Background/Composition: Operators is the latest project from Dan Boeckner, his second new band since the divorce of his former one, Handsome Furs. This was one of the first shows for the (sometimes) trio of Boeckner, the one-named enigma Devojka and Divine Fits drummer Sam Brown.
Operators have no songs online, no hype campaign, so this was the first time most people in the room were hearing the songs. Given how well this show went, some of them will be hearing them again twice more over CMW weekend. They'll play at the Silver Dollar again Friday and Saturday at midnight.
From the first song, everyone in the room was on board. More than just Handsome Furs 2.0 (the easy comparison, given Operators' dance-punk sound and core coed partnership), this took that tightly-wound, sexually-charged dynamic and brightened it up with two massive tables full of analogue synths and live drums. More of a body-moving edge than his previous projects... as in, people actually moved their bodies.
The energy in the room was high, but dragged a bit as they dipped into a few slower songs. Evidently, this "brand new" project already has a full, dynamic set of songs (some with guitar, bass and drums, some in which Boeckner only sings), which is great for longevity, but maybe not the sweetest first taste.
Boeckner may have been dressed in black-on-black-on-black (a good contrast to Devojka's white/red/platinum blonde), but he was all smiles. You could tell he was legitimately excited at the crowd's reaction, which gave the show a nice love-in vibe.
"Holy Shit" Moments: A
Dan Burke's Grade (I assume): A+
The legendary local promoter has a winning record with his CMW and NXNE three-peats (and with Boeckner - he put on the sweaty Handsome Furs gig that lost the Comfort Zone its liquor license one NXNE) and this will surely go down as one of his best. He was dancing for most of the set - the Dan Burke seal of approval - and lost himself enough to light a cigarette (venue staff put a swift end to that).
— Chart Attack (@ChartAttack) May 9, 2014