Amyl and the Sniffers: Igniting Chicago with Electrifying Punk Performance!

By Zoe Blakeman

Amyl and the Sniffers, the high-energy punk/alternative band from Australia, brought their electrifying performance to Chicago. As the lights dimmed at the start of the show, the entire venue became dark, building anticipation among the eagerly waiting crowd. One by one, the band members made their entrance, greeted by cheers and applause. The lead singer, Amy Taylor, made a grand entrance, wearing a striking ensemble – a little bikini paired with knee-high boots and voluminous Farrah Fawcett-style hair. Her appearance gave the feel of a 70s icon, capturing the audience’s attention with her extraordinary stage presence.

During their first song, “Control,” it was clear that we were in for an exhilarating show filled with surprises along the way. Taylor wore these huge Y2K-looking sunglasses and immediately ripped them off and threw them into the crowd. Which, naturally, created a frenzy at the front of the stage. Giant mosh pits opened up which took up the entire front of the crowd. Taylor dashed around the stage, jumping, exuberantly belting out lyrics, dancing, and delivering a captivating performance, all while showcasing her powerful, high-pitched vocals. Screaming, “I like control! I like control!”, as she prances around in her boots glimmering against the purple and green lights.

Their third song, “Freaks to the Front,” was dedicated to the Indigenous people of Australia. This added a deeply personal touch to the performance and fostered a sense of unity throughout the venue, promoting appreciation and love among the audience. While punk crowds may seem gritty and rough, people in this community are some of the most kind, genuine and helpful people this city has to offer. The band incorporated ground-shaking drum beats with ear-shattering guitar riffs echoing off of the entire room. The room was on fire, but no one could come close to putting it out.

Throughout the set, the band was constantly moving around the stage and addressing all sides making sure to include as many people as they could. They also engaged in some funny banter with each other and even made their drummer drink beer out of his shoe! After he finished drinking it, he threw the shoe into the crowd which was caught by a lucky fan who will surely cherish the moment forever.

While Taylor was the main captivator of the show, the rest of the band didn’t go unnoticed. The guitarists sang backing vocals and had many riff off solos. The two often got really close to soloing together while looking at the drummer and Taylor admiring their work. They didn’t perform as individuals, they played as a band. They were in as much awe of the skill and technique constantly showed of each other as the audience was!

During their song, “Balaclava Lover Boogie,” Taylor decided to show her more feminine side while simultaneously mocking it. She was dancing and rolling on the floor striking poses while grunting and forcing all eyes on her. To contrast her outfit, hair, and dancing, she was forcing the crowd to look past her gender and just experience her talent. Her unique high-pitched voice allowed Taylor to maintain this pitch while screaming, which is highly impressive. Further proving she isn’t just a body, but a force to be reckoned with.

Right before one of their last songs, “Hertz,” Taylor opened it with “Who’s feelin’ cheeky? I’m feelin’ cheeky! Let’s rock!” Green, purple, and pink lights circled the stage while Taylor jumped in front of the crowd and sang with them.

An altercation occurred between a crowd surfer, security, and Taylor which resulted in her screaming, “I can stand up for myself! In fact, I like to!” The whole room started cheering and clapping and screaming as this brought the show to an end. On the stage, there is an imprint of where lead singers have stood during previous shows. Taylor dug this imprint a litter deeper forever leaving their mark at the Salt Shed this past Monday night. A night no one in the crowd will ever forget.

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Photos © 2023 by: Frank Mesina

Photos © 2023 by: Frank Mesina


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