The Sidekicks at Vera Project on September 11, 2019 in Seattle, Wash. | photo by Chris Chappell @gettingwarmer

Chris Chappell Photo Column—The Sidekicks

May 20, 2023

When I took this photo, I had no idea it would be the last time I’d see The Sidekicks. I followed them from when they were a young melodic punk band filling small/sweaty rooms with beer-soaked sing-a-longs to the thoughtful pop-filled indie rock unit they ended as.

I’m glad I collect band photos like I collect records these days. Each photo is tied to a memory of a band performing at a specific place and time. This one is forever linked to that final time I witnessed The Sidekicks. It was everything I expected from the band: high energy, fun, and hooky as hell.

The moment I always looked forward to since the band’s 2012 album Awkward Breeds is hearing the song “1940s Fighter Jet.” The slow buildup that ultimately leads to an epic conclusion gets me every time. The lines, “Those aren’t stars/ those are airplanes/ Overhead for the air raid” will forever give me chills.

It’s sad I’ll never experience that feeling again, but, luckily for all of us, Steve Ciolek, singer of The Sidekicks is continuing to make music as Superviolet. It’s reminiscent of The Sidekicks music but something fresh and new. It’s mellower and feels like the logical next step from where the last Sidekicks album left off. Their song “Big Songbirds Don’t Cry” off of the brand new debut album Infinite Spring is on constant rotation in my world. Even though I won’t be seeing The Sidekicks anytime soon (maybe a reunion set someday), I can’t wait to see Steve perform these Superviolet songs live.


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