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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Valley Queen at Metro 5/7/2017

I got an email roughly 0.000003 seconds after listening to Valley Queen’s “Pulled By The Weather” asking if I’d be interested in checking out their show here in Chicago. I thought the song was really excellent, so I said yes. I checked out their EP, Destroyer, and found it an enjoyable listen. It’s a bit of soulful folk music, but when they hit the stage to play live, the guitars come to play and it turns into a full-on rock and roll show.

My initial reaction to the music was that it reminded me of Janis Joplin playing with Big Brother and the Holding Company. A couple songs later Courtney Barnett’s voice pops in a bit as well. It’s a good dynamic, marrying the older, classic sounds with something a little more contemporary. Natalie Carol’s voice can get up there with a range that is impressive to say the least. She can also shred, and does so at every opportunity.

The band seemed to be having a great time in front of the already pretty big crowd. Opening for Laura Marling, I wasn’t sure how the crowd would respond once Valley Queen started to get loud. Turns out they dug it. Lots of cheering after every song, and not the polite kind like I do when someone is trying really hard and it’s just not working. No, I imagine they converted a lot of new fans last night.

You can check out their stuff on Spotify, or you can head over to their Bandcamp page and buy their EP right now.

Molehill at SubT 5/2/2017

Tonight I went to see my friends in Molehill play an opening set at Subterranean. Mona was the headliner, but I got out of there early so I could grab dinner and be home in time to watch the end of the Celtics/Wizards game (and after that fourth quarter by Isaiah Thomas I think I made the right call).

Molehill were their usual awesome selves, playing some new songs from their singles/EP collection that’s in the process of being released. Rather than lug around a bulky DSLR like I usually do, I just brought a point and shoot camera with a wi-fi card. I edited all these photos on my phone. I also shot this video, which came out pretty good and really highlights the energy they bring even if it’s an opening slot.



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The War On Peace-Fear Of Loss (video)

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Photo by Chris Hershman


Chicago band The War On Peace are about to release their new EP on May 12th. After two full-length albums, Automated People finds the group looking to expand their sound and their fan base. With comparisons to The Fray circling around them, I’m sure they won’t have any trouble tapping into the mainstream crowd.

“Fear Of Loss” is the first single from Automated People, and the video is very well done. If I had one issue, it would be that I wanted to see more of the actors and less of the band. The story the song tells is interesting, and I would have liked to see a whole video of just that narrative playing out. Still, it’s very well-made and fits the song.

In addition to releasing the EP on May 12th, The War On Peace will be playing at SubT with Minor Characters. Tickets can be found here.

Coast Modern at SubT 4/18/2017

April 18, 2017 Leave a comment

I didn’t know much about Coast Modern before they hit the stage at Subterranean for their slot on the Alt Nation tour with which they’re currently traveling. Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp turn their indie pop duo into a strong foursome for live shows, and they keep the people moving. They opened the show with about 45 minutes of material, including some new stuff that might come up on their first EP or LP (they’ve only released singles in the two years they’ve been making music together).

The mostly-under-21 crowd seemed to know every song, even the new stuff. That caught the attention of Coleman, who asked one of the girls up front if she was following them on tour ( I didn’t hear her answer, but someone next to me said they were probably going to catch them again in Milwaukee tomorrow night).

Goodbye June at Joe’s On Weed Street 4/7/2017

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Friday night I had the opportunity to sit down with the trio that make up Goodbye June to chat about their new record, Magic Valley. Really nice guys that seem to be serious about making the kind of music they’ve always loved. We talked about the Nashville scene, the humbling experience of playing to festival crowds, and the last songs to which they cried.

After that, I got to see them perform. They really get after it on the stage, and I had a great time hearing the songs I’d spent the morning with live the same night. They remain pretty true to the sound on the record-eclectic, but never backing down. It’s a fun kind of music that’s perfect for a night of drinking at a bar.

MØ At Metro 3/13/2017

March 14, 2017 Leave a comment

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This was my first time seeing MØ and it was a lot of fun. I’ve listened to her before, but can’t say I’m a die hard fan or anything. I actually went to this show to check out the opener, Tei Shi, who has a record coming out that I really like. She was a fitting warm up for the style of music MØ plays, and the crowd seemed to really enjoy her set.

Despite a long delay at the beginning of the show, and another in between sets, the fans maintained a high level of excitement that exploded into screams when she finally took the stage during the “Don’t Wanna Dance” intro. The performance was non-stop adrenaline, with MØ using every bit of the wide open stage setup, plus some when she came out into the crowd during “Slow Love.” And later she jumped into the masses and let them pass her around the sold out Metro floor like waves carrying her away from shore and then bringing her back.

 

Sons Of An Illustrious Father at Tonic Room 3/11/2017

March 13, 2017 2 comments

As a rule I don’t write reviews of shows that I had a hand in putting together. I did take some pictures that I wanted to share, though. I did think the show was amazing for a lot of reasons, first and foremost all the great people that came out to support the show. This was my third time seeing the band in Chicago and it was easily their best crowd. Those that arrived early got a special treat, hanging out with band members before they went on, watching sound check, and having run of Tonic Room for a while.

After the set, which featured a lot of new stuff that everyone seemed to be really into and ended with a cover of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans,” everyone was really nice and patient waiting in line to talk to the band and get some merch. I promised them that next time they return to Chicago we’ll sell out Metro, so make sure you’re telling your friends how great the experience was.

 

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