Los Campesinos! electrifies Taste of Randolph festival
It's not that often that a band like Los Campesinos! comes through Chicago. With shows that feel more like dance parties because of the many crazy fans clapping and singing along, Los Campesinos! is known for playing sad, angsty songs shrouded in slick, addictive pop melodies. Fans came to the Taste of Randolph on June 15 to be part of this dance party and to take part in the blissful melancholy that only Los Camp can provide.
A seven-piece indie-pop group, Los Campesinos! was formed in 2006 in Cardiff, and has since gone on to release 4 albums and several EPs. Their English roots were reflected in the England soccer jerseys that they were wearing on stage. Before the concert, the band was spotted watching the England/Sweden Eurocup match in a Chicago pub. Last in Chicago in January touring to support their Hello Sadness album, Los Camp were now in town to kick off their next American tour.
The band's set focused on tracks from Hello Sadness, but also made sure to touch on classic hits like Romance is Boring and You! Me! Dancing! Despite having been on break for several weeks, the band played their songs very well, with few mistakes, and with the chemistry of a band who has been touring together for months. Lead singer Gareth Campesinos! also played the crowd well between songs, making them laugh and feel comfortable. A good example of this was Gareth once asking, "how 'bout 'dem Cubs?" only to remark seconds later, "I have no idea what that means."
Despite their well-played and raucous show, the band drew some boos from their adoring crowd when they left the stage after only playing for 50 minutes. They returned minutes later to close with an anthemic version of Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks, which brought their concert to an hour long - a respectable time for a show at a block festival, but still shorter than many fans were expecting.
Despite the length, Los Campesinos! still put on a show that entertained their fans, instigated a fevered dance party, and left many feeling awesome. Even with the hopelessness of the lyrics they sung, the humor and wit of the band always shone through and gave their fans a good time. Los Campesinos! was an excellent end to the first night of the Taste of Randolph, and if their first show is any indication, they are going to be playing one of their best tours yet over the coming weeks.