When I missed out on the inaugural Secret Sound Festival, I also missed out on catching Chicago psych-poppers Netherfriends over at 2720 Cherokee. So with The Firebird hosting their return to St. Louis, their Sunday show was on my calendar to close out the weekend.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the show, only knowing Netherfriends for their ambitious goal to write 50 songs in 50 states (they’re pretty close to finishing) and their appearance on last year’s Pitchfork Festival lineup. The quirk was there, from front man Shawn Rosenblatt’s wild beard to the propane tank and metal pipe tower (with cooking pots attached) for percussion, but the underlying pop melodies and vocal harmonies looped through their songs are what I gravitated towards most.
Local band Thankful Tree opened the evening, but their set really suffered with constant technical problems and amp malfunctions. When things were working, the duo were intriguing (especially their cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” to start the set), so I’m just going to give the group a mulligan.