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PHOTOS: Caroline Rose at Lincoln Hall 11.08.18

Earlier this year, Caroline Rose played a completely sold out Hideout show following the release of her album Loner, and last week she returned to Chicago to take on the Lincoln Hall stage. As usual, Caroline Rose donned an all red outfit and decked out the stage with red props, but this time around, even more red decorations filled the stage. In addition to a red backdrop, an Elmo piñata, red garland, artificial roses and more complemented Rose’s monochrome outfit. The headlining set also meant that Rose and her bandmates could play more songs, so the setlist included a couple of brand new songs in addition to fan favorites from Loner and a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

If you missed out on the gig, check out our photo gallery of the show below.

Can’t get enough Caroline Rose? Check out our interview with her below!

PHOTOS: Tennis Solo in Stereo Tour at Thalia Hall 11.07.18

Last week, Tennis took their Solo in Stereo tour to Thalia Hall for a night of stripped back songs and their usual witty stage presence. If you missed out on the special performance, check out our photo recap below.

Catch Tennis in a city near you- dates here

PHOTOS: Ron Gallo with TWEN and Ian Ferguson at Lincoln Hall 11.04.18

After playing a TNK Fest show at Lincoln Hall earlier this year, Ron Gallo returned to headline the venue in celebration of his new album Stardust Birthday Party. Fellow Nashville musicians TWEN and Ian Ferguson opened the show.

Listen to Stardust Birthday Party in full below and keep up with Ron Gallo on Facebook + Instagram

Live Recap: Celebrating Halloween with Sir Sly and Joywave at HOB Chicago

On All Hallow’s Eve, fans packed the House of Blues to catch a co-headlining tour from Rochester’s Joywave and LA’s Sir Sly.

After husband and wife duo from Minnesota and Sweden, respectively, Flora Cash warmed up the stage for the evening’s co-headliners, Joywave made their long awaited and highly anticipated return to a Chicago stage, rushing out to a startling swirl of lights. Along with the flood of overhead lights, the band set the night off with a bang, opening with the appropriately titled single “Blastoffff,” which just came out this Summer and features a heavy bassline and explosive chorus. Massive light boxes with phrases like “Applause,” “Jump,” and “Vape” sat behind the band, adding even more glimmer to the bright production set up. The group kept the momentum going by following up with “Somebody New” from their 2015 album, which also features in-your-face bass. Of course, with it being Halloween, Joywave added some spookiness to their set by donning costumes onstage, but they really upped their Halloween game towards the end of their set. After playing nearly an hour long mix of songs from 2015’s How Do You Feel Now? and 2017’s Content, their set began to wind down with “Tongues” from the former. During the second to last song of their set, one of the band’s friend crashed the stage dressed as the devil to help them finish out the song, which immediately segued into their closing song “Destruction.” The set’s finale had the whole room jumping in unison, causing the floor at the theatre to bounce.

Closing out the night, Sir Sly— or Disturbed, as Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster had teased their Halloween costumes earlier in the night— took the stage rocking full goth makeup and black outfits. As they began their first song, their latest and unreleased track called “Welcome The Pressure,” the room filled with a haze of fog, going along with the dark and spooky vibes of the night. Frontman Landon Jacobs and his bandmates Hayden Coplen and Jason Suwito had last been to Chicago just a couple months prior to play Lollapalooza, one of the many festivals the band hit on their Spring and Summer tour runs. Chicago warmly welcomed back the LA trio, with the full house loudly singing along to Sir Sly songs old and new, and Jacobs couldn’t help but break out of his dark demeanor to show his appreciation. “Have you ever seen a goth this smiley?” Jacobs asked the crowd, beaming about the fact that this show marked their biggest headline show in Chicago to date.

Throughout the rest of the set, the three piece kept a heavy focus on the fact that it was Halloween, but their usual goofy personalities also continued to shine through. “I didn’t wear makeup for nothing,” Jacobs also joked when asking the crowd to go as hard as they could for the rest of the night. The audience didn’t disappoint and kept their energy high to match the momentum of songs like “Trippin’” and “Change” from 2017’s Don’t You Worry, Honey. Jacobs kept the latter fresh and unique to this show by delivering a one-off monologue during the bridge, which has changed every time I’ve seen them on this album cycle. The band also kept their Halloween show special by giving the audience a rare “choose your own adventure” option after performing another one of their aptly spooky songs “Ghost” from their debut album. Jacobs gave the crowd the choice of either hearing a sad song with a speech introducing it, or hearing another Halloween song. Of course, the votes swayed towards the second option and the band played “You Haunt Me,” the title track from their 2014 debut. The eerie mood continued throughout the rest of the night, when Jacobs introduced their single “High” by saying it was based off the scariest thing that’s ever happened to him. “I got too high in a hotel room and I thought I was gonna die. Here I am still standing, but I tasted a little bit of death,” he said before launching into the song. The song once again had the room jumping so high that the floors would shake, but Sir Sly didn’t let the mood die down; instead they launched into an immediate encore performance of the popular single, feeding everyone a second dose of “High.” The night ended with “&Run,” another high intensity single, which the band performed with a fleshed out live arrangement, stretching out the ending with a crescendoing finale. Every time I’ve watched Sir Sly perform, they leave everything they’ve got on the stage, pouring themselves into the performance in such a genuine fashion. It’s only a matter of time before they’re headlining bigger shows and getting more of the attention that they deserve as artists.

If you missed out on the Halloween festivities, check out our photo gallery of all three bands below, and see where you can catch Sir Sly next here.

PHOTOS: Mallrat and Maggie Rogers at The Riv 10.30.18

This past Tuesday night, Mallrat made her Chicago debut, warming up the stage for Maggie Rogers. The sold out Riviera Theatre marked Rogers’ biggest headline show to date, but after her performance on SNL this coming Saturday, she’ll surely keep playing bigger and bigger shows. If you couldn’t snag a ticket to the show, check out our photo gallery below.

Listen to Mallrat’s In the Sky EP below, and keep up with her on Instagram + Facebook

Live Recap: Billie Eilish Brought Her Sold Out Headline Tour to Metro Chicago 10.28.18

Just about a year ago, I first caught Billie Eilish at her sold out Chicago debut at Schubas Tavern. While the Schubas show was still packed to the brim with devoted fans, after catching Eilish again at The Metro this past Sunday night, it became clear that her debut was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a Billie Eilish show. This time around, Eilish was not only equipped with more experience, but she brought along a bigger live band and a spider-shaped production rig that filled the entire stage.

Eilish began the set hidden behind a part of the stage as her band members took their places, and after building suspense, the singer jumped out to start singing “my boy” from the 2017 EP dont smile at me. Immediately the young crowd loudly sang along with the repetitive and catchy chorus, sticking their phones in the air to document the start of the show. As the night went on, the pace of the music sometimes shifted, but the enthusiasm of the audience and the momentum of the show never waned; fans sang and danced along no matter what song Eilish was performing. Whatever energy the crowd gave Eilish, she continuously fed back to them, and she never stopped expressing her genuine gratitude. Eilish also made it clear she cared for the crowd’s well-being, and early on in the night paused her set to make sure everyone felt okay had plenty of water.

For the majority of Eilish’s set, the mood remained upbeat, most of her hook-laden pop anthems allowing for the crowd to dance along with her and the booming bass. Songs like “Party Favor” and a short cover of “Hotline Bling” that Eilish performed armed with a ukulele highlighted her versatile sound by stripping back some of the heavier production featured on some of her other material. Towards the end of the set, the singer slowed things down and staked out a spot on a stool that was stationed center stage, where she sang her latest single “when the party’s over;” a falsetto driven piano ballad.

The first chapter of the show closed out with another popular song from Eilish’s debut: “bellyache.” The singer briefly left the stage after that song, but didn’t make the overzealous crowd wait long for an encore, as they quickly filled the room with overwhelming shouts for more songs. The crowd of about a thousand that packed The Metro on Sunday mimicked that of a room of 10,000 with their deafening noise levels.

In just one year’s time, Eilish was able to sell out a room five times the size of her debut show, beef up her setlist with a handful of new singles, and deliver a show accompanied by full stage production, so there’s no telling where she’ll be at the next time she performs in Chicago. Catch Billie in a city near you (dates here) and check out photos from Sunday’s performance below.

Keep up with Billie Eilish on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

PHOTOS: POND at Thalia Hall 10.25.18

POND returned to Chicago last week to headline Thalia Hall on October 25th. Check out photos of their energetic set below- featuring some crowd surfing and balcony climbing from lead singer Nick Allbrook!

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

Live Recap: Overcoats Open Up The Vic Theatre for Mitski 10.25.18

The Brooklyn best friend duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, AKA Overcoats, has been to Chicago several times over the past couple of years, each time sharing their cleverly crafted mix of electronic and folk music from their 2017 debut album Young. They’ve performed everywhere from Schubas, Lincoln Hall, The Metro, festivals, and so on. As it turns out, their show at The Vic on Thursday, October 25th created a full circle moment for Overcoats, brining Elion and Mitchell back to the same stage they’d first performed on in this city in 2016, opening for Matt Corby. Towards the end of their set last week, the pair recalled their first time at The Vic, Elion joking “We used to travel by Megabus. Now we’re adults and we rent mini vans.”

While their mode of transportation may have matured, Overcoats also continues to grow tremendously in their stage presence and their sound. When I saw Overcoats perform as headliners at Schubas Tavern in May 2017, shortly after the release of their album, Elion and Mitchell brought a full show of coordinated outfits and choreography to the small and humble stage at the Lakeview tavern. The pair has always had that sense of synchronization in their show, but they’ve managed to adapt those aspects of their show to scale as they move up to bigger stages, all while managing to keep a strong focus on their message. One of Overcoats’ primary messages is lifting each other up as women, and on Thursday night, Mitchell made that known by saying “The future is believing women” at the beginning of their set. The crowd eagerly absorbed what Overcoats had to tell them both between songs and during their songs, cheering their empowering speaking points and cheering their choreography. Some of the audience at The Vic joined along in singing some of Overcoats’ songs like “Nighttime Hunger” and “Hold Me Close,” and they also responded enthusiastically to the couple of new songs performed by Overcoats last week. One of the new songs, called “The Fool,” sounded a little edgier with a shouty chorus that channeled Le Tigre vibes. This new twist to their already complex dynamic that blends different genres together showcases Elion and Mitchell’s fearlessness as artists.

Perhaps the biggest nod to Overcoats’ talent and showmanship, though, was their ability to keep the show going on Thursday despite technical difficulties. Early on in the night, loud feedback could be heard in the house and in the band’s monitors, and it took the venue staff more than fifteen minutes to make it stop. Rather than put the set on hold, Elion and Mitchell played through the noise, determined to keep the show rolling. “We’ll just have to play louder,” they joked. Finally, at the end of the set, the feedback noise stopped, and the duo were able to wrap up their set with “Leave The Light On,” which once again highlighted their dance moves.

After coming full circle since their fist time in Chicago, it’s only a matter of time before Overcoats are not only playing, but headlining bigger stages across the country. Keep an eye out for new music and a second album from the pair, and check out photos of their’s and Mitski’s set on October 25th below.

Catch Overcoats in a city near you—upcoming tour dates here.

PHOTOS: Thee Oh Sees at Thalia Hall 10.12.18

Thee Oh Sees returned to Thalia Hall on Friday, October 12th, just about a year after their last visit to the Pilsen concert hall. This time the band was celebrating their new album Smote Reverser, which was released August 17th via Castle Face Records. Check out photos from the show below, and see where you can catch Thee Oh Sees near you here.

Listen to Smote Reverser in full:

Live Recap: Years & Years Brings Palo Santo Tour to The Vic Theatre, 10.15.18

British electro-pop trio Years & Years and pop singer songwriter CYN kicked off the week with a sold out show at Lakeview’s The Vic Theatre.

Following a quick opening set from Australian singer-songwriter Jess Kent, CYN took the stage to shake things up and get everyone in the packed theatre ready for Years & Years’ long-awaited return to Chicago. In a way, CYN’s show on Monday evening acted as a homecoming; after growing up in the neighboring state of Michigan, CYN had attended and graduated from DePaul University. CYN’s short but sweet set began with a bang as she burst onto the stage with a rush of energy to perform her single “Believer,” a dance tune that features a bass line groovy enough to get everyone’s hips shaking. While playing some familiar singles which have racked up millions of plays on Spotify, CYN also introduced the crowd to some brand new, unreleased material, like “Bubble Bath,” which teased what her upcoming debut EP might sound like. About half way through CYN’s set, the energy slowed a bit for the performance of her newest single “I’ll Still Have Me” which juxtaposes the usual funky tones to CYN’s songs with its gentle, lulling guitar melodies and CYN’s hypnotizing vocals. CYN dedicated the song to one of her best friend’s moms before starting it, mentioning that so many of her best friends were in the audience that night. While speaking about Chicago, CYN took a moment to tell the crowd how much this show was a full-circle moment to her because just a few years ago, she had seen some of her favorite artists (Sam Smith and Kiesza) perform on the very same stage. CYN closed out her set with a few higher energy songs, closing with what she mentioned will be her new single; “Holy Roller.”

Next, after a 30 minute changeover, it was finally time for Years & Years to perform in Chicago for the first time in years (and years). The eager audience full of dedicated fans of Olly Alexander and his bandmates Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen last had the chance to see the band perform in town at 2016’s Lollapalooza. Before that, Years & Years had performed another sold out headline show in 2015 at Park West, which highlighted songs from the group’s debut album. Now, the trio was back and bigger than ever to celebrate their sophomore album Palo Santo, which was released July 6th this year. For the Palo Santo Tour, Alexander, Goldsworthy, and Türkmen set themselves up for the best possible live show, bringing a backdrop that featured theatrical lights, steps and a platform for Alexander to dance along to their music. They also brought along a drummer to help recreate their production-heavy songs in an authentic, live setting and two backing vocalists to add a richness and depth to Alexander’s silky smooth vocals. The full band helped bring newer songs like “Sanctify” and “Karma” to life, but they also put a fresh spin on the older songs that had led many fans to first discover Years & Years, like “Shine” and “Desire.” With the fullness that the band provided to the live show and Alexander’s flawless vocal performance that never faltered, even through energetic dance moves, the momentum of the night never hit a lull. Even during the band’s one slower song, “Eyes Shut,” which featured Alexander stationed at a keyboard in the center of the stage, the energy remained high as the crowd loudly sang the all the words back. When it came time for the band to exit the stage at the end of the night, the crowd demanded an encore with an overwhelming thunder of applause and cheers for Years & Years’ comeback show. The night wrapped up with an encore of “All for You” and “King;” and the latter had everyone in the room on their feet, dancing it out one last time.

If you missed out on the dance party, check out photos of CYN and Years & Years below!

Catch the Palo Santo tour in a city near you—dates here, and listen to the album in full below.