By Lydia Rivers
Photos by Christian Wade
17 Feb, 2020
Before the lights came up or a single note was played in Metro, Electric Guest’s front-man Asa Taccone had outstretched his arm past the stage toward a crowd clamoring for his hand. Strapped into platform boots, Taccone never stopped dancing all around the stage as his high-pitched vocals seemed to float across the venue.
Electric Guest is an electronic indie-pop duo comprised of vocalist Asa Taccone and multi-instrumentalist Matthew “Cornbread” Compton. Perhaps I should refrain from using indie to describe them now, though — their latest release and third full album, Kin, marked a decisive shift away from their past work in the indie scene and toward pop music. Taccone has previously said that Kin, packed with bright melodies and mellow lyrics, feels like their first true record; as they venture into pop, he believes that they are finally coming into their own.
As they continued their first ever world tour, Taccone definitely looked unapologetically in his element on stage. The sunny-pop sound of the California duo kept everyone bouncing around while Taccone bantered with the crowd, telling stories and poking fun at Chicago.
“Chicago! It’s a fucking Monday and y’all are out of control!”
As they continued to play, they made sure to highlight that their light-hearted sound had a deeper meaning, saying that he wants his music to be something joyous in such a dark time politically, “I know this is a weird time as a country,” said Taccone. “They’ll try to divide us at any cost.”
Electric Guest came prepared with gifts, too. During “Dollar,” Taccone threw money to the crowd, joking about how they threw too much money out the first night and that their management would only let them toss out thirty dollars now. He personally picked people out from the crowd to give roses to after “24-7,” taking his time to find the right receivers after the sugary love song. He even brought out a t-shirt cannon, seemingly (definitely) delighting in the theatrics, shooting merch way up into the balcony.
It seemed that Electric Guest really placed an importance on interaction — I definitely felt like I had gotten to know Asa Taccone through the set and that I could appreciate Electric Guest’s music more because of that.
Electric Guest could just be bringing pop back, at least to those that have been steering clear of it. There was something truly special about Taccone’s unwavering high-energy; even when he was laughing about how people had offered him cocaine to get a ticket in to Metro or while all-out rocking around during the guitar solo on “My Omen,” there was something inexplicably sweet about him. After the initial set, Electric Guest closed out the night by playing, “Dear to Me” before leaving with a quick kiss goodbye.
As their world tour comes to a close, be sure to stream Kin!
Personal favorite: “Waves”
Crowd favorite: “1 4 Me”
- Play With Me
- The Bait
- Get Out
- This Head I Hold
- 1 4 Me
- My Omen
- Oh Devil
- Dear to Me