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Sugarcult : Show Review : Chicago: 12.15.2002

by Dave Dalka

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Performance Review
Sugarcult Is Coming To Town!

As I enter the arena, late because the promoter screwed up the label's ticket allotment, I'm hearing "Bouncing Off the Walls Again". The people in the security line are dancing and yelling for the guy to "hurry up already"! We finally make it through as the song ends. I hear a girl scream an expletive in disgust.

We make our way to our seats as they finish the next song. This is a Chicago radio Christmas show, so my first live impression of Sugarcult will always be that of them singing a Christmas song: Santa Claus is Coming to Town! They performed this quite admirably, one band member even sporting a Santa hat.

Sadly, the next song they played, "Pretty Girl", was their last and then they were gone all too quickly. I was surprised to learn that they A) were the opening band and B) only had a 20-minute set. These types of shows are booked a long time in advance and that might have something to do with it.

But Sugarcult did make a very positive impression on me in the short time I saw them. Of the eight bands on the line-up, only two got a louder, positive fan response. One band being hometown headliner Disturbed and the other being Jimmy Eat World, who arguably has had the most radio success of any band in 2002. However, Sugarcult were the only band that bothered to play a Christmas song at a Christmas show. This is even more impressive (and unselfish) when you consider they were the band with the shortest set! After their set, I went to visit a friend near the backstage area. Sugarcult was out in this area shaking hands and working the crowd. I later saw random members walking through the stadium stopping to sign autographs for those who recognized them. They again were the only band I saw doing this all day.

All in all, Sugarcult impressed me, not only with their unique brand of punk with a somewhat positive vibe, but with their eagerness to act appropriately for the occasion and interact closely with the fans at the event. I hope to be invited back to witness a full show. Had I have known they were only playing for 20 minutes I likely would've asked for a rain check.

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