Tonight The Shams Band is going to close their epic month long residency at Schubas with a killer lineup featuring Archie Powell & The Exports and Young Hines as openers. I’m sure they’ll be pulling out all the stops for the last show, but sadly I will not be in attendance. However, I did catch last week’s show, and it was a great showcase of talent from Chicago and Nashville with Young Jesus opening the show and Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes making the segue in the headliner.
I saw Young Jesus once before, at their record release show back in January. From what I saw there I was a little skeptical about how their booming sound would play in this smaller venue. As I suspected they proved a little too much for the intimate room, and the overall sound suffered a bit. They still sounded good, but nowhere near as good as they did at Schubas sister venue, Lincoln Hall. Despite the sound quality Young Jesus put on a good, wildly energetic set. I walked in just as they were finishing up their best song, “Falling For You,” but I still got to hear a couple of my favorites off their album, Home.
I was all the way in the back since I came in late, but in between sets I moved straight up the front so I could take some horrible pictures (Kari wasn’t feeling well so she left me in charge-but not with the good camera). I told the Young Jesus guys nice job and greeted Daniel Ellsworth and Timon Lance as they were setting up. Just a couple hours before they had been over to Handwritten Recording laying down a Hasty Revelationstrack for us. They’re super nice guys who obviously have a passion for playing in front of an audience, so I was excited to see them play.
The certainly did not disappoint. Their sound reminds me of Hoots & Hellmouth with a bit more rock and roll. They put a lot of soul into their songs, and it’s hard not to dance. They played a live version of the song they had just recorded for us, and it sounded excellent. They also brought The Shams Band up on stage to dance and play percussion to the groups big hit “Shoe Fits.” The two bands had toured around the midwest during the previous week, and they seemed to get along like old friends. Most impressive from their set was Lance’s guitar work, which was lightning fast at times and always hitting the ear drums at full impact. Especially during the song “Wolf Is Me.”
The Shams Band took the stage to great applause and launched into many of the same tunes they’ve been playing at these residency shows. With their new record, Cold City, just out they’ve been playing almost the whole thing at each show. If you’re a fan of the record, which I am, it’s great. The real treat is the covers and special things that they do differently each time out. Their cover of “Handle Me With Care,” which I mentioned in my last review, is pretty fantastic. I do wish that they spread it out a bit more instead of having Paul Gulyas play everyone’s voice except Roy Orbison, but that’s a minor quibble. I remembered to get my camera out this time and took a video of the song (a note about this video: Yes that is my terrible voice you can hear singing along-sorry. Also, at the beginning Ellsworth, Lance, and drummer Joel Wren got in front of me, so I tried to turn the tables and get them in the video singing along. It’s dark and hard to see, but Lance seemed to be pretty into it.)
To return the favor of being called on stage, The Shams Band brought The Great Lakes up to sing a song that I believe is called “Roll That Whiskey.” It’s a fun honkytonk kind of song that’s great for playing with a crowd.
There have been some great residency’s over the years at Schubas, but I think as far as putting together bills where all the bands playing are really good, this one has to be one of the best: Shovels And Rope, Derek Nelson And The Musicians, Young Jesus, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Young Hines, and Archie Powell & The Exports-all bands that deserve to headlining their own shows all came out to support The Shams Band.