Last week, punk duo Diet Cig performed a sold-out show at Chicago’s Subterranean. Their debut album Swear I’m Good At This brought bursts of playful pop melodies that begged listeners to sing along, and Diet Cig carried that same vibe into their live set.
As the room started to fill up, two opening acts performed. Up first, Chicago’s own Nnamdi Ogbonnaya started his set by nonchalantly plugging his phone into a speaker and walking onto stage from the pit. He went into tracks from his solo album Drool, rapping over bouncy beats that can’t be contained in any one genre. Nnamdi then strapped on his guitar as his band joined him, taking his versatile and insanely catchy flows completely live.
The night continued with the next opener, an indie band from Philadelphia called Sports. Their latest record, All of Something, features fuzzy riffs that bring warmth to cold feelings of heartbreak. As each song seamlessly led into the next, Sports filled their set with multiple surprise moments, whether it was a last-minute solo or an extra chorus at the end of a song to keep everyone dancing a little bit longer.
When the main floor and balcony were finally both packed to capacity, Diet Cig descended a short winding staircase to the main stage. Cheers of anticipation echoed from the crowd as mics got adjusted, guitars got plugged in and final sound checks took place. Then, without hesitation, lead vocalist Alex Luciano sung the opening lyrics of “Sixteen”. “Ready?” she asked before drummer Noah Bowman launched the song into full force.
Diet Cig kept it simple with nothing else on stage but a banner with their name on it hanging behind them. However, their undying supply of energy throughout the night was more than enough to hold everyone’s attention. During every break, Alex jumped around with her guitar, kicking into the air and dropping to her knees to get up close with the crowd’s entranced faces. The amount of fun Diet Cig has while playing music resonated with everyone in the room whether they were longtime fans or first-time listeners.
Through this uncontainable enthusiasm, Diet Cig embodied the lighthearted, carefree sound of their music in a worthy live performance. On that night, an entire sold out crowd could forget about taking themselves too seriously. Diet Cig made it nearly impossible to resist joining in their party.
Keep up with Diet Cig’s upcoming tour dates and listen to “Swear I’m Good At This” here.