Opening the night with “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep,” the first track off A Different Kind of Fix, Jack Steadman’s vocals started off a bit shaky and rigid. Northern Londoners, Bombay Bicycle Club played to a sweaty clan of wall-to-wall people at Chicago’s Subterranean. Whether it was a bat of stage fright, tight vocal chords or whatever, it quickly diminished as bouncing Brit pop pulsated through the sold-out, two-story venue. Fanatics plotted land on the top balcony way before BBC even came on to snag a close peak at the internationally acclaimed indie rockers.
Opening the night was Lucy Rose, or the lovely voice on several songs from Flaws and A Different Kind of Fix who also appeared on the stage during several songs during BBC’s set. The fellow English singer came front and center only a couple of times, but just laid low for almost the entire BBC set. The band headed up the beginning of its set with mostly songs from A Different Kind of Fix and stuck to that album for most of the night. They sprinkled in a few classics such as, “Evening/Morning” and “Ivy & Gold” to liven up the crowd spanning teeny boppers to 30-somethings.
From 2010’s Flaws, “Ivy & Gold” quickly infected the crowd with an urge to stomp feet and break out into a pub dance. The ground shook in a frenzy to the banjo hooks with beers held high in the air; the tone of the entire venue changed for just a few minutes. The majority of the set, though, was fresh, energetic and doused with bubbling keyboard.
Bombay Bicycle Club saved the best for last. The quartet and Lucy Rose came back to the stage donning interesting attire—“So we all put our names in a bag and whoever you got you got to choose the outfit, we had to just choose a gig to do it at.” The deciding factor: a petite Derrick Rose jersey for Lucy Rose complete with a sideways red hat—“and then Lucy if you would please turn around.” Cheering ensued. The rest of the clan sported bandanas, vests and a red jumpsuit as they belted out an extended version of “Shuffle.” Ambient tones and thumping synth instantly ignited a dance party, and the biggest one of the night. Throughout the night, fans were shouting to hear this song, and it turned out to be the perfect night cap.