Ok, so if I could go back in time, I probably wouldn't have asked the question, "Would you say bass is the new cowbell in popular music, so to say? As in, 'I've got a disease and the only cure is more bass.'?" when I spoke with Aron Magner, keyboardist in tonight's headlining band at The Vic, Conspirator. An old joke, at best, and likely dropping my cool factor to ZERO out the gate. But, as he and I discussed, so much of what we all do day-to-day is just a game of guess and check, trial and error. Trying something out, and deciding if it worked as we go along, then maybe doing it again if it sufficed or propelled. So, ya...I'll never ask that question again. As for Conspirator, it seems that on this tour surrounding their sophomore release, Unleashed (Jan 29, 2013), that they have definitely sculpted out a piece of musical pottery that Swayze couldn't have even argued with (RIP). It's a propelling mix of hard-hitting rock-n-roll rhythms and electronic dance melodies; wailing electric guitar coinciding with deep-dubby bass-drops and synth tones, leaving you headbanging and shakin' ya booty at the same time. It's a unique sound that is catalyzing dance parties and musical conversations all over the country. It's a sound that is working for them now, and will propel them into their undoubtedly acclaimed future.
Founded by Magner and Marc Brownstein (bass) of the Disco Biscuits, and joined by RAQ guitarist Chris Michetti (MiShreddi to some), and Pendelum tour drummer KJ Sawka, Conspirator is the rare-breed fusion of electronic elements and incredible musicians playing in a full band with - gasp- ACTUAL instruments. Not just a couple dudes strumming over a kick-drum beat... their showmanship and technical abilities on each respective apparatus are only accelerated when they get together, in their live shows especially. Their live show is super exciting as "they play to each other's abilities," Magner said. And in combination with manipulating the computer as a fifth member of the band, "we've really figured out our formula. Something turned for us this tour... we became the band we always knew we had the ability to become, and have really come together."
With a seriously heavy tour schedule since their first release, Unlocked: Live from the Georgia Theater (Oct 6, 2011), Conspirator is at the peak of their game and it would behoove you to join us tonight if you like fun and music...but who likes those things anyway? To be honest, if you are up-in-the-air about the show, or haven't heard them before, I highly suggest checking out Unlocked on Spotify, iTunes, or what-have-you. Aside from the tracks "Feed the Wolf," "Retrograde," and "Park Ave," my personal highlights from the album, likely the coolest part about it, is that they didn't even plan to release the recording. According to Magner, they "got a really good recording, and just went with it." Since its release, I think people have started to realize what a powerful force the band is live, and are more curious to check out a live show for themselves. The recently released studio album, Unleashed, was not an accident in juxtaposition, as the band hopes to showcase their versatility to all types of fans and music lovers everywhere. Aw.
It's really up to you. There's a lot to do on a Friday in Chicago, but I for one am ready to get my face melted at The Vic. When I asked Magner about the vibe of this tour, he mentioned pumped-up, nightly chants throughout crowds across the country, big love for their "arsenal of banging material," and just overall, boundless energy through the roof wherever they've gone. In technical terms- it sounds like they're crushing it. He hollered at Chicago as a jumping-off point for them, agreed upon across all band members, as well as their supporting act Break Science. They all agree that being here in the Windy City is "the most excited we get to go anywhere we play. Chicago is one of our biggest markets. The fans are awesome! We are excited, they are excited...it's just a great place to be." I concur, Magner, I concur. Let's rage one tonight.