ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

LIVE: White Reaper, Post Animal, and Peach Pit Put on One of the World's Best Gigs at The Metro

White Reaper, Post Animal, and Peach Pit brought a night of camaraderie and crowd surfing to a legendary Chicago space, The Metro.

Vancouver’s Peach Pit kicked off the festivities, warming up the Wrigleyville venue as the crowd still slowly trickled into the all ages show. The four piece provided the perfect teaser for the sets that would follow; the early arrivers moshing around to songs like “Tommy’s Party” and “Techo Show”  from their debut album, titled Being So Normal. By the end of their 30 minute set, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation for their fellow Chicagoans in Post Animal.

Only a few short days prior to this show, one of Post Animal’s guitarists and vocalists Javi Reyes suffered a stroke onstage during their set supporting White Reaper in New York. While he had to remain in the ICU for a few days following the stroke, Reyes is bouncing back and on the road to full recovery, and he encouraged his bandmates to push through and continue the rest of tour without him. At The Metro on Tuesday night, the remaining four began their 45 minute set with drummer Wes Toledo addressing the crowd about Reyes’ situation, initiating a “Javi!” chant while he held up a cardboard cutout of his bandmate's head that a friend had made for the show. Although there’s absolutely no replacing the flavor that Reyes adds to each of Post Animal’s performances, the group managed to rally together to reconstruct a very solid performance that absolutely shredded, despite the unfortunate circumstances. The hometown show highlights included the performance of the building and layered track “You Were Not There” from their The Garden Series EP, the psychedelic riffs of  "When I Get Home" from the same EP, and their latest single “Special Moment,” which features a killer guitar solo and came along with a trippy and thrilling music video. Their set on Tuesday also included a rare performance of “Lorelei,” which features guitarist Matt Williams taking the lead on vocals and will be included on their upcoming album. While the absence of Reyes stood out to the many friends and fans in attendance, his bandmates gave the show their all and the crowd reciprocated that energy right back, not only moshing, but also kicking off the steady stream of crowd surfing that would continue throughout White Reaper’s set.

Following a thirty minute changeover, the self-proclaimed "World's Best American Band" stormed the stage with an unwavering enthusiasm that would only support their bold claim. By the time the opening chords of "Wolf Trap Motel" from White Reaper's sophomore album, called White Reaper Does It Again, rang out into the venue, the crowd had completely filled in. The Louisville rockers immediately played off of and amplified the infectious positive energy that Post Animal and Peach Pit had generated, with crowd surfers popping up during the early part of the setlist. As the audience thrashed around and lifted one another up to cruise over the crowd, the five piece worked the entire stage and poured every ounce of gusto that they had into the show. Bassist Sam Wilkerson often gained some serious air jumping in place on his side of the stage, while Ryan Hater would hang out at the edge of the stage to hype up the crowd whenever he wasn't fervently playing the keyboard, and lead singer and guitarist Tony Esposito would drop to his knees to ground his guitar playing. 

The hour long set contained a fair bit of White Reaper's aforementioned sophomore album, but crowd favorites definitely included "The Stack" and "Judy French" from the group's 2017 album The World's Best American Band, which has propelled the Kentucky based band into the limelight of the rock scene this year. Before the band's explosive performance of the latter ("Judy French"), Esposito proposed that the crowd start an all female circle pit during the tune. While the ladies of the pit bopped around, confetti shot out into the crowd to create a rare confetti circle pit. As the set wound down during the last bit of the 9'o clock hour, so much crowd surfing and moshing had occurred, but the band only kept it up themselves. Esposito and Wilkerson challenged each other to their nightly shot and [crowd]surf race, in which they surf over to the venue's bar, take a shot and then race back to the stage. During the race, Colin Croom and Cadien Lake James of Chicago's own Twin Peaks joined the remainder of the band onstage to lend a hand to the background music that amped up the anticipation induced by the race. Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks could also be spotted down in the pit, hyping up the audience. By the time the houselights came up after White Reaper's encore of "Half Bad" and "Another Day," the Metro had endured one of its rowdiest shows in recent days, featuring some classic Chicago camaraderie. 

Check out our gallery of all three bands below to relive the unforgettable experience!

Keep up with each band on social media below, and if you can, please consider donating to Javi Reyes’ recovery fund by clicking here.

White Reaper: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Post Animal: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Peach Pit: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Can't get enough Post Animal and White Reaper? Check out our interview with each band by clicking on their names!

PHOTOS: L.A. Witch at Beat Kitchen

L.A Witch put a spell on the crowd at Beat Kitchen this past Sunday night with their infectious rock tunes. Check out our full gallery of the show below, and see their remaining tour dates here.

While you wait for L.A Witch to come back to your city, put their self-titled debut on repeat!

PHOTOS: Methyl Ethel and The Drums at Metro 11.09.17

The Drums returned to Chicago after playing Lollapalooza this summer, bringing dance moves, inspirational speeches, and good vibes to The Metro in support of the latest album Abysmal Thoughts

See photos from The Drums' energetic and inspiring set below, including some of support act Methyl Ethel. 

See the rest of The Drums' tour dates here, and listen to Abysmal Thoughts in full below!



PHOTOS: Slowdive with Cherry Glazerr 11.05.17

Cherry Glazerr and Slowdive played a sold out show at The Vic Theatre on Sunday night. See photos from the show below, and keep up with the rest of Slowdive's tour dates here

You can also listen to Slowdive's latest self-tilted record in full below!

ANCHR Magazine Anniversary Showcase: Lucille Furs, The Evening Attraction & Capital Soirée

ANCHR Magazine turns one this January! To celebrate, we're hosting a showcase at Schubas Tavern on January 5th (it's a Friday!), featuring Lucille Furs, The Evening Attraction, and Capital Soirée. For more about each band, keep reading, but grab your tickets to the show here

Lucille Furs 

Retro rock and roll that puts a refreshing spin on the sounds we all love from the 60's and 70's.


For Fans Of: The Stones, The Beatles, Cage the Elephant, Levitation Room

Go To Tracks: "Alabaster Crayon", "Baby Blaise," "In Samsara"

Fun Fact: Lead singer Trevor Pritchett starred in Post Animal's video for "Special Moment." Find out more about the band here.

The Evening Attraction

Punchy, bright guitar melodies blend with sing along choruses and a hint of twang for irresistibly catchy earworms



For Fans Of: Blackfoot Gypsies, Sundara Karma, The Nude Party, Allah-Las

Go To Tracks: "Love So Fine," "The Kids Don't Care (For Rock and Roll)," "Bad Things"

Fun Fact: Paul Ansani and Miles Malin of the group have been playing together since middle school, and they were in a band called The Break in high school. Find out more about the band here

Capital Soirée

Good ol' pop rock tunes with sticky choruses and riffs that'll get you grooving


For Fans Of: COIN, The Walters, Blossoms, Hippo Campus

Go To Tracks: "Second Home," "Old School," "Take Me Anywhere"

Fun Fact: The band played a Halloween show as COPital Soirée this year, and all dressed as cops...and one of them had an unfortunate run in with law enforcement in Tennessee once. Find out more about that here

LIVE: Alvvays and Jay Som Mesmerize a Sold Out Thalia Hall

Last Friday night, Jay Som and Alvvays gave a sold out crowd at Thalia Hall the perfect ending to their week with performances that had them hooked from start to finish.

Californian Jay Som and her band took the stage first, delivering deeply personal narratives framed in soft, indie melodies. Songs like "The Bus Song" and "Baybee" from Jay Som's sophomore album Everybody Works had the crowd singing along with the singer songwriter. The latter closed out the 30 minute set, and picked up the pace from the song prior, getting the audience ready for Alvvay's show.

By the time the Toronto five piece took the stage, the crowd was bubbling over with excitement for the hour long set that would follow. Alvvays had last been in town to play Lollpalooza in August, including an after show at The Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village, and since the festival, their sophomore album Antisocialites had been released. The ten track follow up to Alvvays' 2014 debut came in strong during the band's performance at Thalia Hall, with the first handful of songs coming from the record. Songs like "Plimsoll Punks" and "In Undertow" had the crowd moving along to the band's signature blend of dream pop and indie rock. To complement the music, the band performed in front of a screen backdrop, with the lights and images changing during each song. After the group performed "Lollipop (Ode To Jim)," they broke the new album streak by mixing in crowd favorites from their self-titled record, like "The Agency Group" and "Atop a Cake." While the crowd remained engaged with the music the whole set, nothing compared to their reaction to the introductory guitar strumming of the band's viral song "Archie, Marry Me." The building, cinematic pop tune plays out as if it were written for a dramatic moment in a teen movie, and the audience bellowed the explosive chorus along with lead singer Molly Rankin. Throughout the night, Rankin managed to deliver her vocals flawlessly, and the entire band followed suit, remaining tight knit and on top of their game the entire time. 

In addition to the skilled execution of their new album, Rankin and the rest of band kept the spirit of the room up but telling funny anecdotes between songs. Rankin told the crowd about the band's interest in sports, mentioned they wanted to keep an eye on the score for the Toronto Raptors game, and sure enough someone shouted out the score towards the end of the set. Rankin also asked the crowd to inform the band of the latest Chicago gossip about halfway through the set, saying "give us something juicy." The night finished strong with a three song encore consisting of tracks from the debut album and a cover of The Motorcycle Boy's "Trying to Be Kind."

Check out our gallery of the show below so you can always remember (pun intended) what a wonderful performance Alvvays put on at this sold out show!

Check out the rest of Alvvays' very sold out tour dates here, and listen to Antisocialites in full below!

LIVE: Red Bull Sound Select Hosts a Packed Hometown Show for Whitney and NE-HI

Red Bull Sound Select’s 30 Days in Chicago celebrated day 2 of their multi-venue, multi-day festival with Chicago’s own Whitney and NE-HI at The Metro. As guests filed into the city’s legendary venue, the room buzzed with anticipation for the hometown show, which was actually Whitney and NE-HI’s first performance at the Wrigleyville concert hall.

Philadelphia’s up and comers Mt Joy warmed up the stage for both Chicago bands, returning a few months after their Lollapalooza debut this past summer. The band eased the audience into the evening with their blend of indie folk and rock tunes, including their popular tracks “Sheep” and “Astrovan.”

After a quick changeover of sets, NE-HI walked onto stage to a whopping welcome of cheers and applause. The local four piece commanded the audience’s attention immediately with their fervent performance of their fuzzy rock songs. Lead singer Jason Balla’s distinct vocals and the band’s signature guitar styling have given them a unique sound, which has caught the attention of music fans across the country. Just this year, the band have toured nearly nonstop, playing SXSW, Daytrotter Downs, and Pitchfork Festival. Live, the band add another layer of vehemence and eagerness to their music, with Balla thrashing around the stage and guitarist Michael Wells jumping up and down throughout their set. Set highlights included their songs “Stay Young,” “Since I’ve Been Thinking,” and the title track of their 2017 album Offers. By the time NE-HI walked off the stage, the crowd was full warmed up and ready for Whitney’s first performance at Metro.

Just before Whitney took the stage, the front few rows were handed roses as an ode to the album cover of Whitney’s debut record Light Upon The Lake, and to add another special touch to the night. Whitney have turned heads with their layered and cinematic tunes; Their folk rock songs often featuring a horns section accompanying Ehrlich’s telltale falsetto vocals, both of which put a signature stamp on their music. The band also stands out with their unique stage setup, as lead singer Julien Ehrlich also drums during their live performances. Whitney’s hour long set at Metro featured some of their most popular tracks, but early on in the night Erlich told the audience that their set that night would be a little different than most nights. Their performance also featured a few covers of legendary artists, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Although the set started off minimal with Erlich performing the first song at the keyboard before moving over to his drum set at center stage, the energy built up as the night went on and the band were joined onstage with a live string section. The addition of the strings added another level of richness and warmth to the show, especially combined with the horns section. Whitney’s stunning and special hometown performance wrapped up past midnight with a three song encore, consisting of “Golden Days,” “Rolling Blackout,” and their most popular track “No Woman.”

The electric energy that filled The Metro at the end of night reflected the captivating quality of the Red Bull Sound Select shows. The shows have brought some of the best bands and musicians around to the city this month, and the lineup at this show particularly appealed to Chicago music fans, most of which felt a burst of pride at seeing the success of their fellow Chicagoans.

Check out our gallery of all three bands to relive the incredible evening, and head here for the scoop on the rest of 30 Days in Chicago.

Mt Joy



NE-HI will be joining Whitney for a tour later on this month-- see all the tour dates here, including a stop in Milwaukee. 

Can't get enough NE-HI? Revisit our interview with the band here. 

PHOTOS: Night Riots, Dreamers, and The Maine at House of Blues

Earlier this week, Night Riots, Dreamers, and The Maine performed to a packed House of Blues. Check out photos from all three energetic performances below!

The tour continues throughout the month. To catch it in a city near you, head here for the remaining dates!

PHOTOS: Ariel Pink at Thalia Hall 10.28.17

Ariel Pink took over Pilsen's Thalia Hall this Saturday night for a lively performance. There was never a dull moment during the show, which included a set mixed with older songs and new ones from Pink's latest album, Dedicated To Bobby Jameson. See photos from the show below, and check the rest of Ariel Pink's upcoming tour dates here. 

Can't get enough Ariel Pink? Listen to Dedicated to Bobby Jameson in full below!

LIVE: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Bring a Lotta Sea Lice and a Lotta Talent to Empty Bottle

Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett-- and their band of Sea Lice--closed out their three night sold out streak in Chicago at the legendary Empty Bottle. The pair took the stage just around 9:30, forgoing an opener, to perform songs from their recently released collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice. Their stunning performance began with Vile and Barnett's debut single from the aforementioned album, "Over Everything." 

From the get go, the crowd at the intimate venue radiated their excitement, displaying as much enthusiasm as a crowd of a larger size. Vile and Barnett radiated a similarly infectious energy, and an electric current of chemistry flowed between the duo and their other bandmates, which included Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney. While the pair performed songs from their Lotta Sea Lice album, they also bounced back and fourth between performing their own songs and covers from other artists. Although they both performed songs from their past albums, Barnett and Vile reworked their songs to make them duets, with Barnett taking on parts in Vile's songs like "Life Like This" and "On Tour." Vile also contributed to the live performances of Barnett's songs like "Depreston" and "Dead Fox." While they performed, the two would often back away from their microphone stands to meet in the middle of the humble stage, facing each other as they strummed their guitars. Whenever they did this, the musical chemistry between them only grew stronger, making the show that much more special.

Other highlights of the set included the performance of Belly's song "Untogether" and Gillian Welch's song "Elvis Presley Blues." The latter opened up the band's three song encore, and Vile and Barnett performed that cover as a duo without their band. The stripped back performance allowed for the duo's harmonies and flawless vocals to really shine through. As the night wound down, Barnett mentioned that the Empty Bottle had been where she played her first show in Chicago, so it was great to be back. The set closed out with two more of the pair's own songs; "Pretty Pimpin'" and "Avant Gardener."

The pairing of Barnett and Vile on this album and the accompanying tour showcases the magic that can happen when artists come together and instill a sense of community and camaraderie in the music industry. If you missed out on the spectacular evening, check out our photo gallery of the show below. 

If you can't get enough Kurt and Courtney, check out some photos from their second night in Chicago, at Thalia Hall.

See the rest of the Courtney and Kurt tour dates here, and listen to Lotta Sea Lice in full below!

Thumbnail photo taken at Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's show at Thalia Hall on 10.27