San Francisco, CA – Australian up-and-comers Chase Atlantic recently brought their unconventional blend of moody, alternative hip-pop to San Francisco’s August Hall on July 1, 2019. With an impressive arsenal of both new and previously released material, the style and form of which could be tagged to a myriad of genres, the group drew an impressive crowd into the heart of downtown on a night mid-way through the band’s North American tour.
Chase Atlantic was not a group I’d heard of before I planned to attend their gig here in the Bay Area. With that in mind, I did what any reviewer would do when they cover someone they don’t know: I gave their work a quick spin to familiarize myself with what I was getting into. I decided to start by jumping straight into the band’s newest effort, PHASES, only recently released on June 28.
While perusing the tracks of this new material, I found myself lulled into the impression that while Chase Atlantic’s sound was going to be highly diverse, touching on a variety of musical categories, the show itself would somehow be on the mellower side energy-wise. Their tunes have a hypnotic, melancholy groove to them, with moments that could easily become earworms that settle into you mind (one of the tracks for this album is, in fact, titled “STUCKINMYBRAIN”), but it was eerily relaxing material for me.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to be thrown a highly unexpected curveball; this show was anything but a laid-back event.
After a vibrant and colorful performance from their special guest opener, Lauren Sanderson, Chase Atlantic took to the medium-sized stage of August Hall, accompanied by the haze of stage smoke and a remarkable lighting display arrangement that utilized both classic stage illumination, and a trio of impressively bright LED screens. The arrangement provided both ambiance and video imagery for the performance ahead, but as to be expected, the illuminated scenery became mere background ambiance. Chase Atlantic grabbed up the complete attention of their enthusiastic fans the moment they took to stage, jumping straight into their catchy first track, “ANGELS”. From that point forward, the group moved enthusiastically through the evening’s repetoire of tracks, mostly from the PHASES album, but also a variety of choices from their catalog of previously released material that the audience seemed to know well, and were quick to sing along to.
The touring lineup, which included the passionate and ever-moving Mitchel Cave, older sibling Clinton Cave doing double-duty on guitar and saxophone, and Christian Anthony providing both additional guitar and vocals, were joined by two additional musicians; Patrick Wilde on bass, and Jesse Boyle on drums. This was a detail extremely relevant to me; Chase Atlantic is typically a trio, and it would have been very easy to have those two elements programmed into a computer, leaving the known members as the only people on the stage. However, the inclusion of these additional musicians gave both the band’s music and overall performance a significant boost of weight and realness, qualities that would have been lost otherwise.
Chase Atlantic will be touring more dates on their North American tour the rest of this month, hitting dates in the middle and east parts of the country, until July 25th, 2019. Click here to see where they will end up next, and for future dates as yet to be announced.