ANCHR Magazine

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Live Recap: Nao and Jean Deaux at Metro 08.23.19

Just last month, the unfortunate news broke that the annual Mamby on the Beach festival would be cancelled, due to troubles with the location. That meant that many of the artists that music fans in Chicago had been looking forward to seeing perform would no longer be in town the weekend of August 23rd and 24th. On the other hand, some of the artists were still able to book new gigs at venues around the city, and fortunately one of those artists was Nao, who performed at the Metro on Friday night.

Chicago’s own Jean Deaux took the stage first on Friday, and she did a perfect job of warming the crowd up for Nao. Jean Deaux’s set was short, but sweet, and included a ton of crowd interaction encouraged by the singer. From call-and-response style sing alongs to dance moves, the crowd remained entertained the whole time. Being her hometown, some of the audience was already well-versed with Deaux’s music, but by the end of the set she had gained the entire room’s attention and admiration with her outgoing performance style.

By the time Nao was set to take the stage, the Metro had completely filled in, and it became clear how much of a positive impact the London R&B artist’s music has had on fans, even miles away from her hometown. When the lights dimmed and Nao’s band took the stage, she actually entered from the back of the crowd, singing the entirety of “Another Lifetime” alongside her audience. While the indoor venue was obviously scaled back from the size of the festival performance, Nao’s surprise introduction made her performance even more intimate.

As the night went on, Nao continued to truly connect with the audience through her lyrics, her stage presence, and her speaking points. Nao is an artist who bares her souls in her songwriting, and when she performs, she leaves all her energy onstage. Whether she was twirling across the stage, sitting down at the edge of the stage to be physically closer to the audience, or handing out white balloons (as an homage to her Saturn album cover), Nao’s energy was something that you didn’t just watch— it was something that you felt. Everyone in the room could genuinely relate to Nao as she recited an anecdote about change and personal growth before performing her new album’s title track “Saturn.”

The difference between a good show and a great show usually comes down to the energy put out by the performer and the crowd alike, and for Nao’s Metro performance, there was nothing but positive vibes in the room that night. The show brought people of all different backgrounds into one place, allowing for strangers to share an incredible moment together.

Keep up with Nao on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and check out photos from Friday’s show below.

PHOTOS: Your Smith and X Ambassadors at House of Blues 07.02.19

This past Tuesday night Your Smith and X Ambassadors put on a high energy show for a packed House of Blues. Check out photos from the show below, and keep up with Your Smith on Facebook // Twitter // Instagram.

PHOTOS: pronoun at Cobra Lounge 06.08.19

This past Saturday, pronoun hit the stage at Cobra Lounge in honor of her debut album i'll show you stronger, which just dropped on May 24th. Check out photos from the show below and see where you can catch pronoun next here.

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

PHOTOS: Hatchie and Girlpool at Lincoln Hall 04.18.19

This past Thursday night, Hatchie and Girlpool shared the stage at Lincoln Hall, putting on a stunning show. Hatchie performed a mix of her first EP and singles, as well as songs from her upcoming debut album Keepsake, out June 21st.

See where you can catch Hatchie next here, and check out photos from the evening below!


PHOTOS: ANCHR's In the Round Showcase at Thalia Hall

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our biggest showcase yet at the beautiful Thalia Hall with Varsity, Pool Holograph, Stuyedeyed, and Rookie. If you missed out on the monumental occasion, check out some photos from the evening by Cat Florea below!

Get tickets to the next ANCHR Showcase with Town Criers, The Edwards, In the Pines, and Dreamboats here.

Live Recap: Stella Donnelly's Sold Out Soiree at Schubas Tavern

“I just took a Malört shot to the eye!” Stella Donnelly exclaimed to the sold out crowd at Schubas Tavern on Friday night, March 29th. *Record Scratch, Freeze-Frame* You’re probably wondering how we got here…so let’s start at the beginning, when Faye Webster opened up the show at 9PM.

The music room had filled in, with fans eager for the evening’s performances, when Webster took the stage accompanied by only one bandmate; Pistol, who played a pedal steel guitar. Webster’s gentle vocals made for the perfect way to ease everyone into the concert, with Pistol’s pedal steel providing a dreamy, surfy vibe to the songs to put everyone in the room in a groovy trance. Webster threw in some surprises during her set too; first with a creative cover of “Cheap Thrills” by Atlanta rapper Father and second, when she pulled out a yo-yo to show off some tricks she’d recently learned. The best surprise came when Webster invited an audience member by the name of Xion onstage to perform some serious yo-yo tricks, which were greeted with thundering applause and cheers from the crowd.

After the exhilarating yo-yo tricks at the end of Webster’s set, the room was buzzing with nothing but good vibes when Stella Donnelly took the stage shortly after. The last time I had seen Donnelly, she had played a solo set opening up for Natalie Prass at Lincoln Hall, and her debut album Beware of the Dogs had not yet been announced. At the Lincoln Hall show, Donnelly had completely commanded the room with just her voice, her guitar, and her witty banter. And at the Schubas show on Friday, Donnelly once again showed off her chops as a solo performer by opening her set playing a handful of songs sans her touring bandmates. For most of this first portion of the show, Donnelly had an infectious positive attitude about her, and she kept the mood light with some cheeky humor. When it came time for Donnelly to perform “Boys Will Be Boys,” a weighted song that tackles the subject of sexual assault, she gave a content warning about the subject matter before sharing that the song was inspired by an incident that happened to a close friend. Donnelly’s candid and fearless approach to her songwriting comes across on many of her songs, but particularly in this track, which acts as a timely reminder for everyone to believe and support survivors.

When it came time for Donnelly’s full live band to join the mix, the infectious energy that she had exuded on her own only multiplied, and you could feel the joy bouncing between bandmates as they looked to be having the time of their lives playing together. They all had such an easy-going manner and their chemistry as bandmates came across as natural, like they were all just old friends jamming out. Between the laid-back nature of the bandmates and Donnelly’s flawless vocal execution and charm, you couldn’t help but be hooked on this performance. The feel-good mood came to a high when Donnelly invited Faye Webster and Xion (and their yo-yos) back up on stage for the ironically upbeat tune “Die.” The bandmates, Webster, and Xion ended the song in a coordinated dance, which was obviously met with deafening cheers by the audience.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for...the Malört shots. Earlier in the set, Donnelly had mentioned between songs that one of her bandmates had yet to try the infamous Chicago liquor, which is a rite of passage for anyone visiting our city. Luckily for Donnelly’s band members, Malcom Brown (of Whitney) was in the crowd that night, and he saved the day by bringing up a tray full of Malört just as the final full-band song of the night, “Tricks,” was coming to a close. Cue: Donnelly taking her shot and getting some of it in her eye. Like a champ, Donnelly went on with the show and wrapped up her first sold out headline show in Chicago with a solo rendition of  “Mechanical Bull,” throwing in some improvised lyrics; “There’s Malört in my throat” in place of “You've been at my throat.”

Between the impeccable musicianship, cheery stage presence, and moments of humor, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect start to the weekend than Stella Donnelly’s show. Easily one of the best shows I’d seen in a while, Stella Donnelly is not to be missed if she’s performing in a city near you. Check out her upcoming tour dates here, and relive the fun of Friday’s gig with the photo gallery below.


PHOTOS: Skela's Project 10 Tour with Silver at Schubas 2.16.19

This past Saturday night, indie pop singer Skela brought her powerhouse vocals and DIY spirit to the Schubas stage in honor of her latest music release: Project 10. Check out photos from Skela’s Chicago headlining debut below, including shots from Silver’s supporting set.

Project 10:

Live Recap: Yoke Lore's Sold Out Return to Schubas for TNK Fest 2019

Brooklyn’s Adrian Galvin (AKA Yoke Lore) is no stranger to Chicago, having played the city several times over the past couple of years. At Schubas alone, Yoke Lore has performed there supporting Overcoats and as headliner, and this past Saturday, he returned to headline a sold out show. The TNK show, which took place on the fourth night of the annual winter festival, had sold out weeks in advance, so I knew going into the show that the room would be packed with eager fans.

After Shortly had to unfortunately cancel their set, Deanna Devore stepped in to open up the show, alongside Chicago’s Ester and Nashvilles Sontalk. The crowd of dedicated fans showed up early and listened attentively to the first three acts, and in the final moments before Yoke Lore would hit the stage, the room buzzed with anxious excitement. Finally, the lights dimmed and Galvin and his bandmate made their way up onto the dark stage. As Galvin began to strum his banjo, the lights flickered on and Yoke Lore music videos and visuals were projected on the screen set up as a backdrop. The crowd sang along to the set openers “Fake You” and “Only You,” and Galvin’s signature dance moves accompanied his ethereal vocals and twangy banjo. When it came time in the set for Yoke Lore to perform the viral cover of “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden, an audience member shouted out that the track was their wedding song, and Galvin dedicated the performance to them. The highlight of the night came when it was time for Galvin to perform the popular single “Beige,” and the echoes of every single person in the room singing along bounced around the room.

Eventually, it was time for Yoke Lore to exit the stage, but the audience begged for an encore with cheers and applause. Galvin didn’t make them wait long before he returned for a couple more songs, including the unreleased “Tom Robbins.” Before playing the final song, Galvin explained that he’ll probably never record the tune, in order to keep it as a special part of his live shows forever. “When you record a song, there’s a piece of it that gets morphed,” he said. “I want this song to be just for us,” he continued and played the song while the backdrop showed a starry night scene.

Yoke Lore’s TNK performance added another layer with the visual projections, but at its core remained the beautiful authenticity that Galvin’s art and music has always showcased. Based on the success of this show, 2019 is gearing up to be a huge year for Yoke Lore, so don’t miss him when he comes to a city near you! Check out Yoke Lore’s 2019 tour dates here.


Photos of Deanna Devore, Ester, Sontalk and Yoke Lore at Schubas Tavern

PHOTOS: Noname's Sold Out NYE Weekend at Thalia Hall

Last weekend, Noname took over Thalia Hall for three nights of sold out shows. If you missed out on tickets, check out photos from the second night, December 30th below.

PHOTOS: The Shacks and Django Django at Metro 10.05.18

On Friday night, Django Django made their long awaited return to Chicago, playing at The Metro alongside The Shacks. Check out photos from the show below.

Listen to Django Django’s latest album in full below and check out the rest of their upcoming tour dates here.