ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

Live Recap: A Night of Nostalgia at the Pop2000 Tour

This past weekend, Joe’s Live in Rosemont hosted the Pop2000 Tour, opening up a time portal back to fifteen plus years ago, when the acts of the tour dominated the pop charts. 

After an introduction from *NSYNC’s Lance Bass, the night of nostalgia kicked off with actor/singer-songwriter Tyler Hilton, who took the stage by himself armed with an acoustic guitar. Hilton had a short but sweet set, and while he has a new album out now, he didn’t shy away from taking the trip down memory lane to perform some older favorites. Hilton took some fan requests and since the room had several One Tree Hill fans, he treated everyone to a solo rendition of “When The Stars Go Blue,” which he had performed on the show with actress Bethany Joy Lenz.

Next up, Ryan Cabrera took the stage; Like Hilton, he performed sans backing band for this tour. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of Ryan Cabrera’s debut album Take It All Away, and his entire set paid homage to the album, keeping up with the theme of nostalgia. Between performing the hits from the album like “True,” “Shame on Me,” and of course “On The Way Down,” Cabrera recited anecdotes about the songs’ lyrics and his muses. Cabrera also showed off his chops as an entertainer when he threw in a medley of cover songs, which included The Goo Goo Dolls, Justin Bieber and Third Eye Blind.

Aaron Carter and his live ensemble were up next, and after opening with the hit he had in 2000, “I Want Candy,” Carter’s set remained a steady mix of new material with just a few throwbacks. Carter talked about his 2018 album LØVË and performed singles like “Fool’s Gold” and “Dearly Departed,” which both had the crowd singing and dancing along. By the end of his energetic set, the crowd was fully ready for O-Town to hit the stage. 


Headliners O-Town didn’t disappoint in terms of nostalgia--opening up with their hit “Liquid Dreams.” While they were able to take the audience back to the days of TRL and Making The Band with their dance moves and classic songs, the band also announced that they had new music on the way this month, thanks to crowd-funding that allowed them to record brand new music. The set of course included some of the new material, but they drove home the hits of the early 2000s era by closing the night with not one, but two covers of *NSYNC songs ahead of their final song, “All Or Nothing.” Their finale was definitely the highlight of the night-- between Lance Bass making an appearance to do the choreography to “Bye Bye Bye” with the O-Town band members and the entire room belting along to the closing ballad, the entire night ended with a bang.


Photo of Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, Aaron Carter, O-Town and Lance Bass

Live Recap: BANKS Makes Her Chicago Comeback on the Eve of Third Album Release

The House of Vans Summer House Parties concert series always presents a wide array of different artists— from pop to hip hop and rock, the Summer House Parties give music fans in Chicago an opportunity to see some of their favorite artists or discover new ones.

This past Thursday night, the venue hosted an evening curated by one of my personal favorite artists: BANKS, who brought her raw and vulnerable R&B infused pop tunes to the stage in Chicago for the first time since 2017. The evening not only marked BANKS’ comeback to Chicago, but in general; With her third album being released at midnight the night of the show, this performance celebrated the beginning of a new era. Fans that had lined up around the block to attend this House of Vans performance were undoubtedly excited to hear some of the newer material performed in front of them for the first time ever, but they were also eager to revisit some of their old favorites from BANKS’ first two albums: Goddess and The Altar. When BANKS appeared on the dimly lit stage to an enthusiastic welcome, she delivered several throwbacks in the first section of the set; After opening with 2013’s “Waiting Game,” she followed up with “Fuck With Myself” and “Gemini Feed.” These songs, with their personable sentiment and their gut-wrenching sense of honesty, allow for fans to truly feel and connect with the music. In the live sense, that connection only intensified thanks to BANKS’ emotive and earnest vocals, which swirled together with moody lighting and theatrical dancing to create an immersive experience.

The production element of Thursday night’s show and BANKS’ stage presence in general seemed more developed since her last performance here— the singer appeared more at ease in front of an audience, even as she bared her soul through her lyrics. Just like her stage persona, BANKS’ new songs like “Gimme,” “Contaminated,” and “Look What You’re Doing To Me” from the new album all seem to have more intricate layers to them, signifying the growth that the songwriter has experienced in the last couple of years. As the night continued on and BANKS poured her energy into performing her songs from the past and present, the concert felt like a cathartic therapy session for both her and everyone in the crowd. When it came time for the show to end, the mood in the room was bittersweet, but BANKS’ return had been well worth the wait. After Thursday’s show, it’s clear that BANKS is back in full swing, and if you loved the show as much as I did, you don’t have to wait long for her return— BANKS will be performing at The Riviera Theatre in September with Kevin Garrett.

Photos of the BANKS House of Vans show-featuring special guest Anna Lunoe

Keep up with BANKS on Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Pitchfork 2019: Local Spotlight

Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off this Friday, July 19th and as always, there’s no shortage of Chicago musicians and bands slated to perform this year. Before you head out to Union Park to experience another packed weekend of live music, brush up on our favorite Chicago artists performing this year.


Ric Wilson

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Ric Wilson’s bouncy, disco-inspired raps have an infectious energy about them, which carries over to his charismatic stage presence. Blending funk, R&B, and smooth hip-hop, Wilson’s work on his EPs BANBA and Negrow Disco, as well as his latest single “Yelllowbrick,” offers a little something for everyone. While he’s able to connect with listeners through his lyricism, Wilson connects best with his audience during his interactive live performances— there’s no doubt he’ll have the full crowd dancing along to his Pitchfork set. Plus, with an extensive catalog of collaborations with fellow Chicago musicians, chances are we’ll have a special guest or two pop up during Wilson’s set.

For Fans Of: Kweku Collins, Joey Purp, Saba

Start With: “No Hands,” “Hang Loose,” and “Yellowbrick”

Where To Catch Him: Saturday, Red Stage at 1:45-2:25pm


Lala Lala

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius


Fronted by London-born, Chicago-based singer songwriter Lillie West, Lala Lala has performed at just about every venue in the city and toured nationally, sharing the stage with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Frankie Cosmos and Wolf Parade. Lala Lala’s music has connected with a wide-array of audiences thanks to West’s knack for honest and introspective storytelling through her lyrics and her fearless exploration of different sonic landscapes on the 2018 album The Lamb. Make sure you get to the festival early on Saturday to catch a set from West and her band, which will likely be packed with veteran musicians of Chicago’s scene.

For Fans Of: Madeline Kenney, Jay Som, Soccer Mommy

Start With: “Water Over Sex,” “Scary Movie,” and “I Get Cut”

Where to Catch Them: Saturday, Green Stage at 1:00-1:40pm


Tasha

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha has been on a roll since releasing a stunning debut Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records. The record garnered praise from listeners and critics with Tasha’s blend of soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics. This year, Tasha has embarked on her first national tour, playing with artists like Helado Negro and Hand Habits, as well as performing at SXSW. Tasha’s self-described “bed songs” that combine indie pop with a soulful touch will ease Pitchfork goers into the third day of the fest, allowing for a tranquil moment to start the final day.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Sunday, Blue Stage at 2:45-3:30pm


Grapetooth

Photo by Alex Hupp

Photo by Alex Hupp

A collaboration between Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and producer/songwriter Chris Bailoni, Grapetooth’s synth-heavy, new-wave sound translates into a spirited and raucous live performance, which make the perfect Friday afternoon act to get everyone ready for the long weekend ahead. Since Frankel and Bailoni teamed up and released their first single in 2017, they’ve followed that up with a debut full length release via Polyvinyl Records and played sold out shows across the city. From Lincoln Hall to Thalia Hall, each of Grapetooth’s shows have no shortage of dancing and shenanigans— most of their shows have ended up with the audience joining the band onstage for their closing song, “Trouble.”

For Fans Of: New Order, Knox Fortune, Broncho

Start With: “Trouble,” “Blood,” and “Red Wine”

Where to Catch Them: Friday, Blue Stage at 4:00-4:45pm


Whitney

Photo By Olivia Bee

Photo By Olivia Bee

Whitney is returning to play their second Pitchfork, having first played in 2016 following the release of their debut album. Besides already playing Pitchfork, Whitney has also played Lollapalooza and sold out, back-to-back shows at venues like Thalia Hall, so chances are you’ve seen them play at one point or another. However, this show at Pitchfork marks their first Chicago performance of the new era; Whitney’s second album Forever Turned Around is slated for release on August 30th. Their set at the festival will undoubtedly feature the live premiere of some of the new music, so don’t miss out on the Chicago kick off for Whitney’s highly-anticipated new music.

For Fans Of: Kevin Morby, Durand Jones & The Indications, Courtney Barnett

Start With: “Giving Up,” “Golden Days,” and “No Woman”

Where to Catch Them: Sunday, Green Stage at 6:15-7:15pm


Full Pitchfork Festival Schedule 2019

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Get your tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival here before it’s too late, and catch up on Pitchfork years past below!






Pitchfork 2019: Aftershow Picks

Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Union Park from July 19th-21st 2019. After the final act of the night finishes and you file out of the park, you can keep the P4K party going by attending some of this year’s aftershows. If you need help deciding where to end your nights during Pitchfork weekend, check out our picks of post-festival gigs below!

Friday Night, July 19th

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Grapetooth and Lala Lala at Metro Chicago

Metro will host a doubleheader by Chicago’s own Grapetooth and Lala Lala after P4K Fest Day 1. With Title TK DJing between sets, this show will undoubtedly be a dance party you don’t want to miss!

Where: Metro

Time: 9PM Doors // 10PM Show

Price: $20ADV // $25 Day Of

Ticket details here.

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Ric Wilson at Schubas

Schubas Tavern will host disco-rap extrodinaire Ric Wilson on Friday night, alongside Pixel Grip, Mia Gladstone, and Kiéla Adira. Wilson’s infectiously upbeat music and attitude will be sure to end your first night of the fest on a high note.

Where: Schubas Tavern

Time: 10PM Doors // 11PM Show

Price: $15

Ticket details here.




Saturday Night, July 20th

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Snail Mail at Thalia Hall

Snail Mail will return to Chicago to headline the Pilsen theater following the festival’s second day, with support from fellow Pitchfork artist Tirzah. Both singer songwriters will provide a captivating oasis for festival goers after two long days of music.

Where: Thalia Hall

Time: 9:30PM Doors // 10:30PM Show

Price: $20-$40

Ticket details here.

Black Midi at The Hideout

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London’s buzzed about Black Midi will headline The Hideout, alongside ONO, on Saturday night of P4K. The show is sold out already, so hopefully you managed to snag a ticket already!

Where: The Hideout

Time: 9PM Doors // 10PM Show

Price: $12

Ticket details here.







Sunday Night, July 21st

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Khruangbin DJ Set

Sleeping Village will host the final after party of the weekend with a DJ set from Khruangbin. During their last tour stop in the city, the trio had hosted their first hit DJ set at the Avondale venue, and this time is guaranteed to be just as great.

Where: Sleeping Village

Time: 10:30PM Doors

Price: $20

Ticket details here.


Don’t forget to grab your tickets to the festival here while you still can.

PHOTOS: Your Smith and X Ambassadors at House of Blues 07.02.19

This past Tuesday night Your Smith and X Ambassadors put on a high energy show for a packed House of Blues. Check out photos from the show below, and keep up with Your Smith on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram.

PHOTOS: Naked Giants and Car Seat Headrest at Millennium Park 07.01.19

This summer’s Millennium Park concert series continued on Monday, July 1st with Naked Giants and Car Seat Headrest. If you missed the show, check out our photo recap of the concert below.

PHOTOS: Rock the Garden 2019

This year the annual Rock The Garden festival returned with a stacked lineup. We caught incredible sets from deM atlaS, Heart Bones, Adia Victoria, X, Bad Bad Hats, Courtney Barnett and The National— check out our photo recap below!

Mamby On The Beach Returns for 2019

Mamby on the Beach will be back for another year of festivities and music at the beach this August 23rd and 24th. While their location and schedule might be different than year’s past, the line up is full of an incredible variety of acts as usual. Headliners include Brockhampton, Troye Sivan, Zhu, and Sylvan Esso and acts like T-Pain, Noname, Empress Of, and The Aces are also slated to perform at Montrose Beach. For the full line up head here, and snag your tickets before it’s too late!

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Live Recap: Charly Bliss Bring The High Energy to Lincoln Hall

Just last month Charly Bliss released their highly-anticipated second album Young Enough - out now on via Barsuk Records - to a flurry of fantastically positive reviews. It is a definitive glow up from the band’s debut album Guppy that was a short yet powerful 29-minute hit of power pop to the face. Building on the excitement of fresh new material and already beloved “oldies”, the band brought Young Enough tour to Lincoln Hall on Saturday, June 15 with support from Emily Reo. 

It isn’t every day that a show opens up with an artist on the keytar, but that’s Emily Reo. Her ambitious electro-pop sugar coats darker lyrics about mansplainers and beloved cats who have crossed over to the beyond. Performing songs from her latest release Only You Can See It with her trio band as support, Emily Reo’s stuns audiences with her efficacious vocals and multi-instrumentalist talent. 

Busting out onto the stage in a tulle dress and a matching band in all white outfits, Charly Bliss - started by sister brother duo Eva and Sam Hendricks - launched into ‘Blown to Bits’ from the new album. Bouncing around and feeding off the crowd’s energy, the band’s overwhelming positivity and lively spirit was so infectious you couldn’t help, but want to dance too. Every band says “Chicago is one of their favorite cities to play in,” but you could truly feel the love this time. The setlist was a good mix of new work from Young Enough and Guppy with a ‘Mr. Brightside’ cover thrown in at the end for a good ol’ razzle dazzle to finish off the show. It is hard to not to fall in love with Charly Bliss’ power pop anthems rich in cathartic energy, especially in live form. It’s only a matter of time before the Brooklyn-based band take over with their in your face punk bubblegum pop.

Charly Bliss is on tour for the remainder of the year. Check their website for additional details and listen to Young Enough on your favorite streaming platform. 



LIVE RECAP: Faye Webster at Schubas 06.19.19

Just a few short months ago, Faye Webster had warmed up the crowd at a sold out Stella Donnelly show at Schubas, captivating the packed room with just her dreamy vocals, her guitar, and the accompaniment of her pedal steel-player, Pistol.

When last Wednesday night rolled around, it almost felt like no time had passed since that night, but Webster’s return for her sold out headlining show included a full live backing band, as well as a fleshed out set list featuring songs from her latest album Atlanta Millionaires Club, released May 24th via Secretly Canadian. Webster’s band helped create a more full sound and bring songs like “Right Side of My Neck” and “Flowers” from the album to life. While the set primarily focused on the new material, it also mixed in songs from Webster’s 2017 self-titled album and a cover of Atlanta rapper Father’s “Cheap Thrills” that Webster played solo, sans her bandmates. Following a couple of solo songs, Webster welcomed not only her bandmates back onstage, but the yo-yo connoisseur Xion to the stage. Xion and Webster’s own yo-yo skills stole the show and got the audience amped up for the final few songs of the evening.

If you missed out on tickets to the show, see where you can catch Faye Webster next here, and check out photos from the show below.

Keep up with Faye Webster on Instagram and Facebook