With 11 new songs almost ready and a monthly release schedule mostly solidified, Chicago’s Kerosene Stars was poised to make 2020 a big year for the band. But the power-pop foursome was halted at the door when the pandemic shut down the Chicago scene.
Scott Schaafsma, who plays bass and sings lead vocals, said now that things are opening up, they are tentatively resetting that schedule and testing the waters with shows again with this weekend’s release of a two-single set: “Law of Resistance” and “Get Up.”
Following up “Where Have You Been?” — a single drop from earlier this summer — the band showcases its dedication to the genre with two catchy new songs plucked straight from an Elvis Costello or Paul Westerberg-era movie soundtrack.
“I’ve always sort of gravitated toward that type of music,” Schaafsma said. “Also bands like R.E.M. And I’m a big fan of the Manchester scene, Stone Roses, some shoegaze guys. I’m all over the place.”
Kerosene Stars — Schaafsma, Jim Adair on drums, Tom Sorich on percussion and Arlington Heights’ Andy Seagram on guitar and backing vocals — spent most of the pandemic apart because of health concerns, but the foursome started practicing together again a few months ago in anticipation of getting back out there. They recently reconvened on the Burlington stage for their first Chicago show since the lockdowns began.
The band will be playing the new songs and a few of their older favorites (going back to the band’s debut in 2011), at the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts this weekend.
The fest, which runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, along Broadway between Stratford and Belmont in Chicago, features more than 150 fine arts and crafts booths, along with area food and drink vendors. Two stages will feature a variety of musical acts to keep the fans entertained.
Kerosene Stars fans will also get a sneak peek at upcoming unreleased music since much of it factors heavily into this weekend’s set list. The band takes the XRT Garden Stage (at the intersection of Roscoe and Broadway) from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.