April 2, 2003

Zwan Stops Home for Exclusive Show

By Randy J. Klodz

Chicago’s own Zwan made yet another hometown stop, this being an exclusive show at Patten Gymnasium for the students of Northwestern University in Evanston on April 2, the band’s first stop since releasing the debut album “Mary Star of the Sea,” in January.

Lesser-known bands warmed the stage for Zwan’s series of five sold-out shows at Metro in January, but this time around well-known fuzz rockers Queens of the Stone Age--Josh Homme (guitar/vocals), Nick Oliveri (bass/vocals), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar/keyboards), Joey Castillo (drums) and Mark Lanegan (vocals, formerly of the Screaming Trees)-- started the night off with a bang. QOTSA blasted through a set that stood colored by trippy lighting displays that featured images of a telephone pole, an airplane, a martini glass and a kiss during songs “The Sky is Fallin’,” “Go With the Flow,” “Give Me Some More” and “Do it Again,” among several others.

The collegiate crowd seemed somewhat confused by the brand of rock dished out by QOTSA, but were in a tizzy when Homme announced to the crowd, “This is probably the song you know,” before beginning the set ender and radio hit “No One Knows.” QOTSA is touring in support of “Songs for the Deaf,” which released in August of 2002 and will be part of this year’s Lallapalooza tour which is scheduled to feature Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus and several other acts.

Zwan--Billy Corgan (guitar/lead vocals), Matt Sweeney (guitar/vocals), Paz Lenchantin (bass/vocals), David Pajo (guitar, vocals) and Jimmy Chamberlain (drums)--played host to the young crowd, with a slew of songs from the debut album “Mary Star of the Sea.”

Keeping in good spirits with the mostly collegiate crowd, Sweeney had something to announce to the crowd after ending “Jesus, I” that he wouldn’t necessarily announce at any other venue: “I went here at Northwestern for college, but I dropped the hell out.”

Always a band to vary its set list, Zwan mixed in a cover of the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” that put a smirk across the face of Corgan. Also included in the 120-minute set were hits “Yeah!,” “El Sol,” “Endless Summer,” “Mary Star of the Sea” and “Declarations of Faith,” as well as hits “Honestly” and “Settle Down.” Zwan ended its set with the fan-favorite live track “Spilled Milk,” which is by far the band’s heaviest number to date.

Zwan is scheduled to play yet another local date at the Aragon on May 6 at the Aragon Ballroom. The Aragon Ballroom is at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $33, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. For more information on Zwan, please view www.zwan.com.
Billy Corgan of Zwan Photo: Randy J. Klodz