slenderbodies Settles Into a Groovy Performance at Subterranean

Three months have passed since alternative duo slenderbodies performed for Chicago. It was a sweltering hot day at Lollapalooza. Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack displayed their love of falsetto and guitars to a thinner crowd at the American Eagle stage. They packed Subterranean (2011 W. North Ave.) Oct. 5, weeks since debuting their first full-length album, right at the brink of personal bubbles shattering. 

Following an opening set from Hazey Eyes, neon lava-lamp-like lights burst on stage and illuminated Vehuni and Cormak who took post at opposite ends of the small stage and went into a piece comprised only of guitar riffs. 

Songs from one of their extended plays (EP) “soraya” and their latest album “komorebi,” released Sept. 20, made up the majority of the hour-long set. Being in the streaming-sphere for little time, fans found familiarity in the songs off “komorebi.” While some had more mild effects, others, including “senses,” “arrival” and “take you home” gained traction among Subterranean inhabitants. 

slenderbodies’ presence was crafted for intimate venues like Subterranean. When they first began during their university years, Vehuni told The Phoenix in an interview earlier this summer they didn’t mean for slenderbodies to be a live act. Good thing it did because their wavy tunes reverberated off the walls for a fuller sound and only further fueled the audience. 

As lights danced on stage, Vehuni and Cormack fed not only off the crowd’s energy but their own. Throughout the set, the two huddled to play guitar before resuming their positions, Vehuni stage left at the microphone, and Cormack providing more guitar and back-up vocals to his right.

The duo ended their setlist with “belong,” only to be urged back on stage with chants of an encore. Vehuni picked up his guitar and threw a crumbled, makeshift setlist “that he never used” into the audience right before launching into their hit “anemone.” 

Before anyone could think the duo was finished, slenderbodies surprised with a double encore, ending the night with a jazzier version of the reflective piece “senses.”

slenderbodies is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music. 

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