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Live Recap: The 404 Tour with Barns Courtney and The Hunna

This past Wednesday night, The 404 Tour stopped in Chicago, bringing a lively performance from The Hunna and Barns Courtney to Park West.

The evening kicked off with British band The Hunna making their long awaited return to a stage in Chicago to perform both new material and old favorites. It had been years since The Hunna had toured The States, and they had taken a long hiatus from releasing new music until this year, so the band eased into their set with “We Could Be” from their 2016 debut album. Before the first song was even over, the energy of the band had skyrocketed, but it only continued to climb throughout their show as they played songs like “Bonfire,” “She’s Casual,” and new single “I.G.H.T.F.” During the set, lead singer and guitarist Ryan Potter threw his body into his guitar strums, climbed up on drummer Jack Metcalfe’s kit, and swung his microphone around. You could truly sense how grateful the band was to be back onstage in front of an audience far away from home ad that their return was warmly welcomed. Whether the people in the audience were fans of the band who had patiently been waiting for that return, or perhaps seeing The Hunna for the very first time, the band had every single person in the room sold on them by the end of their set.

Barns Courtney took the momentum that The Hunna had built up and propelled it to even greater heights when he burst onto the stage, twirling his microphone in the air and opened up the show with “Fun Never Ends” from his new album 404, just released this Friday. Whether intentional or not, the title of the opening song foreshadowed the lighthearted and amusing nature of the set that would follow. Besides the boundless energy he and his bandmates exuded while performing his upbeat songs, Barns Courtney also kept the audience entertained with his humorous between-song banter. Before slowing things down to deliver a solo acoustic performance of the unreleased “Hard to be Alone,” Barns invited two fans from the front row onstage, and shared the news that the couple had gotten married earlier that day— The fact that he has fans who would spend their wedding night at his concert attests to just how infectiously joyful he is as a performer. After that special, intimate moment of the set, the momentum picked right back up and finished the night on a high-note; Barns jumped off the stage to crowd surf, balloons floated around the room, and everyone danced and sang along to every song.

Between The Hunna and Barns Courtney, the 404 Tour is a blatant reminder that rock and roll is alive and well. To get your fill, see where the tour is stopping next here.

Live Recap: Barns Courtney and The Kooks at The Riviera 02.21.19

This past Thursday night, The Kooks returned to Chicago for the first time since the release of their fifth studio album, Let’s Go Sunshine.

After Future Feats opened up the show, singer-songwriter Barns Courtney warmed up the packed house, getting everyone ready for The Kooks with a blaze of energy. Courtney burst onto the stage to join his live band as they opened up with an unreleased track “Fun Never Ends.” The high energy song set up the crowd to expect a good time from Courtney’s set, and he definitely lived up to that expectation as he sang through songs from his debut album and some new singles. As Courtney sauntered across the stage and put his all into his music, an appreciative fan shouted “you’re the coolest person ever!” Based on the amount of audience members dancing and singing along, both on the floor and in the balcony, it seemed that most agreed with the enthusiastic fan. The spirit of Courtney’s set culminated during the final few songs “Kicks” and “Fire,” in which the singer first crowd surfed, and then finished out the set singing the latter in the middle of the crowd.

Needless to say, Barns Courtney’s set left the crowd buzzing and ready for The Kooks, who hit the stage performing one of their classics “Always Where I Need To Be.” From their years of playing together, the band members had a sense of chemistry and ease about them that perfectly complemented lead singer Luke Pritchard’s captivating stage presence. Alongside the band’s long history of playing together and their lengthy setlist that pulled songs from every chapter of their extensive discography, The Kooks also had an impressive light show that added another special touch to their live show without being overpowering.

While the mood remained very energetic for most of the night, allowing for Pritchard to show off his dance moves, the set did slow down during the performance of “See Me Now” from 2014’s Listen, which Pritchard dedicated to his late father. Pritchard performed the emotional song at the piano, sans his bandmates. Although a hush fell over the crowd during this song, with everyone giving their undivided attention to the stage, the energy quickly picked back up when the full band rejoined Pritchard for “Pamela” from the latest album. While the band members kept their onstage chatting to a minimum in order to focus on the music, they didn’t shy away from fleshing out their songs with special, one-of-a-kind live arrangements. During “Bad Habit,” the band extended the introduction as Pritchard and the audience members partook in a call-and-response style chant, and during “Seaside,” the audience sounded like a choir backup Pritchard’s vocals in the simple song.

Eventually the time came for The Kooks to leave the stage, but it didn’t take long for the crowd to request an encore performance. Instead of the traditional “one more song!” or “encore!” chants, the crowd asked for the band to return by chanting the vocalized introduction to “Bad Habit” once again. The band obliged and returned with “No Pressure” and “Naive.” Before they began the final song of the night, Pritchard dedicated that night’s performance of the 2006 single to fan named Jeffery, giving one lucky fan a very special memory of the evening.

The Kooks wrap up their North American tour this week— see their live dates here, and check out our photo recap of Thursday night below.

Listen to Let’s Go Sunshine in full below

LIVE: Barns Courtney Rocks Schubas on One Leg During His Lollapalooza Aftershow

This past weekend, singer songwriter Barns Courtney put on one of the rowdy, energetic performances that he’s become infamous for...only this time, he did it on one leg, while the other remained locked in a cast. Earlier this Summer, while Courtney was putting on one of those aforementioned wild performances, he jumped off the stage at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, right onto a slab of concrete. Instead of cancelling his upcoming tour and festivals appearances to heal his broken foot, Courtney decided to power through, and during Lollapalooza weekend, the singer performed three times in Chicago. 

For his first performance, Courtney hit the stage at Schubas Tavern just past midnight, forgoing his crutches and hopping right up to his mic stand. From then on, it was full force for the next 60 minutes, while Courtney performed songs from his EP The Dull Drums, as well as some unreleased tracks from his upcoming album The Attractions Of Youth. Rather than stay stationary with his makeshift leg rest that was placed next to the mic stand, Courtney hobbled around the stage as he performed popular songs like “Glitter and Gold” and “Little Boy.”  The energy ironically amplified during one of the unreleased tracks called “Kicks,” even though one of Courtney’s legs was out of kicking commission. Between songs, Courtney also rattled of some of his infamously raunchy stage banter, telling fans about a wild plane ride with his lady. 

The rambunctious set came to an end with the crowd and Courtney giving it 1000 percent, the latter jumping offstage, cast and all, to dance with his fans. While the set may have come to an explosive ending around 1 AM, the night didn’t end there. Barns Courtney mustered all of his final strands of energy to bound offstage and collapse onto the sidewalk outside of the venue, where he hosted one of the most unconventional meet and greets we’ve seen. 

Chicago! If you missed out on Lolla and the sidewalk meet and greet, Barns Courtney will be back (hopefully with two fully functioning legs) on October 11th with The Kooks. Grab tickets to their show at The Vic Theatre here, and see all of his upcoming tour dates here 

Can't get enough Barns Courtney? Check out our interview with him from Hangout Festival here, and listen to his latest single "Golden Dandelions" below!


Hangout Highlights Day 1

This past Friday afternoon, music fans flocked to The Hangout in Gulf Shores, Alabama for a stacked and diverse line up, filled with rookie and veteran musicians of different genres. In addition to the endless options of acts choose from, the festival also offers some unique activities and plenty of chill-out spots to offer their attendees an oasis from the blazing Alabama sun. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at all the other experiences that Hangout Fest has to offer (like their puppy kissing booth and wedding chapel), but for now tune in to find out about Friday's music highlights.

Joseph Woke Us Up With Harmonies

Joseph took the stage at 1:30 PM on Friday, right in the wee hours of the afternoon, as the crowd slowly trickled into the festival grounds to get acquainted with the lay of the land and the hidden gems of the festival. The Portland, Oregon-based Joseph immediately drew in the eager crowd with their tantalizing harmonies.  The fact that the band consists of three sisters definitely plays a hand in the way that their vocals mesh so well, but besides the harmonies, all three sisters gave a stellar vocal performance. Their boundless talent impressed the early afternoon crowd to say the least.

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Mac DeMarco Ripped His Shirt Off With His Bare Hands

Known to never disappoint with his live performances, Mac DeMarco warmed up the festival crowd for the nighttime sets with some of his familiar antics. After his trademark move of smoking cigarettes while performing multiple songs, DeMarco closed out his incredible set by stage diving during the last song, "Still Together."  To top that epic moment, when he returned to the stage, he ripped off his own shirt with his bare hands, finishing the song sans shirt. Oh, and his drummer played the whole set in his underwear. 

PS. Check out our Instagram story for a video of the stage dive. 

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Barns Courtney Hosted a Sweaty Sing Along

Singer-songwriter Barns Courtney drew an eager and friendly crowd during his evening set at the BMI Stage, which happened to be clashing with MGMT. During his popular tune "Glitter & Gold" Courtney got the receptive crowd to sing the chorus back to him. The track came a few songs into his set, and after exerting his energy in the humid Alabama temperatures, Courtney took a tune-and-talk break, telling the crowd "I'm a sweaty little bitch." If you've ever been to a Barns Courtney show, you know you can expect some laughs betweens songs.

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Sharks Invaded MGMT's Set

As the sun began to set during MGMT's viral hit "Electric Feel," at least a dozen blowup sharks were released into the crowd at the Hangout Stage. The crowd had already been exuding positive vibes during the set, but the energy skyrocketed during this surprise addition to MGMT's show. The additional fun fit right in with the vibes of this beach festival.

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Weezer Played Hit After Hit While Rivers Cuomo Rocked a Bucket Hat

A few songs into Weezer's nighttime set, I overheard a fellow festival-goer exclaim that Weezer was the best set of the day, and I'd have to agree. The music vets took the stage with an air of rock and roll poise that comes from years and years of making and performing music. In addition to the sense of ease and comfort that flowed between the band members, their set consisted of hit after hit, the crowd singing along to nearly every word from their opening song "Hash Pipe" to their final song, "Buddy Holly." Oh, and lead singer Rivers Cuomo totally rocked a bucket hat while delivering every hit. 

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Phoenix Filled In For Frank

Night one concluded with Phoenix delivering an incredible comeback set in support of their first album since 2013. Their appearance at the festival came as last minute addition when Frank Ocean dropped out of his headline slot a week prior to the festival, citing production delays. Phoenix's energetic and fun-filled show contained a mix of older and new songs that kept the crowd moving, almost making up for the pain of Frank dropping out. 

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival

Courtesy of Hangout Music Festival


Stay tuned for highlights of Day Two, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for live updates!