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The Orwells and SKATERS @ Underground Arts.

October 16, 2014
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Orwells_010Text by Emily Scott. Images by Chris Fascenelli.

The crowd was a young one at Underground Arts on Monday, which is nothing new for the Chicago-area rock quintet, The Orwells.

New-York-City based post punk band SKATERS opened the night with loud drums as vocalist Michael Cummings motioned for the volume on his mic to be turned up. The group slipped into a reggae feel with “Band Breaker,” from their latest album Manhattan. But it was the bass line from “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” and the catchy chorus that got the youthful crowd moving.

A guy in the crowd wore a Jason mask.

“You’re here early,” Cummings said before dedicating a song with screeching guitar riffs to the crowd member.

The Orwells like to leave an unforgettable performance, just as they did with their David Letterman debut. The fresh faces from Illinois graduated high school early in 2013 and played with the Arctic Monkeys during their winter 2014 tour.

The face of the group, Mario Cuomo, set the tone of the show by remarking, “I’m an adult now so I can do this,” and proceeded to flip the crowd off.

Cuomo and his outrageous blonde locks were in the crowd by their first song. There was a lot of stage diving and and the mosh pit quickly became chaotic. The set up of the venue with meticulously placed amps and tables made it easy for Cuomo to get up close and personal with the crowd.

Embracing their stereotypes of the younger generation, stage divers weren’t afraid to take “selfies” while on stage for a brief moment. Cuomo seemed to enjoy the crowd’s obsession with their social media presence, as he posed slyly for several pictures.

Soon enough, the stage became a dance floor as the audience jumped on stage while the group continued to play hits like “Who Needs You” off their latest album from Atlantic Records, Disgraceland. The crowd was getting in the way of guitar pedals and mic stands but the band displayed little disapproval. The long-haired leader demonstrated his on-stage emotion by unbuttoning his shirt, falling to the ground and still continuing through the set. At one point, a young girl jumped on top of him and proceeded to kiss him with little opposition from Cuomo.

“The kids definitely came out tonight, they really like to move,” said Josh Hubbard, the guitarist for SKATERS.

The Orwells ended with loud noise as Cuomo allowed the audience to take over on the mic and Grant Brinner placed his bass close to the amp for more feedback.

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