Red Bull Sound Select, a nationwide live music program that matches up big touring names with local artists, comes to Chicago for the third time on Saturday. Leaning towards punk and more experimental acts, Red Bull’s previous Chicago stops included sets from synthy indie-pop band Metric and electronic ambient artist Tim Hecker. This time around, the energy drink giants bring San Diego instrumental trio Earthless to the Empty Bottle—their first visit to Chicago since 2009.
Formed in 2001 by drummer Mario Rubalcaba, who’s played in about a million bands, including Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Black Heart Procession, and Off!, Earthless plays a heavy blend of psychedelic and progressive rock. Their second LP, 2007’s Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky, spent a very long time on my turntable—sounding almost like an instrumental Captain Beyond, it’s comprised of two 20-minute tracks that span an LP side each, and delivers proggy arrangements and progressions through a hard-hitting, rock ‘n’ roll scope. In October of 2013, they released Cosmic Sky‘s follow-up, From the Ages, which saw the band reining in its spaciness and creating relatively conventional song lengths with more standard rock vibes that lean more on guitar solos than heady riffs. Always propelled by Rubalcaba’s monster kit-smashing, I’ve found Earthless to be quite possibly the best soundtrack for (nerd alert!) reading comic books. It’s bound to be an outrageously fun time live.
Hear a cut off of From the Ages and get further Red Bull Sound Select show info after the jump.
Red Bull is also welcoming Arizona’s Destruction Unit, who play a lo-fi, noisy punk rock. The locals on this bill are avant-garde heavy metal act Yakuza and noise-punk trio Running. You can get into the show for $5 if you RSVP on the Red Bull website. If you miss that chance, tickets only go up to $8. The show starts at 9 PM, and as usual with Bottle shows, is 21+.