Nov. 16, 2006

Plus 44 to Play Chicago Debut at Metro

By Randy J. Klodz

Few post-breakup bands have garnered the buzz Plus 44, or +44 as the band is most often referred to, has amassed within the last year. The band, created during the fallout of multi-platinum pop-punk band blink-182, is prepared to bring its new set of tunes to Chicago for the first time at Metro on Nov. 28.

Plus 44—which includes former blink-182 members Mark Hoppus (vocals, bass) and Travis Barker (drums) and also consists of Craig Firebaugh (guitar) and Shane Gallagher (guitar)—is on tour in support its debut album “When Your Heart Stops Bleeding.”

Following a quick spin of the album, which hit stores Nov. 14, blink-182 fans can easily tell that this is not simply a continuation of the blink-182 family. Plus 44 is indeed its own entity. And it rocks.

Gone are the flatulence jokes and tales of teen angst. Enter superb writing and the treat of hearing Hoppus’ full range of vocals, something fans of which blink-182 fans might not have heard much. The high-and-low anthem “Little Death” gives fans the full effect of +44. Catchy, sure. And great.

Fans of catch rock with a punk edge are sure to enjoy tracks like “Baby Come On,” “Cliffdiving,” “Lycanthrope.”

Fans first got a taste of the hit title track when radio grasped the track and its catchy rhythms. Softer tracks like “155,” “Lillian,” “No, It Isn‘t,” and “Weatherman” glisten and are sure to be fan favorites.

The song “Make You Smile” also shines with the dual vocals of Hoppus and guest vocalist Carol Heller.

Metro is at 3730 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $21 each with showtime slated for 7 p.m. Please note, this show was originally scheduled for Oct. 31 and tickets already purchased for that date are to also be accepted. For more on Plus 44 log on to www.plusfortyfour.com.

+ 44 Photo: Estevan Oriol