Reviews – Greycoats CD Release at Paikka: Back to the future of another world


Photo By Aaron Van Luven –

By Ann Treacy

Saturday night I was invited to awaken from 100-year sleep and become a crew member aboard spacecraft Aspera with the Greycoats to celebrate the release of their latest CD Adrift. The party and the music were both exactly what I imagined the future would be when I was a kid. It was a little retro, a little space age, a little kitsch and a lot of notes that struck just the right chord.
The Greycoats incorporate a lot of different sounds and comfortably blend them together. On Cleopatra, they sound like a super synthesized Vampire Weekend. (The video from Cleopatra is worth checking out with cameos from Haley Bonar and Ralph Rapson’s Glass Cube house!) The Decider includes vocals that would be just as in place on a Laurie Anderson set list. And a hint of Midnight Express weaves through the night.

The band is super stylized. Band members in black T-shirts and lead singer Jon Reine in a white suit. A white suit that lit up no less. There were hints of early Bono with the glasses and the showmanship on stage. The light show including balloons that lit up and exploded into sparks added to the spectacle. Renie’s voice ranges from near falsetto to synthesized robot. The drums are hard hitting. Old Believers includes a great mini guitar riff very reminiscent of pop music from 30 years ago. There is a hint of a time capsule in the music and a strong touch back to 1980s. They played a fun cover of Peter Schilling’s Major Tom but even in their music the influence is strong. But there’s a twist to it. Again it’s like we imagined music would progress to back in the 80s – retro, yet space age.


Photo By Aaron Van Luven –

The location, Paikkia in the almost finished 550 Vandalia building, added to the theme with lots of dark, empty spaces that have that new yet abandoned feel. It’s as if the building too was awakening from a 100-year sleep too. Then there were treats – donut holes with blue sprinkles, Cheetos, and jalapeno poppers. Sounds an awful lot like what I would have been eating in the rec room watching Lost in Space, which to be fair would have been in syndication even when I was a kid, which just adds to the timelessness.

A bonus was a quick set by Charlie Van Stee, playing solo on the very stylized stage. He looked alone and kind of eerie and played a very moving version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Only Living Boy in New York.

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