Home Live Review Live Review: Brigitte Calls Me Baby w/ The Montaines @ DC9 — 2/16/24

Live Review: Brigitte Calls Me Baby w/ The Montaines @ DC9 — 2/16/24

Live Review: Brigitte Calls Me Baby w/ The Montaines @ DC9 — 2/16/24
Brigitte Calls Me Baby performs in a sold-out show at DC9 on Feb. 16, 2024. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In one of the most amazing new tunes that I’ve heard in a very long time, Wes Leavins of Brigitte Calls Me Baby croons a lyric that truly could have sprang from The Smiths songbook in “The Future Is Our Way Out”:

“Now the end is here/ Everyone said this is how it would be / I’m sorry I can’t help but cry/ And wonder, was the joke on me”

In their recent debut DC headlining show, Brigitte Calls Me Baby closed the concert with the song, which hails from their debut EP, This House Is Made of Corners (released via ATO Records last year). At DC9, Leavins and his bandmates were thoroughly gripping performers, easily mounting the best show of the year so far.

Although This House Is Made of Corners consists of only five tracks, Brigitte Calls Me Baby performed 13 songs in this arresting performance at DC9 on Feb. 16. The band readily acknowledges its primary influences: Manchester-forged British innovators The Smiths and Texas crock crooner Roy Orbison. The pairing suddenly and brilliantly seems incredibly natural when listening to how they materialize through the music of Brigitte Calls Me Baby.

Brigitte Calls Me Baby opened their show with the jaunty “You Are Only Made of Dreams” from their EP, and Wes immediately demonstrated a Morrissey-type inflection with a Orbison-styled passion. Haling from Port Arthur Texas, Wes came by these persuasive figures naturally, listening to new wave music as a youth and discovering Britpop in his teens. Wes moved other Chicago in 2016 and met guitarists Jack Fluegel and Trevor Lynch, bassist Devin Wessels, and drummer Jeremy Benshish, and the gents soon founded Brigitte Calls Me Baby together.

The band stunned at SXSW 2023 and opened for The Last Dinner Party and other bands before now truly breaking out into their own. Each of the band members contribute to a truly impressive show, but it’s the quality of the songs that really grab your attention.

For example, Brigitte Calls Me Baby performed the ballad “Eddie My Love” from their This House Is Made of Corners EP as the second song of the evening at DC9, and it immediately struck me to the core. Wes sang: “I thought I knew me, but I didn’t know myself/ You saw right through me, and truth was I never fell/ So hard” — and in doing so, he vocalized a lyric that already seemed instantly familiar, like somehow you already knew this song and it had been sitting in the back of your collective brain for a long time, and Wes merely was liberating it.

Watch “Eddie My Love” by Brigitte Calls Me Baby” on YouTube:

Brigitte Calls Me Baby closed the main set with the EP’s “Impressively Average,” another biting winner that recalled The Smiths-level craft. Wes sang with swagger, smiling, nodding, and winking to the audience. While all the players were great, those guitars were undeniable. Trevor charmed the audience with as much heartthrob power as frontman Wes, and Jack rocked out hard in shades while radiating those Orbison vibes.

In their encore, Brigitte Calls Me Baby played “The Future Is Our Way Out” last but also added a cover of “Careless Whisper” by Wham! The fantastic cover existed on an entirely other level: While thoroughly recognizable as the George Michael song, Brigitte Calls Me Baby sang it in their own style and personality instead of trying to ape the Englishmen. The result was a showstopper!

To DC9’s delight, Brigitte Calls Me Baby shared seven additional songs throughout their concert, in addition to the EP songs and George Michael cover, suggesting they are soon to release more material. Standout songs included “Fine Dining,” “I Wanna Die in the Suburbs,” and “We Were Never Alive,” suggesting a strong near-future release from the band.

I say without reservation that Brigitte Calls Me Baby is the best new band that I’ve seen in at least four years, and I urge you to catch them in performance near you!

Setlist for Brigitte Calls Me Baby

You Are Only Made of Dreams
Eddie My Love
Fine Dining
I’m Still Here
Pink Palace
I Wanna Die in the Suburbs
Palm of Your Hand
Too Easy
The Night
We Were Never Alive
Impressively Average

Careless Whisper (Wham! Cover)
The Future Is Our Way Out

Opening the sold-out DC9 show was DC’s own The Montaines. These guys also are well worth your time, and they rocked through songs including “Tomorrow Morning” and “Helicopter” from their 2023 debut EP, Normal People, as well as unreleased songs including “Honestly” and “Fruit Punch.” My concert buddy DJ Medusa said young lead singer Alec O’Brien looks like the actor Timothee Chalamet, and I at least would believe they go to the same barber.

The five Montaines, who formed at 7DrumCity, honestly are a really good band with great timing and easy chemistry streaming though songs that showcase Alec’s pleasing and expressive voice.

Stream “Helicopter” by The Montaines on YouTube:

Here are some photos of The Montaines performing at DC9 on Feb. 16. All pictures by Mickey McCarter.


Here are some photos of Brigitte Calls Me Baby performing at DC9 on Feb. 16, 2024. All pictures by Mickey McCarter.



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