Last Wednesday night, Austin native Molly Burch provided a treat to a sold out Lincoln Hall crowd before Alex Cameron's set. Short and sweet, Burch's set captivated the audience with hauntingly delicate guitar melodies and Burch's signature brooding vocals as she sang songs from her debut album, Please Be Mine. At certain moments, the audience members were so enchanted by Burch's old-time Hollywood style songs that you could hear a pin drop, but between songs the room erupted in applause. Check out photos of the mesmerizing performance below.
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This past Thursday night, some lucky music fans piled into Schubas Tavern in Lakeview to witness the rising pop singer Billie Eilish make her Chicago debut. With the flood of emerging artists popping up on Soundcloud and other social media platforms nowadays, it can be difficult for listeners to weave through it all to find their new favorite artists. In some cases, though, just the right amount of luck mixes with a new talent that deserves to be heard, and a song will spread like wildfire. As is the case with Billie Eilish and her viral track "Ocean Eyes," which was only officially released by Interscope Records in November 2016. The track showcases Eilish's witty writing skills and her dreamy, yet sweeping vocal abilities. With a flawlessly strong falsetto and metaphorical writing style, Eilish's music emulates the style of alternative pop legends Lorde and Lana Del Rey. In the short time following her debut single release, Eilish has put out the 8 song dont smile at me EP, which was drip fed to her listeners each week leading up to the official release date of August 11, 2017.
Cut to Thursday night, Eilish stopped in Chicago on her first ever cross country sold out tour to perform songs from her EP, with a few surprises mixed in. Fans who had patiently been waiting all day for Eilish lost their minds right away, screaming as she ran onstage and reciting the words of the opening song "COPYCAT" along with their new favorite singer. Although Eilish is only 15 years old (let that sink in) and this was her first show in Chicago, she possessed a fierce sense of confidence and comfort for being onstage that many seasoned musicians don't even have yet. Throughout the set, Eilish and her brother made up the entire band. While her brother mostly stuck to guitar and running any backing tracks, Eilish often moved around the stage showing off her insane vocal ability, but she also picked up a ukulele for a couple of songs and performed a solo song on the piano. While she had her ukulele out, Eilish had teased her track "party favor" with a cover of Drakes "Hotline Bling," which flowed seamlessly into the latter. Her piano performance of an unreleased song called "Listen" left the crowd completely hushed in awe of her songwriting and singing abilities. At one point in the set, Eilish mentioned she had completely lost her voice the previous day, which made her stellar performance even that much more impressive. Another set highlight included Eilish giving her brother a chance to take the spotlight, with him hopping up to center stage to sing a song on his own while playing the guitar.
The short but sweet set that lasted just under an hour still managed to ebb and flow, each song having its own sonic groove and standing out from the rest. Eilish wrapped up her set with "bellyache," which builds up with an explosive chorus and blends electronic tones with an addictive guitar melody and Eilish's ethereal vocals. With such a magnetic stage presence and her ability to write captivating and thoughtful pop music, it will only be a matter of time before Billie Eilish is selling out arenas.
If you weren't able to witness history in the making in person, check out our gallery of her performance below.
Check out the rest of Billie Eilish's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to dont smile at me in full below!
Last Saturday, Concord Music Hall ended its night with a sea of crowd surfers floating to the thrash punk rifts of Against Me!
Earlier that night, the Canadian trio, The Dirty Nil, was the first of a three band act to perform at the Concord Music Hall. These guys aren’t your average opener. With their raw and ravishing vocals blended with their punk rock rifts, The Dirty Nil managed to pump the crowd up with songs off their new album Higher Power.
Next up, Bleached played more than just a solid set this night. The band delivered their new, deep-cut punk single “Can You Deal?" The crowd couldn’t help but jump around and sing along to it. From songs on their recent album Welcome The Worms to their single “Carter," the surf rock group expelled a high dose of stellar tunes into the muggy air of the sold out concert venue.
Finally, with the crowd screaming for more noise and sound, Against Me! walked on to the stage. A big portion of the crowd was made of mid to late twenty years olds. So when the band played “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” early off in their set, it certainly launched everyone back to being 17 and those accompanying feelings of rebellion. The band managed to cover a massive variety of their songs and exceeded the expectation of the audience. One of the biggest closing songs the band performed that night was “Thrash Unreal. In unison, the crowd yelled out the lyrics and then the chorus hit. From the sea of fans, the crowd surfers emerge and glide across the floor. The floor literally shook to its foundation to close out an unreal performance.
See all of Against Me!'s upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their latest album in full below!
Following Phoebe Bridgers opening set, consisting of some of her own stuff and even a Bright Eyes song, Conor Oberst took the stage at the Vic Theatre. Oberst’s career-spanning set was backed by The Felice Brothers. Opening with “Barbary Coast (Later)” off his 2016 album Ruminations, Oberst then played the first Bright Eyes songs of the night, “Four Winds”. He then jumped back into playing some of his solo stuff such as “Get-Well-Cards” and “Afterthought” which is off his most recent album Salutations. The set even included some of Oberst's other side projects, “Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Bands."
Next, Oberst played quite a few Bright Eyes songs, like “Something Vague”, “Southern State”, and “Well Whiskey”. Following that, The Felice Brothers exited the stage, leaving behind the accordion player. Phoebe Bridgers walked out to perform “Lua” with Oberst before the Felice Brothers reappeared to perform a cover of their own song, “Jack at the Asylum”. In between songs Oberst went on a rant about the current political situation happening in America and then returned back to playing “Artifact #1” and “Salutations”. As the lights dropped the first notes of “First Day of My Life” took over the audience. Oberst finished the first part of his set with “A little Uncanny," returning later for an encore that began with him alone at the piano playing an unreleased song he called “No One Is Going to Change”.
He closed out his set with Bright Eyes' “Make War” and his solo song “Napalm”. With powerful lyrics and great instrumentals, Conor Oberst puts on an amazing show with changes to the setlist each night, making each show unique in its own way. Conor is currently on tour with The Felice Brothers and will be all around the United States. For tickets and more information click here.
Listen to Connor Oberst's latest album Salutations in full below!
Public is one of the most personable bands out there right now. If you come to their show, they want to know your story...what brought you to their music. They also want you to leave with something new; a takeaway from their live performance that you can't find anywhere else. And during their hour long set on Tuesday night at Schubas Tavern, the trio delivered exactly what they set out to at the start of tour; a unique experience that put each member of the audience in a better mood and higher spirits than when they entered the concert hall. By the end of the night, even the most tame members of the crowd had found themselves out of their chairs and dancing in the crowd.
Although the dancing reached its peak during the final song of the night "4Her," songs like "Pretty Face" and "Make You Mine" also had the crowd moving. In our interview before the show, frontman John Vaughn described his vision of their developed live show this tour, and their set went above and beyond what he explained. Before the trio played "Make You Mine," towards the end of the set, Vaughn gave the crowd some insight to his inspiration behind the song. These introductions occurred before most of the songs, acting as another way to keep the crowd engaged. The majority of the songs also featured special arrangements or extended jams between the band members that you can't hear on the EPs Sweet Lemonade or Let's Remake It. Mixing things up even more, the set also featured a very well-received cover of "Toxic" by Britney Spears.
If you're looking for a truly unique concert experience, make sure you go see Public on the remaining dates of their Sweet Lemonade Tour. You can see all of the tour dates here, and check out a photo gallery of their show below.
While you wait patiently for our interview with Public, in which they reveal their most recent Google searches, each others' pet peeves, the secrets behind their show and more...listen to the Sweet Lemonade EP in full below!
Rooney rocked Lincoln Hall on Thursday evening last week, as part of their Ultrasonic Summer Tour. Check out the full photo gallery below!
That Girl Has Love
Tell Me What You've Learned
Can't Get Enough
Don't Be a Hero
Not in my House
Day 2 Day
All or Nothing
My Heart Beats 4 U
Where Did Your Heart Go Missing?
All The Beautiful People
You can check out the rest of Rooney's tour dates here, and listen to their latest single "Second Chances" below!
This past Tuesday evening, Catfish And The Bottlemen rocked the stage at The Rave, returning for their third visit to the Milwaukee concert hall. The set kicked off with "Homesick" from their debut album The Balcony, the crowd instantly echoing the lyrics back to the four piece group, and the energy only accelerated from there. The band released their sophomore album The Ride just about a year ago, but the majority of their 14 song set was composed of songs from their debut album.
Lead singer Van McCann kept the classic songs fresh by alternating the lyrics in "Business" from how they read in the studio version, and the band all worked together to amplify the live version of every song, feeding off one another's and the crowd's energy. During the mid-set performance of their single "Twice" from The Ride, McCann and lead guitarist Johnny Bond (aka Bondy) played their guitars back-to back. The pace only slowed down towards the later half of the set, when Bondy, bassist Benji Blakeway, and drummer Bob Hall left the stage to leave McCann to perform their acoustic track "Hourglass" solo. The audience added a choir-like effect, singing the words back to McCann as he performed the stripped back song.
The energy skyrocketed for the last few songs of the evening, which included the single "7" and the iconic track "Cocoon." Just after McCann expressed his gratitude for the audience and their support act, The Worn Flints, the crowd began a chant for "Rango," a track from The Balcony. Unfortunately for the diehard "Rango" fans, the band did not oblige and moved straight into the final song of the set, "Tyrants." Drawn out and dynamic, the live version of "Tyrants" goes above and beyond the studio version, making Catfish And The Bottlemen one of the best live bands around. If you get the chance to see them perform, do not miss out!
All photos by Rachel Zyzda
The Set List
Check out the official video for "Twice" below, and stay in the know on all updates from the band here.
British trio The xx captivated their Chicago audience on Monday evening at The Aragon Ballroom, marking their triumphant return after playing a sold out show at the same venue back in 2013. Celebrating their third album I See You, this show was a part of the aptly named “I See You” Tour, which kicked off in April.
The dynamic and mesmerizing performance from The xx started with new track "Say Something Loving," the eager crowd cheering with recognition as the introductory sample of the Alessi Brothers used in the song rang out into the ballroom. The set list that followed featured an ample mix of tracks from their debut and sophomore album, like crowd favorites "Islands" and "Angels." The band kept the older content fresh by introducing new arrangements and mixes of the familiar tunes, especially with the upbeat version of "Shelter" they performed towards the end of the set.
Throughout the set, a mutual love and appreciation radiated from the crowd to the stage. Other set highlights included the addition of "Loud Places" from Jamie xx's solo album into the set, a solo and stripped back performance of "Performance" by Romy Croft, and Oliver Sim's dedication to single people before "Dangerous."
The electrifying evening wrapped up with a very humble and heartfelt thanks from each member of The xx, with Romy mentioning the energy of each and every fan in the venue.
The Set List
Say Something Loving
I Dare You