Arts & Entertainment

Atlas Genius revives rock and roll at HOB


Concerts like Atlas Genius’s remind us that rock and roll is not dead.

Going to the concert, I expected a show with a mainstream feel. I had heard their hit single “Trojans” a few times before and thought that the song belonged less in the indie rock genre and more in a pop-sounding category.

This show certainly proved me wrong.

The four-member Australian band’s main attractions were the Jeffrey brothers, the two musicians that worked to establish Atlas Genius in the music industry from the beginning, along with keyboardist Darren Sell.

IMG_9571It was jaw dropping to see how far these aspiring musicians came from their humble beginning, all due to their efforts and sticking with their passions. From the music itself to the stage performance, Atlas Genius was a mix of all the right things.

At times, they reminded me of Vampire Weekend, with mellow guitar and simple lyrics. During the choruses, the songs would shift into a harder rock sound, resembling Kings of Leon with hints of their Australian accents peaking through the vocals.

There was authenticity and genuine sincerity from the band to its fans. The whole venue was into the music, giving its full and undivided attention to lead singer and guitarist Keith Jeffrey, as he ran back and forth on the stage.

At one point, he even pointed up to his fans in the higher deck at the House of Blues (329 N. Dearborn St.), making sure to include every audience member in the experience.

His vocals were strong, paralleled by the aggressive guitar and loud drum beats with heavy crash symbols.

Drummer Michael Jeffrey was going wild by the end of every song. No matter how mellow the openings were, the whole band ended up immersed into a true rock and roll break out before it came to a close.

During the middle of the show, Atlas Genius played its more electronica stuff, such as “All These Girls.” This was one of their songs that definitely had more of a Top 40 sound to it, but the band managed to bring back their authenticity in the chorus with heavier drums and guitar.

Even in its lyrics, Atlas Genius had a way of connecting with the crowd very naturally.

Before performing their song “Don’t Make a Scene,” Keith Jeffrey explained that this was a track written about a past music festival experience in their home of Australia. He compared this festival to Lollapalooza. The connection that he made between the two made it easy to relate to the sound and lyrics. He made it so that he didn’t seem like a famous musician, but rather just another music fan that ended up successful in the industry.

All in all, Atlas Genius is one of those bands that you have to see live to understand how talented the musicians are. Though its recorded stuff is O.K., its live concert shows the band’s true colors as talented, young musicians that made it against all odds of the entertainment world.

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