Concert Preview: The Outfit Live at Cubby Bear (Friday, 1.11.13)

Concert Preview: The Outfit Live at Cubby Bear (Friday, 1.11.13)
Photo by Reel Motion Productions

Local rock quintet The Outfit returns to the Cubby Bear stage this Friday alongside Fletcher Rockwell and more...

2012 was an impressive year for The Outfit.  In only nine months since their initial formation, the band has played throughout Chicago, hitting venues like Double Door and Lincoln Hall, ultimately returning for an encore appearance at Cubby Bear this Friday.

The band's strength lies in the dueling lead vocals of Lesleigh Arratia and Brian Weinert.  Arratia (who has drawn comparisons to Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard) has range.  She can get down low, her soulful voice a gritty rumble, or take things up to a piercing scream without a moment's hesitation (though it certainly seems to be that lower register where she's most comfortable).

"Rescue Me" starts out nearly a cappella with Arratia backed vocally by Weinert (eventually on guitar too).  The song takes off quickly with Lesleigh channeling Tina Turner via her frantic playing of the tambourine, a desperate but ultimately successful attempt to hang with Weinert's fretboard shuffle.

Michael Tassone helps Arratia steal the show on "Moody Weather," forcing bassist Al Amey to keep up with his energetic fills.  Meanwhile, it's a family affair on "Blue and White Dress" as Weinert takes over lead vocals (think along the lines of a young David Byrne) with Arratia moving to keyboards.  Amey's bass is also once again front and center setting the song's pace alongside the keys before a frenetic, Frusciante-esque solo from Weinert closes things out.

A well chosen cover is an important part of the live set for any young band building not only an identity but also a catalog of strong original material.  Last June at Cubby Bear, the point/counterpoint vocals of Lesleigh and Weinert were on full display as the band took on Jet's "Are You Gonna be my Girl?"  The Outfit stayed fairly true to the original but should be credited for pulling off a song with such a unique vocal range and arrangement.

My personal favorite though is "River Road."  The blues infested jam comes courtesy of Weinert's slide guitar which, paired with keyboards, gives the song a unique, Gospel tinged stomp that's straight out of the crossroads.  That display of range continues on "Poor Jane," where Amey takes the bass for a walk underneath another blues infused solo from Weinert ultimately giving the tune a bit of an improvised, almost jazz sort of feel.

These two songs specifically indicate exactly the type of range the band is capable of as they continue to forge their own original path in 2013. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Outfit

(Opening for Fletcher Rockwell)


Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville)

1059 West Addison

Chicago, IL 60613


Friday, January, 11, 2013

Doors open at 8PM

Show starts at 9PM

Also performing:  Fletcher Rockwell

Honey & The 45s

Felix and Lyons


Tickets: $6

Click HERE to purchase tickets


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