It was a veritable who’s who of great Chicago music at Lincoln Hall last Thursday night, as members of various bands came together to bid farewell to Hemmingbirds. After a great six-year run, the band decided to call it quits with an awesome lineup of music at one of Chicago’s best venues. There was a lot of stage sharing between the four acts, and it felt like a fun community event more than your concert.
Jesse W Johnson played first as a solo act, and then he returned to help Hemmingbirds on bass and guitar for pretty much their whole set. Archie Powell & The Exports came out and put on a half hour of almost completely new music. Archie came back to join the next band, Mutts, who also brought out Chicago singer/songwriter Jennifer Hall to close out their time on stage. Hemmingbirds brought out a bunch of people, with every band on the bill represented in some way.
All the bands were amazing, but it was all about Yoo Soo Kim, Zach Benkowski, and Timothy Cap on this night. They rocked through some of their better-known songs and made time for some deep cuts that they said they’ve played live only a handful of times throughout their run as a band. They downplayed the idea of this being their last show, and handled things with a great deal of grace. It was obvious they were proud of what they achieved, but also didn’t take it too seriously.
Despite the evening being their way of saying goodbye, they did a lot of thanking others and crediting any success they’ve had to others. For an encore they brought out almost everyone from the night for a cover of the Smashing Pumpkins song “Today.” Once everyone from other bands left the stage they led the crowd in a sing-a-long of “My Love, Our Time Is Now” off their 2012 record Vines Of Age.
I’m sad that we won’t be getting any new music from Hemmingbirds, but I’m glad I was able to share this night with them and everyone else who came out to the show.
Archie Powell & The Exports: