ACTORS – Bootblacks – The Bellwether Syndicate + DJ Greg Corner

ACTORS – Bootblacks – The Bellwether Syndicate + DJ Greg Corner
Chop House Chicago

ACTORS. A vivid, Post- Punk / Darkwave band from Vancouver B.C. and oh so worthy of your attention.
Back in town at the Chop Shop in Wicker Park and still as tight as ever performing live.
ACTORS- a band that slays you from the first note to the last. A band with a musical narrative of the highest order, with songs that deserve constant repetition, and a band that is overwhelmingly spellbinding when performing live.
The kind of band that you can clearly say “Yes- I saw Jason Corbett and his band ACTORS play in Chicago a few times before they broke big”.
The kind of band who’s debut album “It Will Come to You” has made so many critics’ year end lists from last year.
Jason Corbett and ACTORS have a wicked take in all things Post- Punk- upping the ante with brilliant and biting commentary, creativity in spades, and unforgettable hooks and melody.
And tonight at the Chop Shop, they did not disappoint.
Albeit for the stagnant lighting providing hiccups for this photographer- the music- the band- sounded so good, so invigorating, so powerful.
There’s an air of coolness about the band ACTORS, dark and brooding, with driving synth drenched scores that are cinematic in scope, and yet so propulsive and with swing throughout, provided by Jason Corbett on Vocals and Guitar, Shannon Hemmett on Synth and Vocals, Jahmeel Russell on Bass and Vocals, and Adam Fink on Drums.
Truly a band’s band, that’s for sure.
Having witnessed ACTORS play a few times now, I for one can say I can’t get enough of these guys.
All songs from ACTORS are stompers.
Performed live- even more stompers, making this North American Tour as unforgettable as ever.
ACTORS. A band that is mature way beyond their years, and as exciting a live act as all get out.
Handpicked from Jason Corbett to provide support on this tour are Brooklyn’s Bootblacks- a Post- Punk / New Wave / Coldwave / Darkwave band headed by Panther, a vocalist who has a dominating stage presence when performing live- like a Praying Mantis ready to strike at a moment’s notice. With Alli Gorman on Guitar and Trumpet, Barrett Hiatt on Synths, and Larry Gorman on Drums- the sound they make is full on incredible.
Having talked with Jason Corbett a week before the show at Chop Shop, he went on and on about the beauty of Bootblacks and their songwriting, how powerful and brilliant their music is. And Jason’s right.
Bootblacks has taken up all things Joy Division, and run wild with it, playing with such intensity and fearlessness that leave you spellbound when witnessing them perform live.
And to have Bootblacks come to JBTV Music Television for a special live performance earlier in the afternoon, with Jason and ACTORS in tow, just makes it that much more memorable of a day and evening.
And to open the show with William Faith and his band The Bellwether Syndicate- that’s saying something.
Back to back to back bands- and not a weak link in the bunch, with William and Bellwether polishing their
mighty sound since technically 2013, and although a rather abbreviated set – no matter.
A vocal and guitar call to arms that’s for sure, with bandmates Sarah Rose on Guitar and Vocal, Philly Peroxide on Keyboards and Tambourine, Paul Sin providing Bass, and adding on Drums the mighty Stevyn Grey….I mean holy shit.
That’s truly saying something to provide the hefty swing and pummeling beats that are front and center when Stevyn gets behind the kit.
Even William made note of this when introducing his bandmates, saying plain and simple how much it means to him having Stevyn playing drums with him again, and how much of a joy it is having his brother back in the fold after all these years.
So now you get the idea. Having Stevyn in the band makes you push that much harder, simply because a drummer of Stevyn’s caliber ain’t slowing down for anybody.
You have to get up to his level.
So here’s the Darkwave / Dark Alternative math: Wicked vocals, plus shredding guitars, with the power of biting lyrics, a steady backbeat on bass, and added keyboard oomph equals a damn good and addictive time had by all.
A most memorable evening, with the addition of DJ Greg Corner, also Music Director at JBTV Music Television, mixing music that fits the bill, starting the night with The Cure’s “Plainsong”, from their brilliant album “Disintegration”, makes this evening that much more magical.

Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer


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