Empty Bottle Show Preview: Ghostpal, Ariada, No Shoes 6/25


Disclaimer: This show was booked by Music.Defined. I picked the bands and worked with Empty Bottle to set up a date that worked for everyone. I’m beyond excited that one of my favorites, Ghostpal, is finally coming to Chicago. That I had something to do with bringing them here just makes it all the more special. And Ariada is a local Chicago group formed at DePaul that I’ve been trying to work with since some time last year. It’s going to be a really amazing night of music, and I hope everyone that can make it shows up and has a blast. If you’re not familiar with the bands, let me introduce you.


My introduction to Ghostpal was a bit of a fluke. When I first started writing on this site, I posted something about a band called The Hysterics. They were the first band to get their break from a blog back in 2004. They were featured on MTV and I caught it by chance. 7 years later I wondered what had become of them, so I dug around and didn’t find much. Frontman from The Hysterics, Oliver Ignatius, saw the article and commented on it, leading to a great interview about what actually happened with the group. A friendship formed after, and he shared with me a couple things he was working on for his new project Ghostpal. This is the song he first shared with me, though a bit more polished than the demo I heard.

I’ve been really excited about Ghostpal ever since. We even took a trip up to NYC to catch one of the big shows Oliver throws with his other Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen (his studio) bands. Seeing them live for the first time, I was amazed at how good they sounded in the basement of a cafe. Couldn’t wait to see them at a real concert venue and now that’s actually happening at Empty Bottle! You’re in for a real treat on the 25th, so plan accordingly.


It was a similarly random situation that led to my first encounter with Ariada. I got an email mid-afternoon from a pr person asking if I would want to come check out a show at Schubas that night. I had nothing doing that evening, so I said sure. The opener that night was a local band called The Outfit, and they really blew me away. It was an opening set with the swagger and confidence of a headliner. They were super tight, but loose enough to keep everything fun and funky.

Since then they’ve changed their name to Ariada, but the music is still great.They put out an EP last year that I think is a really great intro to their stuff, and in particular the vocals of Lesleigh Arratia who might be the best singer you haven’t heard yet.

No Shoes

No Shoes are the wildcard, as I haven’t seen them live for myself yet. They’ve put out a couple interesting EP’s and singles over the last three years, and I’ve enjoyed everything that I’ve heard. They take things to extremes musically, getting really dark and heavy while somehow maintaining well-written melodies. They call it post-apocalyptic pop, and that sounds about right to me.

This is their most recent single, released last August. I love the opening to the track. It’s a little reminiscent of the Icelandic band Mum, but then the vocals kick in and the song explodes into this kind of Arcodychrist Superstar epic.

I hope you get a chance to check out all these bands at some point, even if you don’t come out to the show (if you’re outside a 4-hour driving zone of Chicago I guess you’re excused). It’s gonna be a great night so come out, have a bunch of fun, say hi, grab something to eat at Bite or run across the street to Lockdown for one of the city’s best burgers (imho).

You can buy tickets here and RSVP to the event on Facebook here.