(Live Review) ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE + SUPPORT - The Empty Bottle, Chicago (5/7/23)
By: The Beard & Little Johnny
Stop #17, and bands #88-90 on The Reviews Never Stop Tour 2023 finds The Beard and Little Johnny at The Empty Bottle in Chicago. This is a standing room only place that is small & dingy with a tiny stage in the corner and would probably be described by most non-locals as a dive bar where nine dollars will get you a beer and shot, (which means Old Style and bar booze). The Beard opted for a Fat Tire Amber while Johnny got the Bells IPA. This is also a late-night club with the first act going on at 9:00pm (which is late on a Sunday). This means a post-midnight exit. I’m glad The Beard is semi-retired.
Tonight, we have Japanese psyche rockers
Acid Mothers Temple
With support from
My Education and Plum.
It took a little convincing to get Johnny out here tonight as he initially thought My Education was just me trying to trick him into summer school sign ups.
Once we got that straightened out, he was more pliable even though neither of us are quite sure what to expect from tonight’s outing, but that’s often why we go. Surprises can be exciting and fun.
First out of the gate are experimental indie noise rockers:
Plum is a three-piece band with a male singer/guitarist, female bassist, and female drummer. After a season of pretty intense metal, indie rock is kind of a pleasant pallet cleanser. This was just 30 minutes of fun light guitar, and short punchy songs. Fun and easy.
The guitarist was very animated in his body movements while playing and he did make me enjoy watching him. Johnny said he remembered moving like that the one time he stepped on that wire with his wet feet.
Anyway, fun band and something different than what has become the year of death metal, so I am awarding
Next up from Texas was:
These guys were kind of a psychedelic instrumental rock band featuring a viola. Well then, “excuse me while I kiss the sky classical style”.
First off, the small stage struggled to hold this six-person band. That’s a lot of people and equipment stuffed onto a pretty small stage. They are cozy, but making do.
The viola is a haunting instrument, and it pairs well with My Education's psychedelic music. They are less guitar forward than say a Lord Buffalo, but nowhere near as in depth as a Subrosa. Still, these guys had a niche and they jammed within it. Like traditional classical music, their songs had movements and pieces to it that created both mood and rock.
Although all songs were instrumental, they possessed titles like: “Open Marriages, don’t try them at home.” Clearly there’s a story there to be dug out.
Johnny was unsure, but I think he just wanted to make sure none of them were secretly teachers. Once again, I kind of enjoyed just riffing and riding the groove. Perhaps the Beard is one quarter hippie. I should check 23 & Me or Ancestory.com.
Overall, this was like a lighter and more classical minded Karma To Burn. The Beard is going 88/100 and saying “good jams dude” in his best Tommy Chong voice.
Headliners were, Japanese psych rockers:
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE
This band looked like a Kung Fu movie cast left their stage lot and decided to be a rock group.
Formed in 1995, despite many members changing, this unit has soldiered on for a quarter century playing odd-to-define music. It begins slowly, with odd whines, whistles and ambient squeals. Feels like a bad acid trip, (or so I’ve heard). Music for bad dreams to evoke from and even a bit haunting in its unique way.
When they did kick it into gear, it was still haunting, but now much faster, like a possessed soul frenziedly trying to explain the depths of its sorrow and rage.
During the jam portions (which sometimes went on for more than 10-minutes in a song), the Beard had to award extra points for a guitarist that truly went somewhere that the Beard cannot see, but indeed kind of wanted to. Points also for the drums of pure frenzy. That guy was clearly the Bruce Lee of the group because he was fast, relentless and passionate. Check out the videos on my TikTok page by searching thebeard0728 or #thebeardandlittlejohnny.
This is a unique band and the longer they played, the more I enjoyed them. Singing was the weak point, so not quite a 90+, but the Beard is going with 89/100 overall and absolutely a 90+ on both guitar and drums.
So, this wraps it up for stop #17, we have a small break before another three shows next week. Remember, you can read the Beard each and every week right here on the best site for metal shows, reviews and podcasts, The Mighty Decibel. And be sure to check out videos of this show, (as well as every show the Beard & Johnny review), on our TikTok page by searching thebeard 0728, or #thebeardandlittlejohnny.
Until next time…