The Soft Pack: A Review, in Their Own Words

Prior to the Soft Pack’s Lollapalooza aftershow performance at Schuba’s in Chicago, we spoke with front man Matt Lamkin and bass player David Lantzman about their Lolla performance. It sounded like a smashing success, confirming what one Sound Citizen reader told us — that the Soft Pack “was worth the price of admission” that day.

Lantzman also told us that it was probably the biggest stage they have ever played. So it was fitting that, on this night, they were playing one of the smallest stages in Chicago where some of the biggest bands have played in the past.

The Soft Pack’s sound is direct and empowering, and at the same time lazy and completely understated. But the band itself is anything but lazy. Guitarist Matty McLoughlin shreds the strings — literally — and the rest of the band follows suit with passionate turns on the drums and bass. Lamkin sings in one of the most straightforward manners I’ve seen and a tone that never wavers, no matter the song. I think that’s part of what draws me to them in the first place, and got them a spot on Sound Citizen Radio 7.

Anyway, enough from me. Let’s hear from Soft Packs drummer, Brian Hill on their Chicago visit.

“Chicago has always been really great to us, but it was more than a little bit surprising that people came out early on Saturday to see us play at Lollapalooza. Playing at around noon at a huge festival like that can be a bit daunting, but we had a total blast. It was a treat to see Phoenix’s soundcheck earlier in the day — those guys are the best. We just kind of did our thing for 40 minutes or so, and then moved along from there. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a chance to check out any bands, really. One highlight would be Wild Beasts. I thought that the singer sounded a little like Jeff Buckley, and that was fine by me. My comparisons are usually wrong to a lot of people … maybe I’m losing my hearing?*

“Later on, in the evening, we had the chance to play one of our favorite venues, Schuba’s. That place is great. It always sounds great, they treat bands wonderfully, and their restaurant is top banana. Now I sound like I’m writing for Zagat’s or something. Anyways, there was a slight mishap regarding equipment at the beginning of the night … we didn’t have our backline. Luckily for us, the other band on the bill, Royal Bangs, were sweethearts and offered to let us borrow theirs. Well, not to ramble on, but our equipment did show up and we played what we thought was a great show. No complaints about Chicago — we love that place.”

Big thanks to Brian and the rest of the Soft Pack fellas for an outstanding show at Schuba’s. The Soft Pack comes back to Chicago October 30 and 31. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

*Hearing loss wouldn’t surprise me. These guys are wonderfully loud as hell.

Below is some video from the show and below that are current Soft Pack tour dates.



Sep 4 2010 5:00P FYF Fest, Los Angeles CA Los Angeles, CA
Sep 10 2010 9:00A Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Sep 11 2010 9:00P Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Sep 17 2010 5:00P Neon Reverb Festival, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
Sep 18 2010 9:30P The Clubhouse, Tempe AZ Tempe, AZ
Oct 1 2010 8:30P San Francisco State University: The Depot San Francisco, CA
Oct 3 2010 11:00P Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, CA
Oct 7 2010 9:00P Sons of Herman Hall Dallas, TX
Oct 8 2010 11:30A Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas
Oct 9 2010 10:00P Antone’s Austin, TX
Oct 12 2010 11:00P Old No. 2 Laredo, TX
Oct 13 2010 11:00P Mango’s Cafe Houston, TX
Oct 14 2010 10:00P Lochrann’s Frisco, TX
Oct 16 2010 2:00P Corona Festival, Mexico City Mexico City, MX
Oct 19 2010 5:30P Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom Little Rock, AZ
Oct 20 2010 10:00P Proud Larry’s Oxford, MS
Oct 21 2010 10:00P The Earl w/ Kurt Vile Atlanta, GA
Oct 22 2010 6:00P The Nick w/ Kurt Vile South Birmingham, AL
Oct 23 2010 9:00P Mercy Lounge w/ Kurt Vile Nashville, TN
Oct 26 2010 6:00P Mad Hatter Club w/ Kurt Vile Covington, KY
Oct 27 2010 6:00P The Summit w/ Kurt Vile Columbus, OH
Oct 28 2010 6:00P Blind Pig w/ Kurt Vile Ann Arbor, MI
Oct 29 2010 6:00P White Rabbit Cabaret w/ Kurt Vile Indianapolis, IN
Oct 30 2010 9:30P The Empty Bottle w/ Kurt Vile Chicago, IL
Oct 31 2010 9:30P The Empty Bottle w/ Kurt Vile Chicago, IL
Nov 1 2010 9:00P Triple Rock Social Club w/ Kurt Vile Minneapolis, MN
Nov 4 2010 9:00P Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room w/ Kurt Vile Seattle, WA
Nov 5 2010 7:00P Biltmore Cabaret w/ Kurt Vile Vancouver, Vancouver, CANADA
Nov 6 2010 8:30P Berbati’s Pan w/ Kurt Vile Portland, OR
Nov 9 2010 8:00P Rickshaw Stop w/ Kurt Vile San Francisco, CA
Nov 11 2010 8:00P Echo Plex w/ Kurt Vile Los Angeles, CA
Nov 13 2010 8:00P Casbah w/ Kurt Vile San Diego, CA
Dec 30 2010 6:00P The Falls Festival – Marion Bay, Tasmania Marion Bay, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
Dec 31 2010 6:00P The Falls Festival, Lorne – Victoria Lorne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Jan 2 2011 5:00P South Bound Festival, Busselton – Western Australia Busselton, Western Au, AUSTRALIA
Jan 6 2011 6:00P Sunset Sounds, Brisbane – Queensland Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA