Great Society Mind Destroyers Credit: Courtesy Slow Knife

For 12 years, the Chicago Psych Fest has provided a great way to check out some of the city’s best psychedelic and experimental rock bands. The 2022 edition features a one-off reunion of the Great Society Mind Destroyers, whose headlining set will be their first gig together in 11 years—reason enough by itself to come to Psych Fest, if you feel comfortable at concerts these days. Though the Great Society Mind Destroyers had a short lifespan, starting as an experimental trio in 2007 and breaking up in 2011, they left quite a trail. The 2011 full-length Spirit Smoke and an array of live performances on their Bandcamp page document what a powerhouse they were. Their reunion lineup brings back three original members—guitarist and vocalist Andrew Kettering, bassist Will Sauceda, and drummer Ralph Darski—plus the band’s previous part-time tambourinist, Will Donis, and new second guitarist Jake Lingan. 

Openers include Psych Fest regulars Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, led by artist, music historian, and Reader contributor Steve Krakow. Their latest releases, the 2020 tracks “Son of None” and “The Summoning of Azathoth,” take droning, fuzzy journeys filled with wah-pedal wildness, and their sharp musicianship is up to the group’s high standards. For this set, Krakow tells me they’ll be playing exclusively new material. Those of you who arrive at a show just in time for the headliner, you ought to break that habit for Psych Fest’s first band, Daydream Review (who headline the Empty Bottle on Sunday, February 20). They’re a pastel-tinted pop-psych gem, and their self-titled 2021 debut EP (which came out on cassette via Cold Lunch and digitally via Bandcamp) is a delight for fans of late Beatles, XTC, 70s British art-rock a la Soft Machine, and trippy, light, atmospheric psych. Their videos, especially the one for “With You,” are beautiful too. Thanks to COVID, Psych Fest 12 is scaled down to one night, and with good reason—but this three-band bill has three very good bands, and it should be a lovely time.

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Chicago Psych Fest 12 The Great Society Mind Destroyers, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Daydream Review, Fri 2/4, 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $12, 21+