It recently occurred to me that I haven't written much about the Data Destruction Tour, it dawned on me in the manner that poked my sides and said 'self, you really should write something about that magnificent show.' Unfortunately, my recollection of the night is rather scant as in a flu-induced haze I didn't really bother noting much on any permanent media, and shortly after the show I slept for more hours than I can count. So I'll keep the 'review' rather informal and won't bother with many of those 'fact' things people like to bandy around so much.
Bud Melvin was the first up, and I have to say I wasn't expecting all that much but his banjo-laden songs and self-deprecative charm did much to woo me. In fact, Bud's live set felt as much like a stand-up comedy bit as a live music act, especially when you take into consideration his banjo solo 80s covers and his self-styled 'goth' song Blood (a delightfully languid and thoughtful ditty featuring Bud forcing his voice a bit lower than it probably should go). Knowing now that he's a Chicago act I'll definitely add him to the list of local acts that can actually draw me out of my house, especially as long as he retains the ukulele.
If there was a low point in the night it was Bit Shifter. There's no doubt he's a fantastic composer, and I loved his freshman full-length effort Life's a Bit Shifter but his live act left a bit to be desired. While the show wasn't as dull as say, a laptop musician, it wasn't the most engrossing stage moment ever. He also seemed to play a substantially shorter set, perhaps due to the fact that he spilled a beer on the table hosting each band's equipment. Fortunately, he delighted the audience with an unusually lengthy rendition of The Connector Conspiracy before exiting that had us all chomping at the bit for more. Luckily Nullsleep stepped up and took it to the next level. From Starforce Romance to his PS/2 keyboard antics, his set kept the crowd pleased - even if he didn't play his 'cult favorite' Game Boy cover of multiple Depeche Mode hits mashed into one piece, his notes did resonate. And hell, his NES tunes came straight from the console; no laptop love from these folks! I have to say that Nullsleep's constant 'gay' remarks (as in 'This next song is so gay' and 'I'm gonna see if I can't pull up something gayer for you guys') did wear out their welcome quickly in his set, but the music backing up the banter made up for that.
Finally, Covox stepped in to tantalize our ears and educate our minds. Between songs such as his somber but intense Your Love is My Leash and the anthemic Final Mission, he taught us all some Swedish (or lied, I'll find out soon enough which is which!) and quipped barbs about sleeping with our honeys. It was more endearing than it sounds, mostly thanks to his boyish charms and enthusiasm. Halfway through his set he launched into a few covers, both of which were unfortunately over my head, but he executed them with gusto (and a vocoder headset), never letting his body rest. His set was over all too quickly, and unfortunately thanks to the greedy bastards on the East Coast, there were no Covox 12"s available for us Chicago schlubs, but at least I got my hands on the Nullsleep six-track 3" CD Best of the NES 2005 (although I almost balked at the $10 price tag before realizing that there were only a handful of copies left) and Bud Melvin's eclectic The Return of Bud Melvin.
Overall it was a fine night, one that didn't leave me regretting leaving my bed. Memorable, fun and quality live shows come around so rarely nowadays, and I was more than happy to be able to experience this one. Hopefully they'll be running around the country on tour sometime soon, but if not well, I'll always have my pictures.