Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’

Hiber at Martyr’s 5/20/2017

Saturday night capped a journey for Danny Surico that started a couple years ago when his band The Future Laureates decided to call it a day (at least for a while). Shortly thereafter, Hiber was formed and some music was recorded for an EP. That was over a year ago, and finally What You Wanted is available for all to hear. The band celebrated with a show at Martyr’s to introduce everyone to the new sounds.

If you’re familiar at all with Danny’s songwriting, a lot of the songs will have some familiar notes. The live show features songs both old and new, ranging from traditional folk to rock, pop, and blues. The songs on What You Wanted, however, lean a little more toward the Paul Simon songbook than anything else. During the show they even covered another big Paul Simon fan, Josh Ritter.

What I was most struck with during the show, having seen what I believe was their first live set last summer at Ribfest, was how much Danny has grown as a bandleader. With the help of producer/bassist Yoo Soo Kim, Danny has arranged his songs for ultimate impact.

You can hear the full EP right now at The Deli’s website.

Sorority Noise at Bottom Lounge 5/11/2017

Back in March Sorority Noise released You’re Not As _________ As You Think,” and it’s compelling combination of emo-punk riffs and message of self-worth and love have kept it in my top 20 records of 2017. I finally got to see them play live in Chicago tonight at Bottom Lounge.

There were crowdsurfers and singalongs, and not a whole lot of banter, but the music really spoke for itself. When they finally got to the end, lead singer Cameron Boucher talked about his battles with manic depression and the need for everyone to be understanding and support one another. It was a nice moment to reflect on the community bands help to create and how now, more than ever, we need to step up and not be jerks.


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.

Ron Gallo at Thalia Hall 4/28/2017

When I saw the name Ron Gallo as the opener for Hurray For The Riff Raff, I assumed it would be a guy and an acoustic guitar playing some soft folk songs for half an hour before the main act came to the stage. That was, to put it mildly, an incorrect assumption. The three members of Ron Gallo came out and, after a brief explanation of who they are, ripped the stage apart. Ron Gallo’s frantic guitar work leads this garage/punk/blues band to all kinds of music sensations. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Check out this video from the show to give you an idea of their style.

Split Single at Schuba’s 4/22/2017

April 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Jason Narducy has been a well-respected name among musicians for the past 20 years. He remained pretty much under the radar until an appearance on Dave Grohl’s HBO series Sonic Highways in 2014. The latest version of his punk/rock/pop musical stylings is the solo project Split Single. The debut album featured Jon Wurster and Britt Daniel. We got some new tracks mixed in with songs from Fragmented World and Metal Frames, and a little comedy from the band’s domestic life.

Narducy let us know that the show almost didn’t happen after a small spat over correct dish loading procedure between he and his wife. We were also let in on the tale of his drummer having his scrotum punctured by the claws of his cat in a freak accident. A fun show to be sure.

Betty Who at Concord Music Hall 4/20/2017

April 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Betty Who put on a fun, energetic set at Concord Music Hall on Thursday, highlighting tracks from her new record The Valley.

The Zombies at Thalia Hall 4/13/2017

April 15, 2017 Leave a comment

While music is a lasting art form, that doesn’t mean people will appreciate it. That’s why I’m always impressed when a band can go out on a huge tour based solely on the anniversary of a recording. Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds 50 tour was the first one I saw, and this week I got to see The Zombies do the same with Odessey & Oracle. The album has held up better than most, and a lot of fans (especially in the States) who never got to see it performed in the 60’s now get to check it off their bucket list. 

The band (featuring Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent, Chris White, Hugh Grundy, Tom Toomey, Jim Rodford, and Steve Rodford) opened with an hour of songs that are not on Odessey, and I honestly enjoyed it as much as the music everyone was there to hear. It’s easy to forget that both The Zombies and their offshoots after they split had a whole slew of hits starting with “She’s Not There.” Rod Argent introduced this tune (the first he ever wrote) by dedicating it to his mother who had sadly passed away earlier in the day. What could have turned the night into a somber affair was, instead, a beautiful tribute and a great performance of a classic.

Rod and Colin both did a great job relaying stories from the band’s past. My favorite was about their first and only experience working in the movies when they were featured in a film starring Sir Laurence Olivier.

After a short intermission the band returned to play Odessey & Oracle. I kid you not, they sound as good as ever. It was like a time machine was placed over Thalia Hall and we were all transported back to 1968 through the songs and great visuals that acted as their backdrop.

It was an absolutely fantastic evening of music, and if I get the chance to go again I most definitely would. There are a few dates left on the west coast, so get tickets while you can!

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