WITH: SUSTO + DIVINO NINO + THELMA AND THE SLEAZE + MAN ON MAN + MANY MORE (SCHEDULE)
APPEARING: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2023
VENUE: ROSE BOWL TAVERN (OUTDOOR): 106 N. Race Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Fans know Friko (the trio made up of Bailey Minzenberger, Luke Stamos, and frontman Niko Kapetan) as rising stars in the Chicago scene. The music, which freelancer Britt Julious described as “perfect slices of indie-pop” in the Chicago Tribune last January, has grown more complex, layered, and dynamic in the bands’ brief (nonetheless, impressive) time together. Their music is comfortable holding onto multiple extremes at once. Take, for instance, the band’s demo album Burnout Beautiful, in which Kapetan effortlessly explores the possibility and risks of a life given over to music, interrogating what a life well-lived means to him. The demo’s 12 tracks were written and recorded in the basement of his childhood home. The story grounds the universal in the intimate, shrouding the “high-stakes” in coziness. This duality rings out in their latest release, Whenever Forever, as well. With lush compositions that evoke rock and folk icons such as Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake paired with stark post punk and elements of shoegaze. Their performances similarly balance high drama and familiarity. As Friko plays out sweeping melodies, held up by thrashing guitar and punchy beats, it feels as if Kapetan sings to you. Crooning about stories you know, memories you had but have somehow forgotten. In these moments, when the people behind the meticulously arranged details of sound break through, one can see into the lives that sculpted each player and await, eager to see what will come next for the band.