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Filtering by Tag: Live

LIVE: Middle Kids Bring Witty Banter and Sincere Songs to Lincoln Hall

This past Wednesday night, Aussie indie rockers Middle Kids brought both their sincere songs and witty stage banter to Lincoln Hall’s stage as part of WKQX’s Queued Up Artist Showcase. After Chicago’s own Glyders rocked the Lincoln Park concert venue, Middle Kids kicked off their roughly hour-long set with a new track from their upcoming debut album, called “On My Knees,” before moving into “Your Love” from the band’s debut EP. The latter, like most of Middle Kids’ EP, showcases lead singer Hannah Joy’s incredible vocal range and emotive tone that adds another layer to her intricate narratives.  

Live, the band adds even more depth to their thoughtful and personal stories told in the songs, with Joy moving around on stage and jamming with bandmates Tim Fitz, Harry Day, and touring member Pete Covington. The energy built up during “Fire In Your Eyes,” which Joy told the crowd was the first song she and Fitz ever wrote, and “Old River,” which had Joy working the whole crowd and the band playing an extended jam during the bridge. The mood came to a hypnotizing lull for the next song, a piano ballad on the EP named “Doing It Right” that Joy reconstructed as a guitar ballad, performed as a solo on her part. The stripped back solo placed a weight of vulnerability on Joy, but she wrapped the crowd around her finger with the flawlessly fragile performance. The spell broke when the full band returned and Fitz delivered some banter about spit bubbles before diving into their viral track “Edge of Town,” which has been hyped by everyone...including Elton John. Joy prefaced another new song called “Don’t Be Hiding” by telling the crowd that their shows act as a little survey to test out the new ones. One final new tune trailed after “Never Start,” acting as an encore. The new song may have been the last, but instead of displaying any signs of exhaust for the prior performance, Joy’s voice remained resilient, weaving in and out of falsettos and powerful harmonies with her bandmates, while possessing a strong sense of conviction.

The Sydney trio had only made their Chicago debut earlier this year, but with the stellar show they put on at Lincoln Hall, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing lots more of Middle Kids soon.

Check out photos of Glyders and Middle Kids at Lincoln Hall, and catch them in a city near you soon! All tour dates can be found here.

Can't get enough Middle Kids? Listen to their debut EP below, and check out our interview with Hannah Joy here. 

LIVE: Tigertown and VÉRITÉ Kick The Week Off With a Bang at Lincoln Hall

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.

LIVE: Frenship at Park West 8.3.2017

LA duo James Sunderland and Brett Hite, AKA Frenship, and their live band hit the stage at Park West this past Thursday evening just after 11PM, as part of an official Lollapalooza aftershow with Tegan and Sara. Despite the late start of the show and the fact that some of the crowd had been watching music all day across Chicago's massive Grant Park, the room still buzzed with excited energy when the opening notes of Frenship's "Run Wild" rang out. The energy only amplified as the band performed some of their popular tunes like "Carpet" and "Knives," which featured Hite and Sunderland showing off some of their signature dance moves. As the set progressed, the duo worked the entire stage, quickly winning over the crowd at the intimate Lincoln Park venue. Towards the end of the set, the energy peaked when the keyboardist, Celeste, took center stage to sing Emily Warren's part of the band's viral song, "Capsize." The crowd sang along to its melodic and addictive track, remaining hooked as Frenship performed the final song of the evening, "1000 Nights." 

Frenship will be on a headlining tour in select cities this fall--check out all of their upcoming shows here, and listen to their debut EP below. 

LIVE: Temples and Declan McKenna 8.2.2017

The British invaded Lincoln Hall on Wednesday, August 2nd for an evening of pure talent, charisma, and rock'n'roll. Kicking off the Wednesday night "after" show, which actually took place before this year's 4-day Lollapalooza, Declan McKenna and his band played in celebration of both his first Lolla performance and the release of his debut album What Do You Think About the Car? As McKenna played through crowd favorites like his debut single "Paracetamol" and his latest, "Humongous," he and his band jammed cohesively, feeding off one another's energy. His 45 minute set concluded with the high energy single "Brazil," with its impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head chorus. 

After a quick stage changeover, fellow Brits Temples took the stage to deliver a smooth and polished performance for the next 90 minutes. Combining a solid variety of songs from their debut LP Sun Structures and 2017's Volcano, the set flowed from start to finish with extensive jams and additions to songs that added layers to the live performance. The band's frontman James Edward Bagshaw sauntered around the small stage at the Lincoln Park venue, energy surging through not only Bagshaw and his bandmates, but the crowd and the band as well. A magnetic presence filled the concert hall as the crisp and perfected sound soared through the room during songs like "Certainty" and "Shelter Song." A lighting rig composted of chameleon, color-changing diamonds added another depth to the already enthralling performance from Temples. It's a rare feat when a band can develop such an engaging and evolved live show while still managing to sound flawless and in sync, but Temples made it look easy with their Wednesday night show. 

If you missed both Temples' shows at Lincoln Hall and Lollapalooza, check out their remaining tour dates here. 

LIVE: White Reaper at Mo Pop Festival

Not only is the music of White Reaper the ultimate nexus of charm and pure rock ‘n’ roll, but it is uniquely adrenalized as well. This is a trait that leaps from the record to the stage, as the band delivered an invigorating performance at this year’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit, Michigan.

One of the most memorable aspects of White Reaper’s set was their banter between songs. They evaded the trap of appearing as musical robots who went through song after song without acknowledging the crowd by a wide margin, and instead revealed an innate ability to make the audience burst with laughter. Guitarist Hunter Thompson jokingly asked the audience if they were enjoying their sabbath, as the performance took place on a Sunday, and bassist Sam Wilkerson gave a shout out to his twin brother and White Reaper drummer Nick - who then promptly removed his shirt and pants before continuing with the rest of the set. White Reaper is effortlessly charismatic - something that will contribute to the band’s inevitable longevity just as much as their musical skill.

White Reaper at Mo Pop 2017

White Reaper at Mo Pop 2017

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of White Reaper’s live performances is simply watching keyboardist Ryan Hater. Taking full advantage of the fact that he does not have an instrument strapped to him, Hater jumps and thrashes - even making the occasional venture to the microphone to interact with the crowd. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching live music is being able to witness the palpable cycle of energy that exists between a group of musicians creating art that they love, and a group of people who love their art. For White Reaper, Hater is a major catalyst for the radiation of this powerful electricity.

After reaching the conclusion of their set with the track “Judy French,” a single from their most recent album that drips with a delectable combination of goodness and grit, the previously quiet audience was in an uproar of applause and cheers. The audience had fallen White Reaper’s spell - an easy feat for a band that’s a refreshing combination of skill and stage presence.

White Reaper is hitting Chicago this week! They'll be at Lollapalooza Thursday, August 3rd at 12:45 on the Grant Park Stage. They'll also be opening a sold out show with Royal Blood at Lincoln Hall on Friday, August 4th!

Can't get White Reaper? Revisit our interview with them here

SHAED Wrapped Chicago Around Their Finger with Their Infectiously Energetic Set

Although we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, there’s been no shortage of SHAED the past few months. Playing Mamby at the end of June before returning to support Sir Sly for their show at The Bottom Lounge, the DC trio composed of Chelsea Lee, and twin brothers Spencer and Max Ernst have already performed in Chicago twice this month. Fortunately, the band and the crowd don’t seem to mind, as lead vocalist Chelsea Lee exclaimed “I fucking love this city,” near the end of SHAED’s set on Wednesday night. Cheers and applause greeted Lee’s expression of appreciation for the midwestern city and the audience alike.

That same infectious energy and mutual love clung to band’s roughly 40 minute performance, which has become polished and perfected by touring with the likes of Bishop Briggs and Marian Hill. As the three performed in harmony, Lee’s powerful and smooth vocals rang out into the concert hall, a good portion of the crowd echoing the words back. The Ernst brothers and Lee also grooved to their own music, exuding a feeling of comfort not only between each other, but as performers. A particularly stand-out moment of the night occurred when SHAED played their latest single “Too Much.” During the song, Lee took a break from singing to go dance next to each of the brothers, and the crowd moved in unison to the funky beat, which is perfect for a summer night.

Unreleased material made up a good chunk of the set, as the trio is still working on their debut album, but that didn’t stop the crowd from knowing some of the words or getting into the songs with their bodies. At one point, the crowd started clapping along to the beat, and Lee’s face lit up with a mix of surprise and gratitude at the action of positive feedback from the audience. The band’s nifty lighting rig also added another layer to the live show, keeping the crowd engaged with that facet of the production, but ultimately what had the crowd wrapped around SHAED’s finger was the seamless blend of Lee’s vocals and the production work of the Ernst brothers. It’s early on in their career, but it’s clear that SHAED has found their groove and it will only grow stronger as this tour goes on.

SHAED at The Bottom Lounge 7.19.17

Stay tuned for our interview with the DC based trio, but for now make sure you catch them on tour with Sir Sly. You can see all of the tour dates on SHAED's Facebook page, and listen to "Too Much" below to get ready!

PHOTOS: Twin Peaks at Taste of Chicago 7.7.17

Hometown heroes Twin Peaks played their last show in Chicago on Friday before they head off on a month-long European tour. Although the seated show at Taste of Chicago made for a pretty tame crowd, the band still delivered an energetic performance, supporting headliner Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. Check out the full gallery of Twin Peaks' performance below! 

Chicago, Twin Peaks will be DJing at Culture Collide's Lolla kickoff party with Mac DeMarco. RSVP for the free show here. The band will also be touring with Spoon in the fall and playing Audiotree Festival! Check out all of their tour dates here and listen to their live LP Urbs in Horto below. 

LIVE: Elliot Moss at Baby's All Right 6.24.17

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Elliot Moss graced the stage at the legendary Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night.  As soon as you walked into the 280-person venue, an eerie yet calming sense hung in the air, a vibe that closely matches the mood in some of Moss's tunes. The singer has described his main goal as taking the listener through an unworldly experience, and Moss did just that this past weekend, using his electro-pop sound and ethereal vocals. Throughout the night, he kept the talking to a minimum and focused on delivering a show that left the audience hanging onto every chorus and craving more.

Elliot Moss at Baby's All Right 6.24.17

Elliot Moss at Baby's All Right 6.24.17

Kicking things off with “High Speeds” from his debut album, Moss quickly opened up, revealing himself in his songs. Raw, unfiltered emotion comes through in all of his songs, especially during a live performance. With his endless talents, Moss effortlessly goes through each song with his piano and guitar with such passion, that it’s hard to not feel the same emotions he tries to portray through his songwriting. Song’s such as “Even Great Things” and “Slip” deal with issues such as the loss of a loved one and depression. Although the topics are dark, Moss delivers it in a way that shows both sides to each situation, and he's managed to turn the pain into a way for his listeners to cope. 

Moss's therapeutic and hypnotizing set consisted of songs from both his first album “High Speeds” as well as his new EP “Boomerang”. By the end of the night, the crowd was begging for an encore. Once again, Moss did not disappoint and delivered with “I Can’t Swim” and “VCR Machine”.

Leaving the venue, the room buzzed with positive remarks about the performance that had just transpired. There is no doubt that there are only good things coming for Moss this year as he continues to tour. You can check him out on the rest of his tour here. 

The Set List

  1.    Highspeeds 
  2. Faraday Cage    
  3. Closed Loop   
  4. Falling Down and Getting Hurt   
  5. Plastic II  
  6. Even Great Things    
  7. Slip
  8. Best Light 
  9. 99
  10. About Time
  11. Big Bad Wolf
  12. Without the Lights
  13. I Can’t Swim
  14. VCR Machine

Can't get enough of Elliot Moss? Check out our interview with him here

PHOTOS: Doug Tuttle, Glyders, and Bunny at Hideout Inn 5.12.17

The Hideout hosted an incredible lineup this past Friday night, featuring Chicago's own Bunny and Glyders warming up the crowd for Doug Tuttle's headline slot. 

Listen to Doug Tuttle's new album Peace Potato below, and check out his upcoming tour dates here.