In 2009, the Orwells began to please the world with their American rock sound. The band was formed in their high school years, with the members growing up as family friends in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. After graduating school a year early, the band took to the road and began a non stop tour that would last the remainder of the eventful year. Since it’s takeoff, the band has released two EPs and two official studio albums, performed on The Late Show With David Letterman, toured North America with Arctic Monkeys, and appeared at Lollapalooza in August of 2013. Their fan base has grown to be quite large, there was no elbow room near the stage at Slim's.
The night kicked off with red and purple lights illuminating the crowd as the opening band, SKATERS, stumbled on stage and took their spots. As soon as the band members became visible by the crowd, a wave of adrenaline hit. All at once, the audience began to jump around, causing the ground to shake. "What the fuck is up? It's Saturday, and I love Saturdays," a drunken Michael Cummings, the lead singer, preached to the audience before blaring out the first song, "Deadbolt." They then progressed to “Miss Teen Massachusetts” and “Schemers.” In between songs, the band took turns crowd surfing, allowing whoever had the stamina to push to the front of the stage for a quick high-five. “This song is about dancing, kind of,” Michael said as the drums began to kick in. Bodies were jumping, beer was splashed, and the entire crowd rejoiced during “I Wanna Dance.”
Eminem’s hit “The Real Slim Shady” welcomed The Orwells to the stage one by one. They started their act with "Dirty Sheets." The thrill was amplified by Mario Cuomo continuously sticking his head into the first row of the audience, allowing crowd members to stroke his long hair. The band focused on connecting with the audience, allowing any crowd member to climb up onto the stage to dance with the band. “And the award for the best crowd on the West Coast goes to San Francisco! I’m not fucking with you!” exclaimed Mario, leaving the crowd as excited as ever. The band played songs from their first album Remember When, as well as their second album Disgraceland, released this June. Mario even asked the audience to carry him over to a pole at the opposite corner of the venue, where he monkeyed his way up the pole, microphone in mouth. Clenching onto the pole for his life, Mario sang an entire “The Righteous One” while attached to the beam. The night finished out with the hit, “Who Needs You,” leaving the audience wanting more.
All sorts of people attended this one-of-a-kind concert. By the time the audience was shuffled out the doors, all ears were enchantingly ringing from the noise, and heads aching from faithfully banging heads along to the kick beat.
Photos by Annelise Kostrencich / Staff