I rarely venture out in public on Valentine’s day. This past February, however, I did manage to get myself to the Beat Kitchen in Chicago to see a band that never showed up. (For the record, they had a very reasonable excuse.) But any potential for disappointment was quickly quelled as The Cell Phones took the stage.
Only a three-piece (drums, bass, and vocals), what The Cell Phones lack in numbers, they make up for in technique and sheer power. Ryan Szeszycki’s bass playing is so intricate that it has the sonic impact of at least three musicians. And, when it’s paired with Justin Purcell’s drums, who needs a guitarist? Then there is vocalist Lindsey Charles, whose onstage persona belies any small club, vaulting any performance well beyond epic to nearly legendary status. Despite the understandably anemic Valentine’s night crowd, the Cell Phones’ performance would have been perfectly suited for any arena show.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Cell Phones won a city-wide battle of the bands in 2009 (hosted by Down Beat Studios and The Elbo Room). The Cell Phones are a band set to take off. At this point, it’s only a question of time and opportunity. And, should they ever achieve their goal of playing on the moon—well—let’s just say, I’d make the trip.