August 16th was a special night for Chicago-based band, Mutts, as they prepared for a live recording of their first three EPs. Tonic Room, an unassuming venue in the city, hosted the band and two more opening acts. The energy of the show was great; being a smaller venue, Tonic Room seemed to create a certain camaraderie between all guests and the bands.
After a short wait and approximately three blueberry muffin cookies, Kellen & Me stepped onto the stage and started off the evening. Being just one man and a set of pedals, he crafted some lovely electrofolk.
Myles Coyne & the Rusty Nickel Band then organized its 6 members on Tonic Room’s modest stage. Myles and his Rusty Nickels recently released their debut LP, Take Things As They Come, and peppered their set with songs old and new. The outfit’s energy and enthusiasm never disappoint. This night was no exception.
With the crowd all warmed up, Mutts took the stage and began to cruise through their live recording. The crowd, which had previously been attentive but scattered, gathered thickly around the stage to watch the performance. The band flew through The Tells of Parallels, We Float, and Pretty Pictures, and then made time to take a audience requests – and there were plenty including a rousing, keyboard-centric cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic “Little Wing”.
Mutts did it right. Instead of a boring re-release of their earlier tunes, they brought the raw energy of a live performance back to these EPs and paid respect to their humble beginnings. It was a great reminder that Mutts, in addition to being an awesome band, was always an awesome band.