Backstage after their exhilerating House of Blues debut, the Frantic’s high-energy onstage presence has transitioned into an easy-going laid-back confidence. This may have been one of the quartet’s “dream venues,” but right now they’re as relaxed as if they’d done it 100 times before. And that’s the general vibe these guys gave off on stage only 20 minutes earlier, though the pacing was a bit more electric; marching onto the stage and quickly getting into their designated rock positions before vocalist Kyle Dee grabs the mike and yells “What the f*&% is up Chicago?!” to the crowd of teens and twenty-somethings gathered on the floor.

Punching through most of their recent album (Audio & Murder) with the finesse and assuredness of long-time performers, this quartet of teens from the Chicago suburbs bring a blast of pure rock energy to the stage, leaping around and working the crowd. Though the eldest member of the band is only 19, they’ve already been together for four years, starting their career playing in basements and friend’s houses. Their first real gig, though was a night to remember. “We played Mojo’s coffee house, opening for a friend’s band… and ended up getting the place shut down before they could even go on,” remember Kyle and guitarist Ian Farnesi. “The audience got so rowdy they ended up kicking a hole through the wall between the men and women’s bathrooms.” The four look at each other and laugh. “I think they’ve gotten a new wall since then, though.”

Audio & MurderIt’s easy to see where that audience’s rowdiness came from. On stage at House of Blues, as the band runs through their first two songs (“We’re the Frantic” and “Big Poppa”) a small mosh pit opens up, with a kid wearing a bright red The Frantic shirt proclaiming “Turn Me Loose,” the original title of their self-released album before it got picked up for national distribution. There’s plenty of crowd-surfing and falling before the bouncers take control of the situation and at least get the audience stable. Even from the booths, it’s clear how much energy these guys are sending into the crowd, though Kyle is sure to ask for some of the energy back during their set, telling the audience “Give me some energy! I don’t work without your fuel!”

Right now these guys have got plenty of fuel to run on, as the bustling audience moves to their tunes. Fast-paced, frenetic rock explosions like “Rock & Roll Renegade,” “Hollywood Homicide,” and the titular “Audio & Murder” get the crowd pumped up, before everything slows down as Kyle performs solo with the country-themed “Movin’ Along,” a song written for a girl who “only listens to country music.” The slow singer/songwriter vibe seeps away though, as the band hits the stage again, cranking out “Frantic Summer” and the punk-rock cover staple “Build Me Up Buttercup,” before finishing the set with the rock anthem “Always Gonna Roll.” As if to put an exclamation point on the night, Kyle dives directly into the audience before getting pulled back by a bouncer.

Right now The Frantic will continue to hit the street and perform in every venue they can. “We’re hoping to jump onto a national tour, opening for someone,” says drummer Brett Hartwell. “We’re also playing four or five shows for South by Southwest [the epic music showcase in Austin, Texas] in March and working on stuff for a new record,” says Kyle. “We feel like we’ve grown and expanded as musicians,” elaborates Ian, “and we’re ready to get back into the studio and show that.”

The Frantic is next playing in Chicago at The Metro on January 5th

For more information on The Frantic, including tour dates, visit their homepage
To purchase Audio & Murder, visit Amazon

Be Sociable, Share!