Do you have a favorite Chicago rock band? I sure do, and it’s Tribe, one of the very few acts in this town that truly capture the imagination. Each of their songs is a charge into the unknown, a look into the implications of a few oddly voiced chords, an exhortation to take off one’s blinders and see the world with stunning clarity. Tribe’s music, while enormous in its emotional range, tends to be as nervous as it is optimistic, but the band’s constant jumping from one style to another seems less a centerless eclecticism than an explosive urge to be everywhere at once, to leave no stone unturned in the search for life and newness. The group ultimately transcends genre to define a distinct, immediately recognizable style of its own. Sure, Chicago is full of bands that can “rock”–many of which can technically play circles around Tribe–but whenever I listen to Tribe (even on one of their increasingly rare off-nights) I feel like I’m learning something about life. Tonight, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662. Next Friday, July 15, 7:45 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage; 525-7793.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.