Last Dinosaurs kick off North American tour in Chicago, tease new music

By Abra Richardson, Staff Reporter

Last Dinosaurs take the stage at Bottom Lounge on May 31. Abra Richardson

From high school band rehearsals to gearing up for their North American tour, the alt-indie band Last Dinosaurs are making strides despite the obstacles of the pandemic.

The Australian band will release their new album “From Mexico with Love” on November 4, marking the group’s fourth record.

When writing, the band said they choose to work independently from each other until the very end, when they all collaborate on the finishing touches. On the forthcoming “From Mexico with Love,” lead guitarist Lachlan Caskey took the lead in writing because he was quarantining in Mexico in 2020 while the others were in Australia.

“[It takes] enough discipline to just get the whole [thing] done,” Caskey said. “It’s a lot of thought; you’re obviously putting in as much as you want to, but it just takes focus and definitely a desire. Someone has to be pushing the envelope the whole time.”

One of the reasons the band originally formed is their love for The Strokes. Since then, they have seen them perform several times and have sent demos of their tracks to Albert Hammond Jr., the guitarist for The Strokes.

“We’ve been in contact with Albert Hammond Jr. We had a Zoom call with him once and had him on text,” Caskey said. “This whole new album, we actually sent him everything to get his opinion on it.”

Fans cheer on Last Dinosaurs as they address the Chicago crowd — their first audience in the U.S. since the pandemic. Abra Richardson

“From Mexico with Love” will be the Last Dinosaurs’ first album to be released since leaving their former record label and joining their new label Nettwerk, which allows the band to have more creative freedom.

“The difference would be that in the other albums, we would come and show the demos, and [the label would] say, ‘Okay, write a little bit more,'” said Michael Sloane, the band’s bassist. “The push was always, ‘We need some pop.’ … It got frustrating. We got to this album and said, ‘This is the album; this is what we want to do.'”

The band’s third single of 2022, “CDMX,” was released on May 6 as a teaser for the new album.

Now, the band is geared up for their North American tour and played their kickoff show in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., on Tuesday, May 31.

“The last [concerts] in the United States were so fresh in our memories because they were such memorable things, but there’s definitely been a lot of psychological turmoil around doing this tour because of [COVID-19] restrictions,” Sloane said. “The amount of planning and preparation that has to go into a tour for us just because we’re Australian, it’s a lot of work,” Caskey said.

Singer and guitarist Sean Caskey, brother of Lachlan, rocks out on a guitar solo. Abra Richardson

Fans showed excitement for the band as they played new and old music during their show at Bottom Lounge.

Prian Escalona and Trisha Gelig said they were excited to see them perform for the first time.

“I’ve always like them since high school,” Escalona said. “But really what hit me was I met [Gelig] and their album ‘Yumeno Garden’ was the album that [was out] when we were clicking for the first time in a relationship.”

Gelig said she has been listening to Last Dinosaurs for 10 years.

Caskey and Sloane took time before the show to talk and take photos with fans waiting outside the Bottom Lounge in the 85-degree heat.

Aside from their North American tour this year, Chicagoans can catch Last Dinosaurs again as they end their tour by hitting the Bud Light Stage at Lollapalooza on July 28.