Chicago! The Nude Party will be at The Empty Bottle tomorrow with Rookie and Sundown Club. Don't miss out and snatch your tickets here. Get ready for the show by listening to their album Hot Tub in full below.
The Wombats stopped at Brooklyn Steel during their highly anticipated return to the U.S, in celebration of their upcoming album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. Nation of Language and Courtship got the crowd warmed up.
At 8PM sharp, the lights in Brooklyn Steel dimmed, and the Brooklyn-based trio Nation of Language hit the stage with a burst of energy. As their synth-driven mix of post punk and new wave filled the venue, it felt like we had all been transported into a John Hughes film. The three piece had actually been added to the tour last minute, to fill in for UK band Blaenavon, who had unfortunately had to cancel their U.S tour due to medical reasons. However, the crowd instantly warmed to Nation of Language’s refreshingly nostalgic vibes and lead singer Ian Devaney’s vocals that pull elements from the likes of Talking Heads’ David Byrne and The Cure’s Robert Smith. Their 30 minute set included their tracks “I’ve Thought About Chicago” and “On Division St,” which the band mentioned had just premiered that day via Stereogum.
Courtship (stylized “courtship.”) took the stage next, donning matching yellow jumpsuits and immediately displaying their excitement and gratitude to be at the New York venue. As the LA based duo of Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon and their band enthusiastically played their infectious indie pop tunes like “Sail Away,” “Perfect People,” and the unreleased “Bad Fun,” their happiness and energy filled their entire venue. During their short but sweet set, they never stopped showing their appreciation to be on the stage and on tour with The Wombats; at one point Hirsch addressed the crowd saying, “Literally in eighth grade my number one band on earth was The Wombats,” adding that he once hid in the basement of one of their 21+ shows just to hear them perform. Hirsch also mentioned that he and Gordon had only written their first song together just about a year ago in their bedrooms, making the opportunity to play at a packed venue in NYC that much more special to them. Seeing a performer that happy and excited to be where they are makes the performance that much more special to watch, and the crowd was extremely responsive to courtship.’s energy.
The Wombats burst onto the stage following a 30 minute changeover, kicking it all off with new song “Cheetah Tongue,” from their upcoming album. The three piece consisting of Matthew Murphy, Dan Haggis, and Tord Øverland Knudsen have been making music together since 2003, and their album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life will be their fourth studio album, following up 2015’s Glitterbug. With about 15 years of playing music together under their belt, the trio exuded an incredible chemistry on stage last Wednesday night; whether they were playing one of their oldies or another new song, they were perfectly in sync with one another. The band also crafted a diverse and dynamic setlist that pulled songs from all parts of their discography, like “1996” and “Jump Into The Fog” from This Modern Glitch, “Kill The Director” and “Moving to New York” from A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, “Give Me a Try” and “Greek Tragedy” from Glitterbug and last but not least, new singles like “Turn” and “Lemon to a Knife Fight.” Every song by The Wombat’s features clever and thoughtful songwriting, full of lead singer Matthew Murphy’s impeccably descriptive and witty writing, but they’re also known for their upbeat and catchy melodies. At their Brooklyn Steel show, they maintained an incredible level of energy, with Murphy working the entire stage, often wandering out onto the speakers at the front of the stage while he played guitar, and bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen thrashing around the stage and jumping along to the beat. The audience did a great job of keeping up the pace, but as the set wound down, Murphy encouraged them to get even rowdier, saying, “The paramedics are outside for a reason, so please go as wild as you can possibly can for this next one,” before the band launched into “Techno Fan.” Their classic and crowd-favorite songs in their live set often featured fleshed out introductions and arrangements; for example, the aforementioned “Moving To New York” (which Murphy said has and always will be dedicated to NYC) contained a built up and suspenseful introduction that led up to its recognizable guitar riff that kicks off the studio version. The night closed out with “Greek Tragedy,” which was the band’s lead single from Glitterbug, and everyone filed out of the venue with a grin on their face.
Check out photos from the high energy evening, and see the rest of The Wombats’ tour dates here.
Ahh, it's January in Chicago, which means snow and sub-zero temperatures. On the bright side, it also means it's time for Tomorrow Never Knows Fest, the annual multi-venue, 5-day, indoor (thank god) festival. Last year we wrote about our five most anticipated bands playing the festival, but we also discovered some new favorites, like Dream Version, Overcoats, and Acid Dad. While we're excited for pretty much all of the bands playing this year, and looking forward to even discovering some new favorites, here are our top five most anticipated acts of TNK Fest 2018.
This Madrid quartet consisting of Carlotta Cosials, Ana García Perrote, Ade Martín, and Amber Grimberge crafts irresistibly lively and light-hearted lo-fi rock tunes with melodies that'll get lodged in your head for days, but their live show is where it's at. The four piece exude crazy chemistry and project so much positivity and energy whenever they take the stage, making their set at TNK 2018 one you absolutely cannot miss. Although they're based in Spain, 2017 saw HINDS over in The States quite a bit, performing at Coachella, and co-headlining a tour with Chicago's Twin Peaks. It's been a minute since they headlined a packed Empty Bottle here in the city back in May, though, so make sure you snag a ticket to welcome them back to Chicago.
When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 21st, 9PM. Grab tickets here.
ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: PEEL
For Fans Of: Twin Peaks, The Big Moon, Cherry Glazerr
Speaking of incredible stage presence, the Nashville-via-Philly singer songwriter Ron Gallo puts on an unforgettable show. 2017 was quite the year for Gallo, which saw the release of his debut solo album, Heavy Meta, following Gallo's time with his band Toy Soldiers. Heavy Meta sees Gallo exploring serious subjects in a quirky and blunt way, wrapped up in raw and rowdy rock tunes. Gallo toured heavily last year as well, not only touring Europe and The States, but appearing heavily on the festival circuit; playing Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Lou Fest and more! This year he's already been booked for Coachella and Hangout, but help him kick things off by grabbing tickets to see him with Diane Coffee at TNK Fest! You can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Ron Gallo here.
When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 19th, 9PM. Grab tickets here.
ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Yoko and the Oh No's
For Fans Of: Cage The Elephant, The Districts, Naked Giants
The brainchild of the Maryland musical prodigy Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail brings honest alternative rock narratives that deserve your full attention. Following her 2015 and 2016 EPs, Sticki and Habit, Jordan toured extensively with the likes of Waxahatchee and Beach Fossils in 2017. This year is already filling up quickly for her, with Snail Mail being booked for Coachella and national tour dates announced through April. Help Snail Mail also kick off a sure-to-be successful year by coming to her show at Schubas Tavern, which features a stacked lineup of fellow badass bands and artists, including Stef Chura and Ratboys.
When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 19th, 8PM. The show is sold out, but you can grab TNK 5-day passes here.
For Fans Of: Priests, Japanese Breakfast, Beach Fossils
Liz Cooper & The Stampede
Nashville based trio Liz Cooper & The Stampede blend multiple genres together to create a recognizable yet refreshing sound. The nomadic and multi-talented Liz Cooper fronts the group, and the trio's folk rock melodies mesh perfectly with Cooper's soulful and raspy vocals. The group has caught the eye of many lately; recording Audiotree sessions and performing at their annual festival last year, as well as making an appearance at the massive ACL Festival in 2017. The three piece will perform at Lincoln Hall with Rayland Baxter, and you can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Liz Cooper & The Stampede here.
When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 20th, 9PM. Grab tickets here.
For Fans Of: Desert Noises, Big Thief, Julien Baker
Also from Nashville, the duo of Aaron Martin and Johny Fisher (guitarist for The Weeks) blend retro and soulful tones into psychedelic rock tunes that completely capture their listeners with the stories told in each song. Okey Dokey's show at TNK fest marks nearly a year since the release of their debut album, Love You, Mean It, which brought on an incredible year for them in 2017. Their show at Schubas will undoubtedly showcase their fun and dynamic spirit, and the lineup also includes former Chicagoan Cut Worms and Sonny Smith, so don't miss it!
When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 18th, 8PM. Grab tickets here.
ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Cafe Racer
For Fans Of: Mt. Joy, Omni, Hoops
There you have it! Again, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full line up here, and make sure you get to all the shows early. So many of our favorite hometown bands are playing these shows, and they all need to be on your radar this year! Lastly, get ready for the show by listening to the official TNK Mixtape below.
This past weekend, Chicago's DIY rock heroes Twin Peaks proved that you can go big and go home, with an incredible three night, sold out run at Pilsen’s Thalia Hall. Taking over the historic building from Friday night through New Year's Eve, Twin Peaks not only cultivated a diverse support bill of local up and coming acts, but all three nights included an intricate stage set up and special appearances that celebrated the current Chicago music scene. One of the band's latest songs from their Sweet '17 Singles series "We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)" acted as the theme of the weekend, paying homage to the friendly and familiar dynamic of the Chicago scene; a dynamic where artists lift up fellow artists in the buzzing collective of talent that the city has to offer.
The first night of the weekend's all local lineup began with Sun Cop music, followed by Knox Fortune as the main support. The brainchild of musician and producer Andrew Humphrey, Sun Cop's set immediately displayed the attitude of friendship and supportive nature that threaded throughout the weekend, with Twin Peak's Colin Croom joining Sun Cop's live band lineup for the night. Croom's appearance on stage proved to be another common theme, when he also joined Knox Fortune for his biggest show in the city yet. Although Knox Fortune has attracted attention over the past couple of years working with the likes of Chance The Rapper, singing the hook on the hit "All Night," he only played his first official show in November this year; a sold out headlining set at Lincoln Hall. Knox Fortune's set highlighted this city's ability to show support and collaborate across genres, and it also featured a special appearance from his frequent collaborator Joey Purp.
Twin Peak's set on night one set the bar high for the entire weekend, but each night only got better, with them continuously delivering the high energy and rambunctious sets that their fans have come to know and love, with all sorts of surprises. Twin Peaks is already unique enough with their lineup in that they all pitch in to write the songs, and four out of the five members alternate singing lead and are multi-instrumentalists, but these shows featured an even bigger and more layered sound than what the core members can create on their own. Joined by a horns section and local duo OHMME singing backup, Twin Peaks filled the Pilsen concert hall beautifully. The production of the night also added in another facet to these special shows, with props including pine trees and an actual motorcycle suspended from the ceiling. Of course, the night also ended with a shower of confetti raining down on the audience from the balcony.
Night two only amplified the magic of the previous night, with a whole new set of support acts and another fun spirited crowd ready to reciprocate the energy that all three bands exuded from the stage. Warming their fellow Chicagoans up on the frigid Saturday evening, trio DEHD captivated the large room with their retro garage rock tunes. The group includes NE-HI's Jason Balla and Lala Lala's Emily Kempf taking turns on vocals, and drummer Eric McGrady forgoing a full drum set to create a unique setup with floor toms. Next up, psych rockers Post Animal cranked up the volume, performing some of their most popular songs like "You Were Not There," "When I Get Home," and "Special Moment" with refreshed and fleshed out arrangements that showcased their skills as guitarists. Post Animal supported Twin Peaks for one of their Thalia Hall shows last December, and have since had one hell of a year, touring with Twin Peaks, WAVVES, White Reaper, and recently announcing their signing to Polyvinyl records. The local scene and now the national rock scene have come to love the group for their massive stage presence and ability to shred on the six string, and their set on Saturday only got even more bold when part-time band member Joe Keery made a rare appearance for the last song in the set. With Post Animal, it seems you can never have too many guitar players.
Twin Peaks' second set of the three-night stint once again featured the same expanded lineup, as well as the confetti and custom stage setup, but the band did a great job at diversifying their setlist each night. Every night, the set heavily featured a lot of the group's latest material that has come around the past several months as part of their Sweet '17 Singles series, but they rearranged the order each night to keep the crowd guessing. One of this year's singles "Shake Your Lonely" features vocalist and friend of the band's Marisa Nakamura on the studio version, so of course they brought her out every night to sing it with them. Each night also had the Twin Peaks staples like "Making Breakfast," "Butterfly," and "Walk To The One You Love," but the band mixed in some rarities to all three sets. On Saturday, they also ended with another staple "Boomers," although they played it second on the first night and in the middle of the set the third night.
Just like that, the final night of Twin Peaks Thalia takeover fell upon the city, and another sold out crowd quickly filled up the concert hall on Sunday night. Thanks to the Twitter humor of the NYE performers NE-HI, every concert-goer that evening had the opportunity to chow down on a complimentary Chicago dog, courtesy of Goose Island. With full bellies, the crowd watched Today's Hits kick off the show at 9PM; their set once again highlighting the friendly nature of the local music scene, as both Cadien Lake James and Colin Croom dropped in during Today's Hits short set. Today's Hits lead singer James Swanberg returned the favor later in the night, making an appearance during Twin Peaks' set.
Hot dog heroes NE-HI took the stage next, lead singer Jason Balla taking the stage for the second time that weekend. Like most of the artists who were a part of this NYE weekend extravaganza, NE-HI have also had an incredible year, touring nationally, releasing their sophomore album, and performing at Pitchfork Music Festival. The four piece put on an unforgettable show every time, with Balla thrashing and jumping around as he sings, while other members James Weir and Mikey Wells follow suit and gain some serious air while leaping around. Their set featured a mix of songs from their self-titled debut, 2017's Sophomore record (Offers), and some new material.
Twin Peaks' final set of 2017 began just an hour before midnight and once again had some rarities and a rearranged order in their setlist. The crowd surfing commenced during the first song and lasted throughout the night as it had the previous two nights, but everyone seemed to be giving even more of their energy back to the band since it was their last show of the year. The show paused right before midnight with a collective countdown between the band and the crowd, followed by confetti and some giant balloons entering the pit. The show continued on into 2018, wrapping up with the weekend's theme song "We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)," which bassist and vocalist Jack Dolan dedicated to everyone in the room. Even more confetti showered the room as the song wrapped up, providing the weekend's final surprise.
Twin Peaks' weekend at Thalia Hall celebrated more than just the new year and a fresh start; it celebrated the creative community of Chicago and promoted kindness and friendship among artists and fans alike. These shows had a revitalizing energy and an unwavering spirit that you can only feel while watching live music played by a group of friends, with all your friends. 2018 holds even more promise for more nights like this in Chicago as so much of the city's music scene continues to grow.
Relive some of the magic of the weekend by checking out our galleries of all seven bands from across the weekend.
December 29th Gallery featuring Sun Cop, Knox Fortune, and Twin Peaks, shot by Christian Heinzel
December 30th gallery featuring DEHD, Post Animal, and Twin Peaks, shot by Rachel Zyzda
New Year's Eve featuring Today's Hits, NE-HI, and Twin Peaks, shot by Rachel Zyzda
Twin Peaks will undoubtedly be back on the road a ton in 2018, as well as producing the hits as usual. While you await more new music, re-listen to all of their 2017 singles below, and check out the band's upcoming tour dates here.
Milwaukee's GGOOLLDD headlined Empty Bottle on Saturday night in celebration of their Teeth EP, which came out earlier in December. Their set had everyone dancing along, and lead singer Margaret Butler wasn't afraid to jump off the stage to join them. Check out photos from their vivacious show below, featuring some shots of Chicago's Yoko and the Oh No's.
GGOOLLDD will be hitting the road again early next year. See their tour dates here, and while you await their return, listen to the Teeth EP in full below!
Mutts blew through the roof on Saturday night at cozy, quaint, middle of nowhere road stop – The Hideout. Opening up with fan favorite and especially relevant, “Everyone is Everyone,” the guys were not just charged up, but feeding off of a bustling crowd. Mike Maimone navigated through the night ranging old to new, in celebration of their new EP Stick Together. With songs like “I’ll Be Around,” Maimone emphatically shared the importance of being there for people when they need it most - a particularly special message for a room filled with friends and locals galore. The group stopped for breath and slowed down the pace with their spin of Gillian Welch’s “Look At Miss Ohio.” A beautifully moving and mesmerizing piece bolstered by Maimone’s conviction on the keys.
This team of three make it impossible to stand by idly watching. When Maimone lifts himself from his seat, the music doesn’t stop at just your ears. At several points throughout the night, all bets were off when Maimone took the songs to new heights and placed his foot atop the keys. The Mutts haven’t a need for restraint or courtesy, their austerity is punched through every lyric and supporting note.
Maimone continues to lead the way with a mindful attack on the keys that you can see quite literally in his positioning behind them. He likes to make it a game of tug of war, sometimes pulled softly then carried to a consistent build, and by the end of each song your heart feels the last tug to victory. Just as the trio was ready to close out the night and have a beer with the crowd, the packed house stomped for one more song, and the band obliged. Needless to say, the night was intimate, loud, and unfailing for the hometown scene.
The guys pick it up again, and are heavily booked for the beginning of the new year. You can follow them here. While you await their next hometown show, check out photos of their set, as well as a few of fellow Chicagoans an ANCHR favorites; Campdogzz.
While you wait for the next Mutts show, listen to their latest EP in full below!
LIVE: The National and This is the Kit Wrap Up Tour With an Operatic Show at Chicago's Civic Opera House
The National and This is the Kit ended their tour at Chicago’s Civic Opera House with an operatic and dynamic show.
This is the Kit, the brainchild of Kate Stables, warmed up a full house at the Civic Opera House on Wednesday night. Their 30 minute set started with the lead track off This is the Kit’s 2017 album Moonshine Freeze, “Bullet Proof,” with Stables’ flawlessly smooth vocals ringing out into the magnificent theater. For the remainder of the set, the Sad Saxes joined the rest of the band to deliver an extra layer of dynamics to the harmonious group, and Aaron Dessner of The National even joined the lineup. Dessner had not only produced This is the Kit’s prior album Bashed Out, but lent his musical skills to their latest record. Live, the title track “Moonshine Freeze” took on a bold arrangement with a call and response effect between Stables and Rozi Plain of the group. Concluding their gentle performance that acted as the perfect way to ease the crowd into The National’s set, Stables thanked not only the crowd, but the entire crew of the tour, mentioning that the last night of tour was bittersweet.
Before The National hit the stage, Marty Lennartz of 93 XRT introduced the band as the perfect outfit to play at such a grand venue like the Lyric Opera House. Between their wide ranging sonic soundscapes and lead singer Matt Berninger’s sweeping vocal range that cuts right through you, The National filled the space perfectly and lived up to Lennartz’s introduction. Leading up to the operatic and emotional two hour show, the backdrop showed video of the band leaving their dressing room and making their way to the stage, and throughout the night the backdrop shifted to different videos and colored lights. Opening with “Nobody Else Will Be There,” the first part of the setlist payed homage to the band’s 2017 album Sleep Well Beast, which came out in September. Although the tour was in support of the latest record and the majority of those 12 tracks were scattered throughout the setlist, songs from The National’s other six studio albums and back catalog were sprinkled in between the newest songs. Among the old favorites that made their way onto the setlist of The National’s second sold out night in Chicago, “Lemonworld,” “Fake Empire,” and “Pink Rabbits” received some of the biggest reactions. The crowd stayed with the band the whole time, hooked on the way that the tone could switch from a haunting piano melody and delicate vocals in a song like “Carin at the Liquor Store” to Berninger’s growling vocals and the amplified “Squalor Victoria.”
Between the magnetic energy of Berninger's stage presence, the one-of-a-kind setlist, and the beauty of the venue, the closing night of The National’s tour proved to be another magical night for live music in Chicago. Check out photos from the special evening below, and keep up with all of The National news here.
While you wait for the next tour from The National, listen to Sleep Well Beast in full below!
The Districts closed out a two-night, sold out streak with Sun Seeker and Katie Von Schleicher the Empty Bottle on Sunday night, in support of 2017's Popular Manipulations. Check out photos from the show below.
The Districts are hitting the road in 2018 with another ANCHR favorite, Twin Peaks. See all of those tour dates here, and listen to Popular Manipulations in full below!
Treehouse Records presented Blue Dream's record release show for their new 7" featuring "Freedom Eyes" and "Who Stole The Flowers." Strange Foliage and The Evening Attraction kicked off the show at Schubas this past Thursday night, getting the crowd warmed up for Blue Dream's exuberant headlining set. Check out photos of the incredible show below!
Can't get enough Blue Dream? Check out our interview with them.