Live Review: Engine Summer (3/24) @ Quencher’s Saloon

Sometime soon, you’ll be scrolling through Listen Live and Local’s Upcoming Shows page, and you’ll see Engine Summer is gracing the stage somewhere in Chicago that night. When this happens, I strongly advise you to put on your shoes, squad up with your best buds and head to the show.

I know that sometimes recruiting your friends to see unfamiliar bands can be a little nerve-racking. “What if I make them come pay money for this show and they don’t like it?” Oh man, I can feel the anxiety building right now. But I assure you Engine Summer is a safe bet. Even the most casual music fans in your group will get hooked by the band’s catchy riffs, high energy and character. As for the music lovers you’ll bring with you, they’ll be enamored by how a three-piece can create such a unique sound.

Engine Summer excellently weaved together elements of punk and surf rock at Quencher’s Saloon on Thursday, March 24th. Bassist Ben Kostecki shovels the coal into Engine Summer’s fire, providing uptempo grooves that warrant a good thrashing, if not just from the crowd, but from himself as well. Midway through the show, he accidentally knocked his microphone over while bouncing around the stage. In a mental dramatization, I yelled “NOOOO!!!” in my head as the mic toppled over in slow motion. But Kostecki snagged it just before the point of no return and seamlessly continued playing again.

While Kostecki helps Engine Summer fire up the crowd, guitarist Jeremy Marsen provides the cooling agent that makes the band stand out from your average punk rock three-piece. If my loose label of “punk rock” makes you just think of a guy strumming power chords really fast, forget that. Marsen doesn’t rely much on strumming chords. He mainly lays down super catchy, wavy riffs that would totally be fitting to listen to while driving to the beach. He and Kostecki often switch off singing verses as well, displaying a chemistry between the two that clearly drives the band and amplifies their stage presence. Add all these factors together, as well as drummer Phil Courtright, and the result is a sound and presence that makes Engine Summer’s music easy to digest but hard to stand still for.

Check out Engine Summer’s debut EP “Buzz Drained” below!




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