Stnnng | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This Minneapolis band is a total dudefest--all tricky prog jams, all the time--and you do have to be into that sort of thing to like these guys. Guitar wizards Adam Burt and Nate Nelson are all about the tones, ripping through wild overlapping phrases that leap from battery-acid sizzle to beehive swarm to tight-jeans-crotch-bulge classic rock. They work like sled dogs, hurtling across the tundra as fast as a pair of little white-tailed comets, seemingly oblivious to each other but ultimately pulling in the same direction--and despite all their frenzied effort, the horizon never seems to get any closer. Onstage all five members run themselves ragged, playing until they're red faced and slimy with sweat--especially screamo singer Chris Besinger, who wears a sweater vest and little black leather driving gloves. Last time they were in town the stage was lit with a single bare lightbulb, and I swear it was their crazy electric energy that made it sputter on and off like a bug zapper. Crush Kill Destroy headlines and the Conformists open. Mon 12/12, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401. Free.

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