ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

Warble Daze 2017 Highlights the Best of Chicago's Scene

Presented by Notion Presents, Warble Daze took over Logan Square Auditorium for a two day celebration of music and art, featuring some of the best up and coming rock bands around. Sourced mostly from buzzy local acts, Warble Daze called attention to the growing and tight knit music community that Chicago has to offer at the moment, but curator Stef Roti also selected other budding bands from Nashville, LA, and New York to diversify the lineup. Another factor that set Warble Daze apart from most other musical events is the addition of vendors stationed around the venue each night. From record labels and shops like Shuga Records and FeelTrip Records to local artists like Spaceburger COMIX and EO Lightshow, the event focused on the many facets of art that our city has to offer. Members from popular local bands like Post Animal, Bunny, and White Mystery also DJ'd between live sets. 

Friday highlights included local bands The Voluptuals, Lucille Furs, and Yoko and The Oh No’s, as well as the out-of-towners Levitation Room. As the crowd still trickled in, The Voluptuals opened up the evening with their glamrock wardrobe that caught the crowd’s eye as much as their ears. Lucille Furs kept that same level of energy up during their set, drawing one of the largest crowds of the evening despite their early time slot. Emulating the warm tones of your favorite 1960’s rock bands, Lucille Furs takes their listeners back in time while also putting their own refreshing spin on their 12 track self-titled debut. Their Warble Daze set also included a few unreleased tracks, despite their album being released less than a month ago. Levitation Room echoed those same retro and psychedelic vibes during their set. The receptive audience welcomed the Los Angeles band with open arms, dancing along and at one point attempting to crowd surf. Although the crowd was a bit sparse for surfing, Levitation Room definitely appreciated the effort. Yoko and The Oh No’s rocked the closing set, delivering nonstop energy and positive vibes despite their headline set starting around midnight. Lead singer Max Goldstein commanded the crowd’s attention, working all sides of the stage and playing harmoniously with his bandmates, which includes event organizer Stef Roti.

The same community spirit picked right back up on Saturday night, despite the pouring rain and thunderstorms going on outside. New band Town Criers opened up the evening, performing their new single "Rip It Up," along with a handful of other unreleased songs from an upcoming EP. Their lively stage presence and grungey garage rock tunes got the early crowd geared up for the bands that would follow. Cafe Racer and Joe Bordenaro, who have both become regulars on lineups at venues across the city, also made Chicago proud with their sets that followed. Touring bands Acid Dad and The Nude Party really stole the show though, winning over the Chicago audience with their boisterous and rowdy performances. Similarly to the local acts of the night, both Acid Dad and The Nude Party performed a mix of newer tracks from upcoming releases, but they also got the crowd grooving to familiar favorites. By the time Modern Vices closed out the weekend, it almost felt as if the auditorium had been transformed into a retro high school dance due to the 1950's style that the band have mirrored so perfectly in their music. Lead singer Alex Rebek's full and rich vocal tone perfectly compliments the old school vibes of Modern Vices, and it's no wonder the group was picked to headline Warble Daze 2017. 

The twelve bands and the audience of Warble Daze reaped mutual benefits by the end of the weekend; with the bands getting a chance to showcase their new work and the crowd getting the opportunity to discover new music. The Chicago music scene has been on a steady incline the last couple of years, and events like Warble Daze help shine a light on the influx of new talent. To relive the magic of the weekend, check out photos of all the performances below!

Friday Photos Featuring The Voluptuals, Lucille Furs, No Men, Steelism, Levitation Room, and Yoko and the Oh No's

Saturday Photos Featuring Town Criers, Cafe Racer, Joe Bordenaro, Acid Dad, The Nude Party and Modern Vices

If you missed out on Warble Daze, catch some of the local acts at upcoming shows around the city. Check each band's social medias or our gig calendar for all of the updates. 

PHOTOS: LPX Closes Out Tour With RAC at Metro Chicago

We recently caught LPX's Chicago debut at The Riviera Theatre with HAIM and we were so blown away by her energetic whirlwind of a performance we had to catch her closing night of tour with RAC. Check out photos from that show below.

Keep your eye out for more new music from LPX!

PHOTOS: Melkbelly Album Release Show at Hideout

Chicago's own Melkbelly celebrated their new album in style last Friday with a release show at The Hideout. Check out our photo gallery of the evening below. 

See the rest of Melkbelly's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their new album in full below. 

PHOTOS: The Lone Bellow at Thalia Hall

The Lone Bellow took over Thalia Hall for two nights last week. Check out our photo gallery of their October 11th show below.

See all of The Lone Bellow's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their new record Walk into a Storm in full below!

LIVE: Billie Eilish Makes Her Chicago Debut at Schubas Tavern

This past Thursday night, some lucky music fans piled into Schubas Tavern in Lakeview to witness the rising pop singer Billie Eilish make her Chicago debut. With the flood of emerging artists popping up on Soundcloud and other social media platforms nowadays, it can be difficult for listeners to weave through it all to find their new favorite artists. In some cases, though, just the right amount of luck mixes with a new talent that deserves to be heard, and a song will spread like wildfire. As is the case with Billie Eilish and her viral track "Ocean Eyes," which was only officially released by Interscope Records in November 2016. The track showcases Eilish's witty writing skills and her dreamy, yet sweeping vocal abilities. With a flawlessly strong falsetto and metaphorical writing style, Eilish's music emulates the style of alternative pop legends Lorde and Lana Del Rey. In the short time following her debut single release, Eilish has put out the 8 song dont smile at me EP, which was drip fed to her listeners each week leading up to the official release date of August 11, 2017.

Cut to Thursday night, Eilish stopped in Chicago on her first ever cross country sold out tour to perform songs from her EP, with a few surprises mixed in. Fans who had patiently been waiting all day for Eilish lost their minds right away, screaming as she ran onstage and reciting the words of the opening song "COPYCAT" along with their new favorite singer. Although Eilish is only 15 years old (let that sink in) and this was her first show in Chicago, she possessed a fierce sense of confidence and comfort for being onstage that many seasoned musicians don't even have yet. Throughout the set, Eilish and her brother made up the entire band. While her brother mostly stuck to guitar and running any backing tracks, Eilish often moved around the stage showing off her insane vocal ability, but she also picked up a ukulele for a couple of songs and performed a solo song on the piano.  While she had her ukulele out, Eilish had teased her track "party favor" with a cover of Drakes "Hotline Bling," which flowed seamlessly into the latter. Her piano performance of an unreleased song called "Listen" left the crowd completely hushed in awe of her songwriting and singing abilities. At one point in the set, Eilish mentioned she had completely lost her voice the previous day, which made her stellar performance even that much more impressive. Another set highlight included Eilish giving her brother a chance to take the spotlight, with him hopping up to center stage to sing a song on his own while playing the guitar.

The short but sweet set that lasted just under an hour still managed to ebb and flow, each song having its own sonic groove and standing out from the rest. Eilish wrapped up her set with "bellyache," which builds up with an explosive chorus and blends electronic tones with an addictive guitar melody and Eilish's ethereal vocals. With such a magnetic stage presence and her ability to write captivating and thoughtful pop music, it will only be a matter of time before Billie Eilish is selling out arenas. 

If you weren't able to witness history in the making in person, check out our gallery of her performance below.

Check out the rest of Billie Eilish's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to dont smile at me in full below!

LIVE: Yoke Lore and Aquilo Bring Joy to a Gloomy Night in Chicago with Their Show at Lincoln Hall

Yoke Lore and Aquilo brought positive vibes and chill tunes to Lincoln Hall on a rainy Tuesday evening in Chicago

Yoke Lore, the moniker of singer songwriter/artist/performer Adrian Galvin, graced the Lincoln Hall stage right around 7PM to kick off an early night of live music. A few songs into the 40 minute set, Galvin addressed the Chicago crowd saying, “It’s like the real Gotham here, and I get to pretend I’m Batman.” After getting the crowd to chuckle, Galvin shifted the conversation to an inspirational note to introduce his song “Only You.” Mentioning the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” he says that only we have the power to turn things around if “you’re in a shitty place in life.” Before each of his following songs, Galvin recited anecdotes that gave the audience some further insight into his thoughtful tales and intricate storytelling skills that shine through in his music.

One particular highlight was an introduction that escalated the good vibes in the room before the song “Good Pain.” Galvin prefaced the performance of his latest EP’s title track by talking about the importance of realizing that everyone has to struggle sometimes to get to the “good shit.” Yoke Lore’s set wrapped up just before 8PM, with Galvin informing the crowd that the Tom Robbins book Still Life With Woodpecker influenced his lyrics in his last song, also called "Tom Robbins." As Galvin left the stage to a sweeping round of applause and cheers, a sense of newfound inspiration hung in the air, and it was clear Yoke Lore had gained new fans after that performance.

When duo Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham (AKA Aquilo) glided onto stage with their band about 30 minutes later, that sense of inspiration had mixed in with the crowd’s anticipation and excitement. The British musicians have acquired a steady fanbase over the years with their mellow music that blends heartfelt harmonies with electronic tones and indie vibes, and this show marked their first headline gig in Chicago. The show also acted as their return after nearly a year, following a support slot for Lapsley on Election Day last year. This time around, none of the Election Day tension filled the air and the crowd was able to get completely lost in the music. From songs like “You There” and “Sorry” performed early on in the set, the chilled out crowd’s eyes remained glued to the stage like magnets.

Just before the set reached the halfway point, Fletcher and Higham treated Chicago to a setlist unicorn, doing a rare live performance of the track “Losing You” from their 2015 EP. Aquilo also put a unique spin on most of the songs performed this tour, fleshing out the arrangements, building out the layers, and feeding on the energy of the crowd to put a more cinematic and sweeping touch on tracks like “Low Light” and “Almost Over.” For the performance of their song “Waiting,” the pair’s live band left the stage, leaving Fletcher and Higham alone to perform a stripped back beauty, full of harmonies and Higham’s flawless falsetto-driven vocals. The hour long set winded down with the group’s newest single, “Thin” followed by couple of songs from the debut album, Silhouettes. After leaving the stage very briefly following an older track, “Almost Over,” the entire band returned for an encore. The opening notes of Aquilo’s debut album’s title track trickled out into the concert hall, and the crowd released their loudest cheers of the evening. Like many of the songs, “Silhouette” also brought on an extended bridge and an extensive build up for the live version. While most of Aquilo's songs confront deeply personal subjects like past relationships and hardships that they or their friends have struggled through, the humbled and happy look on Higham’s face at the end of their set let the crowd see exactly how cathartic performing these songs is for him.

Aquilo and Yoke Lore took Chicago on an emotional roller coaster on a gloomy Tuesday night, but by the end of it, everyone left the venue feeling a little lighter than they did when they had arrived. They wrap up their tour this week, so head here to see the rest of the dates. 

If you won't get a chance to see the show, join in on the magic with our photo gallery, featuring behind the scenes moments and live shots of Yoke Lore and Aquilo!

While we await for both Yoke Lore and Aquilo's returns, listen to the Goodpain EP and Silhouettes in full below. 

Can't get enough of Yoke Lore and Aquilo? Check out our interviews with both by clicking their names!

PHOTOS: Tom Walker with The Script at The Riviera Theatre

Tom Walker and The Script took over Chicago's Riviera Theatre on Friday night for a captivating performance. Check out our gallery of the show below!

See the rest of The Script's upcoming tour dates here, and keep up with both acts on social media below!

Tom Walker: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

The Script: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

LIVE: together PANGEA Bring Their Bulls and Roosters Tour to Bottom Lounge

together PANGEA brought a rowdy show and a stacked line up to Chicago’s Bottom Lounge as part of their Bulls and Roosters tour this past Friday night.

Chicago’s own Lala Lala warmed up the early arrivers of the evening, kicking things off at 7PM sharp. The three piece, fronted by Lillie West, performed songs from their 2016 debut album Sleepyhead, as well as their own rendition of together PANGEA’s “Night of the Living Dummy.” As their thirty minute set came to an end, more and more people had trickled into the venue.

By the time Nashville’s Daddy Issues strolled onto stage, the room had mostly filled out. The grunge-pop trio performed songs from their 2017 album Deep Dream, telling funny anecdotes between songs, often giving a little backstory about the lyrics in each forthcoming song. Lead singer Jenna Moynihan introduced many of the tracks about being single or ending a relationship, but she also gave a shout out to Chicago’s Treehouse Records, mentioning that the band had recorded one of their songs there. As the set progressed, more and more of the audience danced and sang along to Daddy Issues’ relatable narratives, and the group left the stage to rambunctious applause.

The Argentinian rocker Tall Juan hopped up onstage next to deliver the most theatrical performance of the night. Starting the set off solo, Juan performed his first song on an acoustic guitar, but added some flavor by thrashing his hips around and kissing his microphone stand to a backdrop of a flickering spotlight. Following the opening number, Tall Juan invited an audience member to play drums on the abandoned drum set propped up next to him. The spontaneous band addition added a unique and unpredictable quality to Tall Juan’s performance. The crowd showed their appreciation for the off-the-cuff performance by beginning the evening’s crowd surfing and moshing during his set.

The same boisterous spirit transferred over to the headliner together PANGEA’s set about 15 minutes later. As soon as band hit the stage and the opening riff of their song "Alive" rang out, a surge of energy flowed through the jammed and sweaty moshpit, as the young crowd jumped around, screaming the lyrics back to the band. It only took a song or two before crowd surfers started popping up, and the energy only amplified from there. The well plotted setlist contained a solid mix of older and newer songs from the Bulls and Roosters, like “Kennmore Ave.” and “Money on It.” The wild tone of the night lulled just past 10PM, when the band completed the first part of their set and walked offstage to demands for an encore. The band obliged and came back to deliver a few more tunes. The energy quickly swept back to full force as the band performed “Night of the Living Dummy,” which lead singer William Keegan introduced as the song that Lala Lala had performed earlier in the night. Coming full circle, the ladies of Lala LaLa ran out onstage to crowdsurf during the song. The evening ended with the crowd cheering their appreciation for a show that provided the perfect weekend kickoff. 

Photos of Lala Lala, Daddy Issues, Tall Juan, and together PANGEA

See the rest of together PANGEA's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to Bulls and Roosters in full below.

LIVE: JR JR Kicks Off Tour at House of Blues

JR JR kicked a tour for their new singles, in preparation for an inevitable album going into next year.  It was the Chicago staple the House of Blues the band chose for their opening night.  The crowd gathered throughout the night and the theatre was packed come show time, following opener Hembree.  

Lead singer Josh Epstein opened the show by addressing the audience about their new tour and music. “So we’re going to play most of the album for you, throughout the year those songs will come out; and so will also other songs that we write because we think it might be better not to take a year off anymore," he said.


Among those new songs were the currently available singles "Control (Secretly Sorry)", "Clean Up", and "Same Dark Places."  Before going into "Clean Up" Josh said about the song, “I went to a party, and ended up leaving at like 10:30 in the morning.  I then started writing lyrics for this song. You don’t have to be sad about it, because I think it’s kind of a beautiful thing. Everyone needs to have those nights.”

It wasn’t just new music that JR JR brought to the show, however, as some big news was dropped concerning JRJR’s other half Daniel Zott's personal life.  Josh said, “Dan’s tired, can I say it?  He’s adopted two children this year.  So he’s been a busy boy.”  Dan replied, “Not busy making the babies, just taking the babies. We literally adopted them a day before we left for the tour, which was today so yesterday.”  The crowed immediately broke out in applause following the news.  

The discussion about the new baby didn’t end there however as Josh immediately broke into a story about before the adoption was final, “And I do have a cool story about them. One of them while they were fostering them…  you ever have a crush like on someone from a TV show or something?  Everyone’s kind of had that. I was walking down and I made a joke, do you think I can buy cigarettes and beer while holding a baby?  Then some one said to me, did you steal that baby? And this girl from this TV show that I thought was so pretty was walking by and just gave me this awful face.  It was the most embarrassing way to meet some one ever.”


JR JR also played a lot of songs from their self-titled album, like "James Dean", "Hypothetical", and their encore "Gone".  Some covers were mixed in as well, including a slowed down version of "Love Fool".  

One last highlight from the night was when the band brought up two audience members who were meant to be off rhythm or bad at instrumentation.  They did their job right as Daniel and Josh would point to them when the time was right to mash on the keyboard as the band played regularly.  This is the first stop of many this year for JR JR as they roll out their tour and album.  See all of JR JR's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their latest single below!

LIVE: Fleet Foxes and Nap Eyes at Chicago Theatre

This past Tuesday night, lingering Summer vibes clung to the air as concertgoers stepped into the Chicago Theatre to be transported to a different place, where they would spend the evening with beautiful souls and people willing to open up their hearts to music and art. Who better to facilitate the journey but the Seattle based Fleet Foxes and Nap Eyes, who set the mood with indie rock vibes all the way from Nova Scotia.

After the tone had been set, Fleet Foxes graced the stage for the first of two sold out nights at The Chicago Theatre, as part of their Crack-UP Tour. They surrounded us with those soothing folk jams, and their signature, powerful falsettos that juxtapose beautifully with a rich, full sound. To complement that all, their stage setup engulfed us in a beautiful watercolor setting with the most satisfying color pairings.

Fleet Foxes treated the crowd to half of their latest album, while also carefully taking us back to their beginnings. Frontman Robin Pecknold also indulged audience requests like "Textbook Love," a song from their self-titled EP, and even Phish snippets when someone yelled “Play more Phish songs!"

The evening felt very intimate, despite being in a spacious venue. During the encore, Pecknold performed solo, addressing the madness of the previous day: the Vegas massacre and Tom Petty’s passing. As a protest, he delivered a very touching cover of Petty's "Don’t Come Around Here No More."

Photos of Nap Eyes and Fleet Foxes

See all of Fleet Foxes' upcoming tour dates here, and listen to Crack-Up in full below.