We Are Scientists @ The Empty Bottle, Chicago, US, November 10, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023  

We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists @ The Empty Bottle, Chicago, US, November 10, 2023,

Nov 14, 2023 Photography by Dan Monick Web Exclusive
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We Are Scientists have always relished in their ability to craft inexplicably catchy tunes. Their debut album, With Love and Squalor, was released in 2005 and truly was a refreshing moment in the realm of indie pop. Lead vocalist/guitarist Keith Murray specialized in providing confectionary vocals while bassist Chris Cain wholly embraced being along for the ride.

The pair took a satirical approach to both their visual and sonic discography, stretching and bending the boundaries of their humor for nearly two decades. That’s not to say their catalog doesn’t contain heart wrenching moments.

“It’s a Hit” from With Love and Squalor is the auditory equivalent of paralyzing defeat as Murray ends a close friendship while on “Return The Favor” (the lead single from 2014’s TV en Français), he finds the courage to contemptuously confront a lover.

Earlier this year, We Are Scientists released their eighth studio album Lobes. The band proudly described their latest project as more electronic and synth driven. Shortly after it was released, Lobes would be accompanied by a national tour to showcase the group’s palpable growth.

They made a stop at Chicago’s Empty Bottle on November 10 to a packed and sweaty crowd who were simply excited to be in their presence. We Are Scientists managed to cover an impressive amount of territory that spanned the length of their career.

Every song on their setlist was frantically driven, whether it was “Contact High,” “Operator Error,” “Rules Don’t Stop” or “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt.” Murray and Cain still engage in light-hearted stage banter during their live show (i.e. taking an audience poll to see if Chicago streets should be referred to as “mean” or “nice”).

However, the music remained first and foremost during their intimate performance. They rounded out the jovial evening with a trio of hits: “You’ve Lost Your Shit,” “The Scene Is Dead” and “Less From You.”

Here is the setlist:

Lucky Just To Be Here

Lousy Reputation

Contact High

The Great Escape


Operator Error

Rules Don’t Stop

Settled Accounts

It’s A Hit

I Cut My Own Hair

I Don’t Bite



Human Resources

Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt

After Hours

You’ve Lost Your Shit

The Scene Is Dead

Less From You


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