The Congregation Record Release Show At Martyrs 9/28/12

When I found out that The Congregation were going to have their record release show at Martyrs, I was shocked. This is the same band who spent the summer playing opening sets for Wilco, The Flaming Lips and Garbage. I won’t complain, because our time is limited to see them play in small venues. I’ll jump at every chance they give us. It doesn’t hurt … Continue reading The Congregation Record Release Show At Martyrs 9/28/12

The Congregation-Right Now Everything

If you’ve read some of my posts over the last few months, or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that there are few bands from the Chicago area that I love more than The Congregation. They’ve only been playing together since the beginning of 2010, but you’d never guess it. The EP they put out in December of that year, Not For Sleepin’, was quite … Continue reading The Congregation-Right Now Everything

Wilco At Fifth Third Ballpark 7/8/12


On Sunday July 8 Wilco played their biggest headlining gig to date. Held at Fifth Third Ballpark in Geneva, IL, there were approximately 15,000 fans on hand to witness what may have been the finest Wilco show I’ve ever seen. To open the gig Wilco invited fellow city dwellers The Congregation and Andrew Bird, making the show a true Chicago affair.

The Congregation kicked things off at 5:30. Their set was like an electric shock, getting people on the field dancin’ and the people in the stands stomping their feet. Gina Bloom’s vocals, which we already know are amazing, sounded spectacular when they hit the crowd. Charlie Layne’s bluesy guitar solos were damn near literal facemelters, and although I know he must have been dying from the heat in his suit he looked cool as ice.


They played a good mix of stuff from their debut EP Not For Sleepin’ as well as new stuff from their forthcoming album Right Now Everything. In particular I really enjoyed these live versions of “He’s Gone,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “Right Now Everything.” The horn section sounded great, and i think The Congregation probably gained about 8,000 fans in their thirty minute set.

Continue reading “Wilco At Fifth Third Ballpark 7/8/12”

The Congregation’s Busy Summer Vacation


The Congregation have a big summer ahead of them, and it’s kicking off this weekend at Fitzgerald’s in Oak Park on Saturday. Some of you may have noticed that the band has been getting more and more buzz since earlier this year when it was announced they’d be opening for Wilco on July 8 in Geneva, IL and being mentioned in Paste Magazine. As if that’s not enough, they’re also planning to drop their first full-length in the fall called Right Now Everything and have a slew of shows lined up all over Chicago including the Sheffield Garden Walk and Taste Of Lincoln Ave.

To prepare everyone for the ridiculous amount of awesome they are about to behold, I give you my original review of the bands 2010 EP, Not For Sleepin’. Continue reading “The Congregation’s Busy Summer Vacation”

The Dirty Rooks-Sugar Mama

Chicago, as a city, is so steeped in blues history that I sometimes don’t understand why new blues bands even bother. It’s damn near impossible to live up to some of the legends. Even being great in this city means you fall short. Yet time and time again, the city delivers young kids dabbling in the genre made famous here by Muddy Watters and countless … Continue reading The Dirty Rooks-Sugar Mama