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Live Recap: Celebrating Halloween with Sir Sly and Joywave at HOB Chicago

On All Hallow’s Eve, fans packed the House of Blues to catch a co-headlining tour from Rochester’s Joywave and LA’s Sir Sly.

After husband and wife duo from Minnesota and Sweden, respectively, Flora Cash warmed up the stage for the evening’s co-headliners, Joywave made their long awaited and highly anticipated return to a Chicago stage, rushing out to a startling swirl of lights. Along with the flood of overhead lights, the band set the night off with a bang, opening with the appropriately titled single “Blastoffff,” which just came out this Summer and features a heavy bassline and explosive chorus. Massive light boxes with phrases like “Applause,” “Jump,” and “Vape” sat behind the band, adding even more glimmer to the bright production set up. The group kept the momentum going by following up with “Somebody New” from their 2015 album, which also features in-your-face bass. Of course, with it being Halloween, Joywave added some spookiness to their set by donning costumes onstage, but they really upped their Halloween game towards the end of their set. After playing nearly an hour long mix of songs from 2015’s How Do You Feel Now? and 2017’s Content, their set began to wind down with “Tongues” from the former. During the second to last song of their set, one of the band’s friend crashed the stage dressed as the devil to help them finish out the song, which immediately segued into their closing song “Destruction.” The set’s finale had the whole room jumping in unison, causing the floor at the theatre to bounce.

Closing out the night, Sir Sly— or Disturbed, as Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster had teased their Halloween costumes earlier in the night— took the stage rocking full goth makeup and black outfits. As they began their first song, their latest and unreleased track called “Welcome The Pressure,” the room filled with a haze of fog, going along with the dark and spooky vibes of the night. Frontman Landon Jacobs and his bandmates Hayden Coplen and Jason Suwito had last been to Chicago just a couple months prior to play Lollapalooza, one of the many festivals the band hit on their Spring and Summer tour runs. Chicago warmly welcomed back the LA trio, with the full house loudly singing along to Sir Sly songs old and new, and Jacobs couldn’t help but break out of his dark demeanor to show his appreciation. “Have you ever seen a goth this smiley?” Jacobs asked the crowd, beaming about the fact that this show marked their biggest headline show in Chicago to date.

Throughout the rest of the set, the three piece kept a heavy focus on the fact that it was Halloween, but their usual goofy personalities also continued to shine through. “I didn’t wear makeup for nothing,” Jacobs also joked when asking the crowd to go as hard as they could for the rest of the night. The audience didn’t disappoint and kept their energy high to match the momentum of songs like “Trippin’” and “Change” from 2017’s Don’t You Worry, Honey. Jacobs kept the latter fresh and unique to this show by delivering a one-off monologue during the bridge, which has changed every time I’ve seen them on this album cycle. The band also kept their Halloween show special by giving the audience a rare “choose your own adventure” option after performing another one of their aptly spooky songs “Ghost” from their debut album. Jacobs gave the crowd the choice of either hearing a sad song with a speech introducing it, or hearing another Halloween song. Of course, the votes swayed towards the second option and the band played “You Haunt Me,” the title track from their 2014 debut. The eerie mood continued throughout the rest of the night, when Jacobs introduced their single “High” by saying it was based off the scariest thing that’s ever happened to him. “I got too high in a hotel room and I thought I was gonna die. Here I am still standing, but I tasted a little bit of death,” he said before launching into the song. The song once again had the room jumping so high that the floors would shake, but Sir Sly didn’t let the mood die down; instead they launched into an immediate encore performance of the popular single, feeding everyone a second dose of “High.” The night ended with “&Run,” another high intensity single, which the band performed with a fleshed out live arrangement, stretching out the ending with a crescendoing finale. Every time I’ve watched Sir Sly perform, they leave everything they’ve got on the stage, pouring themselves into the performance in such a genuine fashion. It’s only a matter of time before they’re headlining bigger shows and getting more of the attention that they deserve as artists.

If you missed out on the Halloween festivities, check out our photo gallery of all three bands below, and see where you can catch Sir Sly next here.

Bonnaroo 2018 Sunday Highlights

The final day of Bonnaroo began with a rainstorm, breaking the streak of sunny days that the festival had seen so far. Fortunately, the rain stopped in time for most of the acts scheduled in Centeroo, only leaving behind some puddles and mud piles around the festival grounds. The mud didn't stop the party, and music only got off to a delayed start at some of the stages, eventually catching back up to the original schedule. Check out our final day highlights of Roo 2018 below. 

Sir Sly Opened With a New Song

Sir Sly was on one of the stages effected by the rain delay, but they got things moving quickly, only starting about ten minutes late, rewarding the patiently awaiting tent by opening with an unreleased new song called "Welcome The Pressure." "This has been the year of our dreams," frontman Landon Jacobs told the crowd, mentioning that this was their very first Bonnaroo and that they'd had so many great opportunities this year. Sir Sly has had a recent much-deserved streak of success following the release of their sophomore album Don't You Worry, Honey; the album showcases a raw vulnerability in Jacobs' lyrics, which reveal the hardships of a divorce and losing his mom to brain cancer, and the growth that the trio has shown in their sound and production. During their live show, all of that mixed with Jacobs zealous stage presence makes for an unforgettable show. At their Roo set, Jacobs moved around the stage to jam with his bandmates Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen, and even climbed up the stage truss at one point. The band let their enthusiastic audience let them know how appreciative they are of their support, with Jacobs saying, "This reconfirmed the choice I made years ago to finish this album instead of sticking it out with someone who didn't support my dreams," referring to his decision to pursue music instead of staying in his marriage. It was clear that the crowd at Bonnaroo were very happy he made that choice, too. 

Fans Danced in the Mud to Jungle

London soul collective Jungle hit the Which Stage in the evening with the sun shining, almost making us all forget that it had stormed earlier that day...if it hadn’t been for the giant mud pits around that stage. Fans made the most of it though, sliding around barefoot in the mud to move along to the cool, groovy tunes provided by Jungle. Jungle's mix of chilled out and funk vibes paired perfectly with the mood on the last day of Roo, allowing for fans to relax a bit after three long days of music and festivities. The group also played several new songs, like "Happy Man," "Cherry," and "House in LA," which all follow up their 2014 debut album. 

Dua Lipa Hosted a Dance Party

British singer songwriter Dua Lipa has quickly become one of the biggest names in international pop music over the last year, with collaborations with the likes of Calvin Harris and Sean Paul. Naturally, she drew a massive crowd at the What Stage for her evening set, with flocks of fans eager to get in any last chance to dance this weekend. As expected, Dua brought the dance party, providing all of the bangers and by bringing along her crew of backing dancers and singers. Opening with "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)," the set kept moving with hit after hit, like "Be The One" and "Hotter Than Hell," which had the crowd singing along to the catchy choruses. 

The Killers Opened With "Mr. Brightside"

Some ardent fans had been waiting all day for a chance to get in the main pit for The Killers' headlining slot. By 10:20 PM, the long wait was over when the band hit the decked out stage, with frontman Brandon Flowers looking sharp as usual in a flashy red suit. The energy of the huge crowd immediately peaked when the opening chords of "Mr. Brightside" rang out into the field, fans losing their minds, jumping and dancing around for the entire song. It's rare that a band starts their set with their biggest hit, but the bold move got the crowd immediately amped up and ready for the remainder of the set that featured a dynamic mix of The Killers' discography.  About two songs in, Flowers brought up the quote from Evel Knievel that people come to see the attempt, not the perfect landing, and that they'd be giving it their all to put on a rock'n'roll show. As promised, The Killers gave it their all for the final set of the entire weekend, ending the weekend on a high note. 

That's a wrap for Bonnaroo 2018! Keep an eye out for our upcoming festival coverage this summer.

Bonnaroo Round Up: Our 2018 Top Picks

Since 2002, Bonnaroo has been bringing some of the biggest international acts and the best upcoming acts to Manchester, TN for four days of music, comedy, festivities and more. This year, thousands of music fans will return to the farm this Thursday, June 7th for another memorable 'Roo. Stay tuned for our daily coverage during the festival, but for now check out our eight must-see acts of Bonnaroo 2018 below! 


Last year, POND released their seventh studio album, The Weather, which is full of energetic, psychedelic tunes that will instantly sweep everyone off their feet. Their records have this incredible quality that completely engulfs listeners, creating a mystical world with entrancing synths and hypnotizing melodies, but their live show adds even more depth to their layered, multifaceted songs. Frontman Nick Allbrook hooks in audience members with his captivating stage presence, so don't miss POND on Saturday, June 9th at 2:45PM on the This Stage. 

For Fans Of: Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Mild High Club

Start With: "Sweep Me Off My Feet," "Paint Me Silver," "30000 Megatons"

Post Animal

After steadily gaining traction in the Chicago music scene over the past couple of years, Post Animal began touring extensively, working their way up to a national act. The group is currently on tour promoting their debut album When I Think Of You in a Castle, which was released April 20th via Polyvinyl Records. Their live shows always pack in non-stop energy with intense guitar riffs and expansive arrangements, creating a completely different atmosphere from the studio recordings. This year has already seen Post Animal at SXSW and Shaky Knees Festival, but make sure you catch them at Bonnaroo so you can say you saw them at one of their first festival performances way back when. Catch them Saturday, June 9th at 9:45PM on the Who Stage. 

For Fans Of: Twin Peaks, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees

Start With: "When I Get Home," "Special Moment," "Gelatin Mode"

Alex Lahey 

Aussie singer songwriter Alex Lahey will instantly win you over with her lighthearted melodies and relatable lyrics. Lahey's debut EP B Grade University and debut album I Love You Like a Brother are both full of honest narratives that will have you singing along, and her authentic laid-back attitude pairs perfectly with a Summer festival. Catch her at Roo on Friday, June 8th at 2:15PM on the What Stage. 

For Fans Of: Courtney Barnett, Middle Kids, Waxahatchee 

Start With: "Wes Anderson," "You Don't Think You Like People Like Me," "Lotto In Reverse"

Sir Sly

Fronted by Landon Jacobs, LA based trio Sir Sly recently made an incredible comeback with their 2017 sophomore album Don't You Worry, Honey. The long awaited album came three years after their promising debut and reflects upon Jacobs' struggles of losing his mother to cancer and the end of his marriage. The new songs possess a raw vulnerability in the lyrics and see a growth in Sir Sly's production skill, and the group always delivers a vibrant live performance, with Jacobs being known to climb things mid-show. Make sure you catch them Sunday, June 10th at 4PM at the This Tent to witness all of their stage antics. 

For Fans Of: Foster The People, Hippo Campus, K.Flay

Start With: "High," "&Run," "Altar"

Jade Bird

British singer songwriter Jade Bird first made waves when she dropped her debut EP Something American last year, which shows off her fiery spirit, sweeping vocal range, and twangy folk riffs. Since then, she's been hard at work on the road, playing SXSW and touring with the likes of Anderson East and First Aid Kit. This fall, Jade Bird will head out on her first headlining tour, but before then don't miss her at Bonnaroo; she's playing Thursday, June 7th at 11PM on the Who Stage. 

For Fans Of: Maggie Rogers, Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers

Start With: "Lottery," "Furious," "Something American"

Ron Gallo

Nashville's Ron Gallo has been steadily touring since the release of his debut album Heavy Meta, hitting the festival circuit especially hard in 2017, with appearances at the likes of Governor's Ball and Lollapalooza. Whether he's playing on a festival stage or a club show, Gallo always brings along his quirky antics; from playing a trumpet mid-song to passing off his guitar to an audience member, there's no shortage of entertainment. Gallo managed to release an 8-song EP earlier this year in the midst of all his touring, so his recent shows have been refreshed to include new material. If you're looking to hear some great music and have a laugh, Catch Ron at the That Tent on Thursday, June 7th at 5:00 PM.

For Fans Of: White Reaper, Diane Coffee, Naked Giants

Start With: "Put The Kids To Bed," "Really Nice Guys," "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me"


Fronted by Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson, London collective Jungle will be sure to get you dancing with their smooth mix of soul and funk grooves. It's been a while since the group released their debut, self-titled album, but they've teased their follow up with two singles this year that both contain their signature effortlessly cool touch. Get ready to move and check out their set on Sunday, June 10th on the Which Stage at 5:15PM.

For Fans Of: SBTRKT, Metronomy, TV On The Radio

Start With: "Time," "Happy Man," "The Heat"

Rag'n'Bone Man

Speaking of soul, British singer songwriter Rory Graham (better known by his moniker Rag'n'Bone Man) has garnered international attention with his booming, powerful and soulful vocals. Rag'n'Bone Man's debut record Human features a diverse mix of layered narratives that highlight Graham's flexible range; from a bluesy growl to a rich baritone and even a hip hop flow, the album truly showcases Graham's dynamic talent as a singer and writer. Live, Graham brings that all to life with a large band that distinguishes the show from the album with fleshed out arrangements. Catch Rag'n'Bone Man on Saturday, June 9th at 6:45PM at the This Tent. 

For Fans Of: Bastille, Jacob Banks, Jack Garratt

Start With: "Your Way or the Rope," "Human," "Wolves"

Remember that once CenterRoo opens up on Thursday, it will remain open 24/7 until the festival ends, so make sure you check out the entire schedule here. The SuperJam lineup this year is particularly epic with members of Cage The Elephant, Wilco, Young The Giant, Sheryl Crow, Japanese Breakfast, Durand Jones & The Indications and more playing the music of Tom Petty. Keep up with it all by following us on social media throughout the fest:

LIVE: Sir Sly and K.Flay // The Every Where Is Some Where Tour

Sir Sly and K.Flay performed to a sold out Concord Music Hall at the tail end of their Every Where Is Some Where run this past Friday night

LA-based trio Sir Sly warmed up the Friday night crowd for K.Flay, kicking off their energetic set with “Astronaut” from their sophomore album, Don’t You Worry Honey. The band’s latest record focuses on frontman and lead vocalist Landon Jacobs’ deeply personal struggles over the past few years, including his divorce and his mother passing away from brain cancer. As Jacobs and his bandmates Hayden Coplen and Jason Suwito performed their set, a massive light up brain backed them onstage, paying homage to Jacobs’ mother. While their lighting added another layer to Sir Sly’s live performance, the way that the three band members fed off one another, delivering a dynamic set to the Chicago crowd, made for the perfect show all in itself. On top of reworking the live arrangements for tracks like “Change” and “&Run” to build them up and flesh them out, Jacobs threw all of his energy into their 45 minute set. From his dancing around the stage to climbing up to the balcony and scaling the railing along the venue, Jacobs performed with an intense sense of conviction, never allowing a dull moment to creep into their set. Sir Sly will be performing at festivals around the country this year, from Coachella to Governors Ball, so if you get a chance to catch one of their animated performances, don’t miss it.

Kristine Meredith Flaherty, better known as K.Flay, hit the stage next with the same vivacious spirit that Sir Sly exhibited during their set. Opening with “Make Me Fade,” the LA-based, Wilmette, IL native immediately had the crowd mesmerized by her exuberant stage presence, the packed house loudly singing back her candid narratives. After the opening track from her debut album Life as a Dog, K.Flay followed up with a three song streak of tunes from her sophomore album and the namesake of the tour, Every Where is Some Where. K.Flay’s music connects so deeply with her audience based off her ability to pour herself and her experiences into her lyrics, and as the crowd got lost in the moment, you could tell that this concert was not only a cathartic moment for them, but for K.Flay as well.

Between songs, K.Flay exuded a relaxed and approachable onstage demeanor that carried the same candor of every song of hers.  Before playing “Wishing It Was You” from her first record, K.Flay dedicated the song to anyone who’s ever been in unrequited love, saying “This song goes out to anybody who’s been in love with somebody who didn’t love them back.” Very few artists conduct themselves with the same level of authenticity, but K.Flay managed to break down the artist-to-fan barrier and give the feeling of an intimate performance, even in the extremely packed music hall. By the end of the night, after the last notes of the electrifying track “Blood in the Cut” rang out into the venue and K.Flay and her band left the stage, the audience pleaded for an encore performance. Their cheers flooded the Logan Square concert venue with an overwhelming demand for more of K.Flay's heartfelt music, and she obliged, closing out the explosive show with “Slow March.” Artists like K.Flay and Sir Sly amplify the music they've written and recorded during their live shows, giving their audience an absolutely stellar show and a one-of-a-kind feeling that you can't get from simply listening to their records. To get in on that magic, check out K.Flay as she continues her headlining tour in March; see tour dates here. 

Relive the intense show with our photo gallery of Sir Sly and K.Flay

Keep up with both bands on social media below for upcoming tour dates and other news!

Sir Sly: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

K.Flay: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Sir Sly Return With a Raw Performance at Bottom Lounge

“We’ll play at least one more old one. But that’s actually all we’re going to play. I don’t know why I said at least... I’m using my words terribly right now,” Sir Sly’s frontman Landon Jacobs rambled onstage at The Bottom Lounge, right before the trio performed the viral single “Gold” from their first album You Haunt Me. Up until this moment, Jacobs had been using his words beautifully.

Rewinding the clock back to about an hour prior, the lights in the Chicago venue had dimmed and the three members of Sir Sly appeared onstage to ominous intro music, which gradually faded into “Astronaut,” a tune from their highly anticipated sophomore album Don’t You Worry, Honey. Painstakingly honest at times, the album offers an unfiltered and raw glimpse into some of Jacobs’ personal tribulations over the past few years. As you absorb the lyrics and listen to the struggles that are threaded throughout each melody, you’ll find yourself filling with empathy over Jacobs' descriptions of a young marriage falling apart and the pain of losing a parent to cancer. As the words seep in, you suddenly understand why this second album has been such a long time coming.

Before the LA-based trio performed “Altar” from the aforementioned album, Jacobs declared “this is easily the angriest I’ve been while writing lyrics,” and the live performance only amplified the bite behind the song’s chorus, where Jacobs sings “You do what you want/ Sleep with who you want /I can't stop you/ Even if I try, the whole time, you will lie.” The remainder of the set weaved in and out of newer and “old” tracks, which Jacobs points out sounds ridiculous to call any of their music “the old stuff,” as the Chicago tour date fell on the eve of his 27th birthday. Although he may be young, when the band performed “Change” about halfway through the set, it’s evident that Jacobs has gained wisdom beyond his years after experiencing some of his recent hardships. The live version of the song features an auto-tuned spoken word bridge by Jacobs. “I get to improvise that part each night, but the central theme remains the same,” he said, adding that he won’t change who he is for anyone else. And of course, he made the obligatory positive comments about deep dish pizza that touring bands usually mention onstage during the improvised part, which kept it lighthearted.

Continuing on the lighthearted path, Jacobs told the crowd to “smoke em if you got em” before he and his bandmates Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen played the debut single “High” from Don’t You Worry, Honey. The Chicago crowd had been moving the entire time, but the anthemic single got them jumping higher and thrashing around more than any song prior. The high energy continued throughout the next new track, “&Run,” which also featured an extended jam that you’ll only hear during one of the band’s live performances. During this jam, it was clear that Jacobs, Suwito, and Coplen have matured and grown as both friends and musicians during their years of making music together.

Contrasting the infectiously high energy of the last three songs, the crowd went quiet as Jacobs took a step back to introduce the emotional song “Oh Mama.” Jacobs vulnerably described the heartfelt track as an ode to his mom, which alludes to childhood memories, like singing 80s songs with her. The song is also Jacobs tribute to his mother, who recently passed away from brain cancer. For the unknowing in the crowd, suddenly the meaning behind the band’s backdrop of a giant, light up brain clicked. “She gave me a love of language and taught me how to use my words clearly,” Jacobs said during his song dedication to his mom.  As he fondly recalled more memories of his mom, the crowd hung to every word. As Jacobs sings the final line “But oh, mama, one day I'm gonna sing, I'm gonna sing with you again,” his eyes cast upwards to the ceiling, as a final tribute to his mom for the evening.

At this point, Sir Sly’s set has come full circle, to Jacobs' introduction of “Gold,” but once the song came to an end, Jacobs made up for his “at least” blunder. The band performed “High” for a second time that night, closing the night on a high note (pun totally intended). The trio look genuinely humbled and gratified as the crowd let out bellowing cheers, but the praise was much deserved after the precision and passion that had been poured into Sir Sly’s performance. Easily one of the best performances I've seen all year, Sir Sly's set was an emotional rollercoaster, laced with dynamic arrangements and layers that make their show a must-see. 

Photos: Sir Sly at Bottom Lounge on 7/19/2017

To experience this electrifying show yourself, head to Sir Sly’s website to snag tickets to the remaining dates of the tour, and listen to Don’t You Worry, Honey below.