Live Review: Reptar at Lincoln Hall

To quote the bespectacled hipster next to me who was too busy rubbing his goatee to dance, Reptar’s set opening for Rubblebucket at Lincoln Hall this past Tuesday was nothing short of “very impressive.”  Reptar is an Athens-based synth pop band with spastic live chops and a colorful sound that will leave your brain spinning and seething from all the misdirection. They released their first full-length record Body Faucet—a record that was shit on by Pitchfork but genuinely beloved by anyone who thinks it’s okay to be fun—on May 1st and have toured nearly nonstop ever since. Though it’s hard to beat the intimacy and newness of the show I attended earlier this year at Schubas, a much smaller Chicago venue, the set list and the sound were unbeatable at Lincoln Hall.

The band took the  stage at about 9:15pm under the hue of a projector screen that glowed with spinning shapes and images (including Lisa Simpson). While Reptar and strange imagery go together, the screen’s placement was the problem: it hung in the foreground of the stage above the band, acting as a distraction. Thankfully, the audio part of the setup was perfect,  a haze of reverb and echo filled the air before the band crashed in with their dance-worthy melodies and funky keyboard sounds. The sound engineer at Lincoln Hall deserves a pat-on-the-back.

This was the third time I have seen Reptar in the last 6 months, a fact that lead singer Graham Ulicny seemed to acknowledge by referring to Chicago as the band’s “home away from home,” second only to Georgia in terms of number of gigs played this year. There was something different about Reptar this time around: the band felt less like an up-and-comer trying to hold it together and more like a veteran band with a palpable, auditory tightness. The sound was fuller, instruments struck with more precision and the band seemed very much at ease, laid-back even.  Songs that really got the crowd going included, “Water Runs,” “Sebastian,” “Rainbounce,” and “Houseboat Babies.” The band played new material as well, hopefully an indication that a new recording is not too far off.

I covered the set list as best I could, but it’s hard to hold a pen and paper with your hands in the air.

SET LIST (9-11-12)

Three Shining Suns

Isoprene Bath

Thank You Gliese 370 b

Please Don’t Kill Me

New House



New Song

Sweet Sipping Soda

Water Runs

Orifice Origami

Houseboat Babies

We're looking for writers and editors to join the team. Interested? Apply today!