March 10, 2003

Sno-Core Tour Rocks Chicago

By Randy J. Klodz

Sno-Core Tour ‘03—a mix of winter sports themed trailers set to music and actual live up-and-coming bands made its Chicago stop at the near-capacity Vic Theatre on Mar. 10. The event, originally scheduled for the Riviera Theatre, was moved to the more intimate Vic and showcased a crop of exciting talent that included Dredg, Hot Water Music, Glassjaw and Sparta.

Between bands, a screen displayed images of snowboarding and ski tricks with the accompaniment of songs from T.A.T.U., The Flaming Lips, MXPX, Depswa and Rob Dougan, among many others. California natives Dredg took the first, adorning their set with painted canvases, a tribal table cloth and two large tree branches surrounding the mic stand. Dredg vocalist Gavin Hayes made use of many items on the tribal clothed table, including a trumpet that he used to make a distorted voice sound, as well as what appeared to be a hand saw on such tracks as “Sorry But It’s Over,” “Canyon Behind Her,” “Of the Room” and “Same Ol’ Road.”

Hot Water Music, hailing from Gainesville, Fla. took the stage next showcasing their brand of adrenaline-fueled rock. The band, which includes Jason Black, Chuck Ragan, George Rebelo and Chris Wollard, performed such tracks as “Manual,” “Remedy,” “A Flight and a Crash” and several others.

Chicago-favorites, yet New York natives, Glassjaw took the stage before the headlining Sparta had their turn. Glassjaw vocalist Daryl Palumbo admitted to the ravenous crowd that he was “sicker than a dog. You’ll notice it when I hit those mad crazy notes.” Other Glassjaw members, Todd Weinstocks (guitar), Justin Beck (guitar), Dave Allan (bass) and Larry Gorman (drums) helped Palumbo assault through a short set that featured “Mu Empire,” “Piano,” “Ape Dos Mil,” “Pretty Lush,” and six others.

The headliners, El Paso, Texas’ Sparta, took to the stage with a vengeance. But, before opening the set with “Sans Cosm,” singer/guitarist Jim Ward had some fun with the audience and Chicago’s blustery winter weather: “I don’t know how you stand this. You should come to the southwest, the bright sunny skies.” Sparta—which also includes guitarist Paul Hinojos, bassist Matt Miller and drummer Tony Hajjar rocked through tracks “Cataract,” “Rx Coup,” “Red Alibi” and the hit single “Cut Your Ribbon.”

Ward often shimmied on stage while rocking his guitar and mid-show slowed things down a bit by assuming keyboard duties on “Echodyne Harmonic,” a song that he warned the crowd as being “maybe the third or fourth time we’ve ever done this live. This gives us an excuse in case we mess it up.” The Sno-Core Rock tour is scheduled to continue through Mar. 25 when it makes a stop at The NorVa in Norfolk, Va.

Jim Ward of Sparta Photo: Randy J. Klodz
Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw Photo: Randy J. Klodz