Finding old music you used to love is like getting back in touch with an old friend. Walking into Rough Trade is reminiscent of Empire Records – known for its vast collection of vinyls and sweet staff. It’s pretty much a music lover’s paradise as there’s also a live music venue in the back.

While waiting for the bands to play, whoever was dj’ing – thank you! The music selection was quite impressive – from Pet Shop Boys to Simple Minds, singing along without a care was the start of an unforgettable night.

Hailing from Philly, Bel Heir began to play and two songs in, the crowd warmed up to their sound and began to get closer to the stage. They have a wonderful mix of songs that will make you move, even if it’s not your thing at shows. Kiss the Devil is a perfect example of the amazing range. Their drummer awesomely threw his drumstick in the air and caught it perfectly, making it difficult not to swoon over them.

LA based The Chain Gang of 1974 synth-pop project of Kamtin Mohager – the name alone is pretty awesome. If you play video games, you’ll surely know Chain Gang’s addictive, “Sleepwalking” was featured in the popular game series “Grand Theft Auto V’ soundtrack, but they have been featured in many popular games like FIFA and MLB. They’ve beautifully evolved from one genre to the next and have a wide arrange of songs from dark and broody to infectious, danceable songs. Despite the fact that Chain Gang has been somewhat type-casted into 80’s dark wave synth pop genre – their live set broke all presumptions.


From beginning to end, Kamtin’s energy and commitment to each song had the crowd wanting more. Playing songs like “Miko,” each member pushed the envelope with a loud as hell, grab your attention kind of way. By the time, Sleepwalking started – the crowd got much closer to the stage and sang along as loud as they could. Going into slower songs, I Still Wonder, could be that song of the summer where anything is possible.


It seems these days, sky’s the limit for Chain Gang of 1974 especially when they most recently released a video for their newest song titled “Slow” featuring Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith.


As Kamtin Mohager is talented, he’s a total sweetheart – greeting fans at Rough Trade’s entrance after the band played and being the fan girl that I am I had to ask him to sign my ticket. After seeing the incredible, dynamic show that they played minutes before, who wouldn’t fan girl over them.

Listening to The Chain Gang of 1974’s albums – Wayward Fire and Daydream Forever, after the show was definitely like getting back in touch with a beloved friend.


Article: Karen Silva



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