Filtering by Tag: Chicago
Kirin J Callinan brought his extravagant one-man spectacle to Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on Thursday, May 9th, warming up the stage for Broncho. Callinan’s set included dance moves, outfit changes, crowd participation, an A cappella closer and more— making for one of the best solo performances I’ve ever seen. If you missed out on the fun, check out photos of Planet What and Kirin J Callinan’s set below!
Half Acre's annual Big North festival returned for its third year at the brewery's Balmoral location. In addition to endless beer and burgers, the fest also highlighted three of the city's best bands: Post Animal, DEHD, and Divino Niño. Check out our photo gallery of the musical portion of the fest below.
As soon as the doors opened at the Metro last Friday night, the Wrigleyville venue was completely packed with eager fans excited for Alvvays' sold out show. Throughout the crowd you can hear fans talking about their favorite melodramatic songs and the hopes that Alvvays would play everything they wanted to hear, heightening the anticipation of the band's appearance even more.
Fronted by Molly Rankin, the indie pop group hit the stage and began strumming to the venue, filling it with downtempo melodies and honest, lighthearted lyrics. Not every song was low beat, though; "Your Type” and “Plimsoll Punks”, from the 2017 release album Antisocialites picked up the pace, allowing fans to stomp along to the beat and even encouraged a few crowd surfers to float around the room. “Forget About Life” casted a beautiful singalong throughout the concert hall.
Near the end of the set, the band's hit “Archie,Marry Me” made its appearance with its catchy rhymes and anthemic chorus. As you hear those lyrics “Hey, hey marry me, Archie," you can't help but want to grab the hand of your special someone “Tonight Tonight.” To make sure you don't miss Alvvays' magical show in a city near you, see their upcoming tour dates here.
While you wait for Alvvays to come back through Chicago, revisit their latest album Antisocialites below!
Mamby On The Beach returns for another year of great music on Oakwood Beach. The lineup includes artists from all over the genre-sphere, ranging from Common to Cold War Kids to Duke Demont. Some of our absolute lineup favorites include Tune-Yards, HONNE, LÉON, St. Lucia, Jamila Woods, and Oh Wonder, but you can see the full lineup below! To experience this completely diverse lineup while also enjoying some time on the beach, make sure you grab your tickets the Mamby here.
Check out our photos from Day 1 of Mamby on the Beach 2017 here
The Brooklyn-via-Rochester quartet Maybird kicked off a stacked lineup at Lincoln Hall last Tuesday, warming up the stage for The Aces and fellow Rochesterians in Joywave. Their short, but sweet set brought retro-tinged, warm tones reminiscent of 1960's and 1970's psych rock. While they jammed during songs from their latest EP, called Unraveling, the band members exuded an easygoing chemistry between one another. Although Maybird has been around for a few years, they mentioned this was their first performance in Chicago...but based on the crowd's engaged response throughout the set, they should be back soon. Check out photos of the entire show from Emily Nava below.
JR JR kicked a tour for their new singles, in preparation for an inevitable album going into next year. It was the Chicago staple the House of Blues the band chose for their opening night. The crowd gathered throughout the night and the theatre was packed come show time, following opener Hembree.
Lead singer Josh Epstein opened the show by addressing the audience about their new tour and music. “So we’re going to play most of the album for you, throughout the year those songs will come out; and so will also other songs that we write because we think it might be better not to take a year off anymore," he said.
Among those new songs were the currently available singles "Control (Secretly Sorry)", "Clean Up", and "Same Dark Places." Before going into "Clean Up" Josh said about the song, “I went to a party, and ended up leaving at like 10:30 in the morning. I then started writing lyrics for this song. You don’t have to be sad about it, because I think it’s kind of a beautiful thing. Everyone needs to have those nights.”
It wasn’t just new music that JR JR brought to the show, however, as some big news was dropped concerning JRJR’s other half Daniel Zott's personal life. Josh said, “Dan’s tired, can I say it? He’s adopted two children this year. So he’s been a busy boy.” Dan replied, “Not busy making the babies, just taking the babies. We literally adopted them a day before we left for the tour, which was today so yesterday.” The crowed immediately broke out in applause following the news.
The discussion about the new baby didn’t end there however as Josh immediately broke into a story about before the adoption was final, “And I do have a cool story about them. One of them while they were fostering them… you ever have a crush like on someone from a TV show or something? Everyone’s kind of had that. I was walking down and I made a joke, do you think I can buy cigarettes and beer while holding a baby? Then some one said to me, did you steal that baby? And this girl from this TV show that I thought was so pretty was walking by and just gave me this awful face. It was the most embarrassing way to meet some one ever.”
JR JR also played a lot of songs from their self-titled album, like "James Dean", "Hypothetical", and their encore "Gone". Some covers were mixed in as well, including a slowed down version of "Love Fool".
One last highlight from the night was when the band brought up two audience members who were meant to be off rhythm or bad at instrumentation. They did their job right as Daniel and Josh would point to them when the time was right to mash on the keyboard as the band played regularly. This is the first stop of many this year for JR JR as they roll out their tour and album. See all of JR JR's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their latest single below!
Tigertown and VÉRITÉ gave a Friday night feeling to Lincoln Hall this past Monday night with their high energy and engaging performances.
Sydney-based Tigertown got the ball rolling right at 8PM, with their infectious and upbeat indie pop tunes and the style to match. Their roughly thirty minute set packed in songs from their first two EPs, called Lonely Cities and Papernote, as well as a few newer tracks. Tigertown’s most-played track “Lonely Cities” and their newest single “Warriors” were definitely crowd favorites, but the audience remained engaged even during the band’s unreleased material. In between songs, lead singer Charlie Collins radiated gratitude as she introduced each song. Although they were a long way from home, Tigertown put on a polished and humbled performance to get the crowd warmed up for VÉRITÉ. For fans of MS MR, CHVRCHES, and Bleachers, Tigertown is a band you need to have on your radar.
As the stage changed over to gear up for Kelsey Byrne (AKA VÉRITÉ)’s headlining slot, the room buzzed with the anticipation of fans itching to see the singer songwriter. The anxious energy bubbled over when the opening notes of “When You’re Gone” rang out just past 9PM, and Byrne glided onto a dimly lit stage. Although she’s been back in town twice this year to support Betty Who and Marian Hill, the last time Byrne headlined a show in Chicago, she played a sold-out Monday night show at Lincoln Hall’s sister venue, Schubas Tavern. During that show, Byrne expressed her appreciation for the room of dedicated fans, her voice wavering with awe of the support they’d shown an unsigned artist. This past Monday night, Byrne’s eyes glimmered with that same gratitude as she played an amplified and extended set for an even larger crowd in Chicago.
The dynamic set featured older favorites, as well as tracks from VÉRITÉ’s debut album Somewhere in Between, released June 23rd. While some of the songs sit towards the back of the VÉRITÉ catalog and may be well-versed, that didn’t stop Byrne from delivering 110% in her vocal performance and stage presence during every single song. With a minimal production aspect of the show that used only lights, rather than any screens or visuals, Byrne remained the sole focus of the crowd for the entire show. In the middle of her own songs, Byrne performed a cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” with the crowd echoing the words back. At that point in the set, the energy of the crowd peaked and remained in high gear, both the crowd and Byrne jumping up and down to the next song, “Solutions.” During that song, Byrne went so hard during that she cut her lip on her microphone, but she rallied through and delivered flawless vocals for the remainder of the set. The crowd danced and sang loudly along to songs like “Weekend” from her 2014 Echo EP and the recent single “Saint,” which is featured on the album. In between songs, Byrne never stopped expressing her appreciation for the audience, telling them she no longer has to wait tables on the side, thanks to their support. Although she’s performed in Chicago many times in the past, this last show marked VÉRITÉ’s strongest performance here yet.
By blending her powerful vocals and catchy melodies with her personal lyrics and honest, vulnerable stage presence, VÉRITÉ is gearing up to become the most relatable pop singer out there. Grab tickets here for all of the upcoming shows on this tour.
Photo Gallery of Tigertown and VÉRITÉ 8.28.17
Keep up with VÉRITÉ by liking her Facebook page, and listening to Somewhere in Between below.
Pitchfork Festival returned to its rightful place in Union Park yesterday on Friday, July 14th, and so begins one of the best festivals of the summer. Each year, Pitchfork Festival curators do an excellent job of placing some of the best up and coming acts on the Red, Green, and Blue stages at the three day event, but this year they also wrangled in massive headliners LCD Soundsystem, Solange, and A Tribe Called Quest. This year's line up also feels more diverse and wide-reaching with genre, drawing in a large crowd early on Friday afternoon. If you weren't among the masses last night, here's what you missed at P4K Day 1.
Priests Put On A Bright and Bold Performance
Prior to the festival, we compiled seven of our most anticipated acts, and of course it included Washington DC punk band Priests. Although they got stuck with the second performance of the festival at 1:45PM on Friday, a surprisingly large number of festival attendees managed to get out of work and to The Green Stage just in time. Lead singer Katie Alice Greer had the crowd instantly wrapped around her finger with her roaring vocals and magnetic stage presence. In addition to singing back the words of popular Priests songs like "JJ" and "Appropriate," the crowd also went wild when drummer Daniele Daniele multitasked on the drums and vocals during one of the songs. If you missed their wild and captivating performance yesterday, catch them tonight at Schubas! Tickets will still be available at the door, and show starts at 8:45 with Espejos.
Phil Cook Rocked The Harmonica with Hiss Golden Messenger
Based in Durham, North Carolina, Hiss Golden Messenger is the brainchild of M.C Taylor, but on his records and live performances, you never know who will show up to lend a hand. In fact, on the Facebook page for Hiss Golden Messenger, under band members it just says "M.C Taylor + pals," and on Friday afternoon, Taylor's definitely brought his pals out to play. The collaborative set of folk and alt-country music featured the likes of Ryan Gustafson on guitar, Scott Hirsch on bass, and Phil Cook on the keys. Cook brought some character into the afternoon set, multitasking on the harmonica and keys at one point, which had the crowd going wild.
Vince Staples Promoted #WearOrange
This year, Pitchfork Festival has partnered up with organizations Everytown for Gun Safety and Mothers Against Senseless Killings to promote the campaign Wear Orange, to raise awareness of the senseless gun violence that plagues Chicago. Vince Staples took the stage at 4PM Friday and performed his entire set in front of an orange backdrop with orange stage lights, lending a hand to the campaign. In addition to his powerful backdrop, Staples had the crowd screaming back his lyrics and moving nonstop during his rowdy performance.
Frankie Cosmos Overflowed The Blue Stage
Another act on our list of can't miss performances this weekend, Frankie Cosmos and her band completely overpacked the area in front of The Blue Stage for their 5:15 PM show. As the smallest stage at the festival, The Blue Stage often gets crowded, but folks showed up early to soak in Frankie Cosmos' indie pop narratives, and the band gave it their all during each song. Keyboardist Lauren Martin danced while playing the keys and Frankie Cosmos (Greta Kline) enthusiastically played guitar, at one point dropping to the stage floor to ground all her energy into playing. If you missed their mesmerizing set, catch the band at SPACE in Evanston on September 30th!
LCD Soundsystem Made It Smell Like Middle-Aged Sprit
Hands down the best set of the day, the seasoned musicians of LCD Soundsystem had the crowd grooving the whole time. Although they've been around for a while, the band still gave an incredibly enthusiastic performance, completely entrancing the audience. Lead singer James Murphy acknowledged their veteran status early on in the set joking "it smells like middle-aged spirit up here." In addition to the high-quality tunes, LCD Soundsystem's performance also featured topnotch production, with trippy effects added to their video projections on the big screen and of course--their trademark disco ball.
That's all for Day 1, but don't forget to follow along on our social media for some real time updates, and check back for day 2 highlights, as well as a photo gallery of the whole weekend!