine requested that I provided drinks for a video shoot she was doing for this new band client of hers, Saint Motel. Ever the music lover, I jumped at the chance to meet a new band.

I showed up to the shoot and met the band—A/J Jackson, vocals; Aaron Sharp, guitar; Dak Jones, bass, and Greg Erwin, drums—at a small warehouse-type building. It was somewhere/nowhere in Hollywood and I watched one of the most bizarre tapings I’ve ever seen. Much like their shows still are today, it was exuberant, strange, captivating and a bit art-school artsy. The music was catchy, but I quickly forgot about the band in the days that followed.

Fast-forward to earlier this year; I moved back home to Chicago and was stuck in traffic, when the radio station I was listening to premiered a new song. It’s catchy. I like it. I realize It’s by Saint Motel. I am so excited that this little band I knew from Los Angeles is playing on my hometown radio. Way to go guys! Seemingly overnight, the entire world is talking about Saint Motel—they are playing festivals, Jimmy Kimmel Live and touring the world.

“My Type,” the bands most recent radio hit, is an obvious love song (I know I’m still single, not yet having found the one man to tell me “You're just my type. You got a pulse and you are breathing”) set in the disco age. It’s the song everyone has on all the Summer Playlists that you’ll hear at every backyard BBQ, with a big sound and a horn section that you picture playing a stage where the lead singer is devilishly leering at a beautiful woman, beckoning her over with his eyes.

Saint Motel is coming to Chicago on July 8 to play the Petrillo Music Shell. If you aren’t yet familiar with them, you soon will be. Expect to be immediately drawn in by their atmospheric vibe and show, as much as by their trop-pop-big-band-crooning lounge sound. Their lyrics are ripe for short story anthologies. I often find myself listening for the snarky subtext in each song, amidst the horns, piano and indie-catch tunes. With a bit of a Caribbean-style lilt to the rhythm, you’ll be grateful you’re seeing them outside, where you’ll have plenty of room to dance.

If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, their July show has them sharing the bill with Weezer, a band also known for their clever, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and unique retro sound. Tickets are still available, so pick them up while you still can.

By: Lucy Rendler Kaplan