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Filtering by Tag: TNK Fest

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

Live Recap: Snail Mail Returns to TNK Fest for a Sold Out Show with Varsity and Lala Lala

Last year, Lindsey Jordan’s project Snail Mail played a sold out headline show at Schubas as part of Chicago’s annual TNK Festival, and this year, Jordan and her band returned to do the same. Only this time, they played to about five times as many people at The Metro.

From the moment the doors opened at the Wrigleyville venue, streams of fans took their place in the packed room for a great night of music, which kicked off at 9PM sharp with Chicago’s own Varsity. The indie pop-rock five piece delivered a short, but sweet set to warm everyone up for the rest of the night. Varsity kept their between-song banter to a minimum and smoothly transitioned from song to song in order to pack in as many of their tunes as possible into their set time. The crowd sang along to a lot of Varsity’s familiar favorites, like “So Sad, So Sad,” which got a lot of cheers when the opening chords rang out. Before closing out with one of their latest singles “The Dogs Only Listen to Him,” the band tested out a brand new song on the attentive audience.

Next, it was time for Lala Lala, the project of Chicago-based singer-songwriter Lillie West. The set kicked off with the single “Water Over Sex” from Lala Lala’s second album The Lamb, which was just released in September last year, but was easily one of my top played albums of 2018. Based on the amount of people singing and dancing along, it clearly wasn’t just me who had the album on repeat. Like the album itself, the live set showcases the dynamic production and soundscapes of the songs, ranging from the jarring, percussive intro of “I Get Cut” to the mellow and slow-building “Lala Song.”  Although West’s live lineup of fellow Chicago musicians often changes with different tours based on schedules, her current band had great chemistry and seamlessly flowed with one another. West and the band closed out the set on a high note, performing West and WHY?’s collaboration “Siren 042,” which had just been released the week prior. The final song of the set featured Sen Morimoto on saxophone, who will also be joining Lala Lala on their nearly two month tour that kicked off last week.

Finally, with the crowd warmed up and anxious for Snail Mail to hit the stage, the lights dimmed and Jordan made her way onstage with her bandmates. The musicians were welcomed with an overwhelming wave of cheers and applause as they began an instrumental intro, which bled into the single “Heat Wave” from Snail Mail’s 2018 debut album Lush. The crowd immediately became a choir, echoing the lyrics back to Jordan, who gave her approval with a “sounds good” and a smile. While Snail Mail may only have one album out, the band spent 2018 touring relentlessly, and the graceful and humble nature displayed by Jordan on Thursday night was that of a seasoned, veteran performer.

Throughout the rest of the set, Jordan’s humility remained, paired with an effortless and natural stage presence that kept the sold-out crowd hypnotized. Whether it was to songs from the album, like “Let’s Find An Out” and “Deep Sea,” or earlier material like “Thinning” from Snail Mail’s 2016 EP Habit, the audience never stopped singing along. When it came time for Jordan to perform the lead single from the album, “Pristine,” she invited a couple of guests up onstage to lend a hand as backing vocalists. As the night began to wind down, Jordan closed out the set sans band to give a solo performance of “Anytime” and “Stick.”


If you missed out on tickets to the memorizing TNK show, see where you can catch Snail Mail next here.


Photos of Varsity, Lala Lala and Snail Mail at TNK night two

TNK Spotlight: Nine Artists You Can't Miss at Tomorrow Never Knows 2019

It’s mid-January in Chicago, and you know what that means, right? Tomorrow Never Knows Fest kicks off this week! You’ve got your 5-day pass (or at least I hope you do—they’re already sold out), and now all that’s left to do is plot out your schedule for this annual indoor winter festival extravaganza that takes place across different venues in the city, like Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Sleeping Village and Metro. If you didn’t happen to snag five day passes, some of the shows still have individual tickets available, but read up on our recommendations and act quickly so you’re not left out in the cold for this year’s TNK!


Active Bird Community

Photo Credit: Eleanor Petry

Photo Credit: Eleanor Petry

Brooklyn-based four piece Active Bird Community combines long-term friendships with a candid, yet playful demeanor to deliver a live show full of punchy riffs and inside jokes told between songs. Tom D'Agustino, Andrew Wolfson, Zach Slater, and Quinn McGovern have been playing music together for more than ten years, which translates as a true sense of camaraderie both onstage and on their records. Every time I’ve seen this band, I spent their set bopping my head along to their upbeat melodies and laughing at their stage banter, making their set one not to miss at TNK. This past Fall, they released their third album Amends, which follows up 2015’s I’ve Been Going Swimming and 2017’s Stick Around, so their set at Lincoln Hall will be sure to feature some new music. For more on Active Bird Community, check out our interview here.

For Fans Of: The Frights, together PANGEA, Vundabar

Start With: “Pick me Apart,” “Virginia,” “Amends”

Where to catch them: Wednesday, January 16th at Lincoln Hall with Charly Bliss and Girl K

Lala Lala

Photo by Matthew James-Wilson

Photo by Matthew James-Wilson

The project of London-born, Chicago-based singer songwriter Lillie West (AKA Lala Lala) has been garnering buzz throughout the city the last few years, and recently nationally since West and her band toured nearly non-stop last year with bands like Frankie Cosmos, Wolf Parade and WHY?. 2018 saw the release of Lala Lala’s second full length album, The Lamb, which showcases West’s knack for honest and introspective storytelling through her lyrics. West also fearlessly dives into different sonic territories on the album’s twelve tracks, blending together different genres that portray the various emotions explored in the songs. The Lamb is easily one of my most listened to albums of 2018, and the band puts on one of the best live shows. If you need even more reason to add this to your TNK itinerary, this gig will be the last chance to catch Lala Lala in town for a while (they embark on a two month tour afterwards). Don’t miss it!

For Fans Of: Madeline Kenney, Jay Som, Soccer Mommy

Start With: “Water Over Sex,” “Scary Movie,” “I Get Cut”

Where to catch them: Thursday, January 17th at Metro with Varsity and Snail Mail

Pool Holograph

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

What began as a solo, bedroom-recorded project of songwriter Wyatt Grant has since blossomed into the full four piece that is current day Pool Holograph. With Zach Stuckman and brothers Paul and Jake Stolz joining Grant, their sound has filled out and developed in order to transition well in a live setting, making Pool Holograph’s show a must-see at this year’s TNK. The group recently followed up their 2017 album Transparent World with two new singles “Contours” and “No Escape,” which both highlight the band’s versatile sound that blends together elements of post punk, art rock, and lo-fi genres— or as Grant describes their sound, it’s like “a closed Urban Outfitters store circa 2008.” For more fun facts about the band (if that one didn’t already sell you), check out our interview with them here.

For Fans Of: Omni, NE-HI, Clearance

Start With: “Heat Map,” “Contours,” “Stratus Sheets”

Where to catch them: Wednesday, January 16th at Schubas with Bad Bad Hats, Video Age, Con Davison

Varsity

Photo by Kristina Pedersen

Photo by Kristina Pedersen

With their polished indie rock sound and memorable melodies, Chicago’s Varsity has an air about their music that is familiar without being derivative. Over the past few years, the group has toured regularly and shared stages with the likes of Japanese Breakfast and SALES, earning them a well-deserved fanbase that extends outside of the city. In the midst of touring (and sharing members Paul and Jake Stolz with Pool Holograph), Varsity still managed to release their sophomore album Parallel Person and two singles, “The Dogs Only Listen to Him” and “UFO,” in 2018. On top of all of that fresh music, the band teased the possibility of another brand new song being ready for their TNK set this week, so hopefully you already snagged tickets to this sold out show!

For Fans Of: Japanese Breakfast, No Vacation, Alvvays

Start With: “UFO,” “Downtown,” “A Friend Named Paul”

Where to catch them: Thursday, January 17th at Metro with Lala Lala and Snail Mail

Jordanna

Photo by Juliet Cangelosi

Photo by Juliet Cangelosi

Whether it’s her musical transformation from lead singer of a punk band to a sweet and soulful solo artist, her thoughtful marketing strategies, or her humor on social media (I mean have you seen her lip-sync videos??), Jordanna’s artistry knows no bounds. Her buttery vocals and sultry, smooth tempos are equally enthralling and soothing for her listeners and audience members, and she brings a sense of authenticity to everything she does. Jordanna’s debut EP, “Sweet Tooth,” features tracks like “Lucky For You” and “Sugar” which will be sure to have you grooving and swaying along. Her show at TNK is sold out, so hopefully you have a ticket or a 5 day pass— but if not you can also check out Jordanna at her own annual event on February 23rd: Candyland.

For Fans Of: Your Smith (FKA Caroline Smith), Tasha, The Marías

Start With: “Lucky For You,” “Eu Quero Você,” “I’m Your Girl”

Where to catch them: Thursday, January 17th at Schubas with Still Woozy, Victor!, Monster Rally

Yoke Lore

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Adrian Galvin (aka Yoke Lore) is part musician, part visual artist, part dancer, and part spiritual guru. He’s even an expert on pirates (more on that here). Despite the fact that Galvin has so many creative passions, he still manages to excel in all aspects of his art. Through his message and his music, Galvin radiates motivation and positivity that can’t help but lift your spirits when you hear it. By blending ethereal vocals, the occasional twang of a banjo, and sweeping melodies, Yoke Lore’s music is easy to love and hard to forget. Yoke Lore’s show is one of the sold out ones on this list, but if you were smart enough to snag tickets ahead of time, be prepared to be blown away at his show on Saturday night.

For Fans Of: Overcoats, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Lewis Del Mar

Start With: “Beige,” “Goodpain,” “Cut and Run”

Where to catch them: Saturday, January 19th at Schubas with Sontalk, Shortly, Ester

Bad Bad Hats

Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash

Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash

Minneapolis’s Bad Bad Hats earns a place on this list as one of the few non-Chicagoan bands with their bright, effervescent indie pop-rock. The trio, consisting of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison, has released two albums (the most recent, Lightning Round, just came out in August), and both records deliver a multifaceted, layered and diverse soundscape. Their sophomore album especially explores different genres and hues that set each song apart as a separate chapter, yet each track seamlessly complements the rest of the album perfectly. Their show at TNK will certainly keep the audience on their toes with the band’s dynamic catalog of songs.

For Fans Of: Hippo Campus, Maggie Rogers, Hala

Start With: “It Hurts,” “Midway,” “Psychic Reader”

Where to catch them: Wednesday, January 16th at Schubas with Video Age, Con Davison, Pool Holograph

Sports

With their groovy bass lines that you can’t resist dancing to and their live production that adds an extra layer of sparkle and shine, it’s impossible not to smile while at a Sports show. The band’s feel-good, synth laden music and the infectious energy that the band members all exude with their stage presence will make their show on Sunday night at TNK the perfect end to the five day festival. This past August, Sports followed up 2016’s album People Can’t Stop Chillin with Everyone’s Invited, so their set will be sure to feature some new tunes since their last show here in Chicago.

For Fans Of: POND, St. Lucia, Triathalon

Start With: “Panama,'“ “You Are the Right One,” “Don’t Tell Me”

Where to catch them: Sunday, January 20th at Lincoln Hall with Pavo Pavo and Arlie

Girl K

Photo by  Xitlaly Viveros

The brain child of Chicago-based singer songwriter Kathy Patino, Girl K, has provided a refreshing addition to the local rock scene, making a huge splash in a relatively short amount of time. Much like a few of the other artists on this list, the project began as a solo endeavor for Patino in 2017 before she added a full roster with musicians Ajay Raghuraman, Alex Pieczynski, and Kevin Sheppard. Girl K has kept Chicago music fans hooked by regularly playing shows around the city and releasing music— In 2018, Patino released three singles to follow up her debut full length Sunflower Court, and her recent live shows have featured performances of brand new material. 2019 is gearing up to be an even bigger year for Girl K, so don’t miss them kicking off TNK on Wednesday night.

For Fans Of: Beach Bunny, Lunar Vacation, Slow Pulp

Start With: “Dog Year Lungs,” “Cinnamon,” “80’s Baby”

Where to catch them: Wednesday, January 16th at Lincoln Hall with Active Bird Community and Charly Bliss


LIVE: HINDS Closed Out TNK Fest 2018 at Lincoln Hall

Madrid quartet HINDS was number one on our most anticipated acts of TNK Fest 2018, and they definitely did not disappoint during their show this past Sunday! They closed out the annual winter, multi-day and multi-venue festival at Lincoln Hall, following rowdy performances from openers Peel and Sløtface.

Bursting onto the stage to the sounds of “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate on the house speakers, the four piece immediately let the audience know that they were in for a light hearted and energetic performance filled with good vibes. The last time HINDS had played one of their endearing and energetic shows in Chicago was back in May of last year, where they packed The Empty Bottle for a free Red Bull sponsored show. The Lincoln Hall audience welcomed HINDS back to town with open arms; eagerly soaking up their irresistible and lively lo-fi rock tunes.

The band kicked off the evening with one of their most popular tracks, “Garden,” from the 2016 album Leave Me Alone, and the set that followed kept the audience engaged and enthralled from start to finish. Between playing even more crowd favorites from the same album, like “Castigadas En El Granero” and “Chili Town,” Carlotta Cosials talked about how Chicago almost felt like a second home to them, even though they came a long way from Madrid to play a small run of North American tour dates. In addition to the handful of shows HINDS have played in town, they also played an entire tour with Chicago’s Twin Peaks, and of course, Twin Peaks showed up to support their former tour mates and now friends for their show at Lincoln Hall.

The band also talked about some exciting news they had just shared earlier in the week; a new album and another expansive tour in the Spring. Accompanying the news of the album, I Don’t Run, HINDS released lead single “New For You,” which they played amongst their other setlist staples. After delivering nearly an hour of their catchy tunes at a non-stop pace, HINDS left the stage briefly, only to return for an encore that kicked off with a surprise. Twin Peaks members Clay Frankel and Colin Croom took the stage to give HINDS a hand with a cover of “Sweet Thing” from Twin Peaks’ Wild Onion LP, giving HINDS’ show in Chicago a special hometown touch.

If you missed out on this performance at Lincoln Hall, don’t sweat too much...HINDS will be back at the same venue during their upcoming tour! Grab tickets to their May 15th show here, and check out the rest of their tour dates right here.  

Photo gallery of Sløtface, Peel, and HINDS by Catalina Florea

While you wait for HINDS to come play in a city near you, listen to "New For You" below, and pre-order I Don't Run here

PHOTOS: Megabog with Destroyer at TNK Fest 2018

For night four of TNK Fest 2018, we headed to The Metro to catch Mega Bog and Destroyer. If you missed out, check out our photo gallery of both bands for a taste of the show!

See the rest of Mega Bog's upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their 2017 album Happy Together in full below!

LIVE: Yoko and the Oh No's, Ron Gallo, and Diane Coffee at TNK Fest 2018

Diane Coffee’s live performances have a magical and magnetic quality to them that are nuanced to the point of almost transcending description. Their performances are immersive in the sense that the richness of it all makes it impossible for audiences to think about or focus on anything else aside from what is taking place onstage. By all means, that is a skill and a power. Such a beguiling spell was cast over the audience at Lincoln Hall last Friday, who gathered at the beloved local venue to see the band perform during the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival- an annual concert series that takes place at Lincoln Hall and its sister venue, Schubas.


Chicago's own Yoko and the Oh No’s warmed up the crowd at 9PM sharp with their lively rock tunes, unfortunately playing their last ever show to the already packed house. The announcement of the final show had been made only the day prior, and friends and fans of the group had flocked to see the final performance. The four piece, fronted by the exuberant Max Goldstein, brought every last ounce of energy they could to the Lincoln Park venue that evening. Goldstein and his bandmates remained in sync the whole time, delivering a stellar show that had the audience hooked and hoping for an eventual reunion of the band in the future. 

Nashvilles' Ron Gallo kept the high spirits going when he took the stage shortly after; kicking off his set with a trumpet, he monotonously read an introduction to his band and thanked the festival while a single spotlight shone down on him. Consisting of humor and good old fashioned rock and roll, Gallo's set had the crowd entertained from start to finish. The set contained some crowd favorites from his debut album Heavy Meta, like "Put The Kids to Bed" and "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me," but it also included brand new tunes from Gallo's Really Nice Guys EP, which had just dropped that morning. The audience reciprocated the energy that Gallo and his bandmates poured out onstage; moshing and dancing along to the music. Towards the end of the rowdy and fun-spirited set, Gallo even hopped off stage to join the crowd. If given the chance to see Ron Gallo, do not miss out on his engaging and energetic performance. 


After the impressive opening sets, Diane Coffee earnestly launched into “Mayflower” - a brassy, energy-charged track with lyrics that serve as a delightfully tongue-in-cheek commentary on consumerism. The savvy selection of “Mayflower” as an opener allowed its palpable energy to serve as blueprints for the remainder of the set; blueprints through which Diane Coffee crafted an incredibly memorable and engaging performance.

Diane Coffee finds their identity in their exploratory nature, both in sound and performance. Therefore, the band is able to perform a sonically diverse setlist with a clear sense of cohesion numerous styles, tones, and influences - thus giving their music a universal appeal and multi-elemental appeal. A physical testimony to this was the fact that the audience at Lincoln Hall was noticeably diverse in age. Diane Coffee’s work contains just enough classic elements to make it timeless, and the perfect amount of innovation to make it fresh and new all at once. Elements of grit, lightness, realism, fun, and innovation have a continuous presence that entirely harnessed the attention of the crowd. These creative juxtapositions are something that does not necessarily make sense, but Diane Coffee is able to seamlessly merge these elements in a manner that results in an engaging listening experience and a dynamic live set. For the entire time Diane Coffee was onstage at Lincoln Hall, nothing existed outside of the venue doors. They possess the ability to make the audience feel as if the rest of the world is melting away, and that’s a definitive nod to their talents as musicians and as a live entity.


One cannot discuss Diane Coffee without mention of enigmatic frontman Shaun Fleming. Dauntless and charismatic, Fleming embodies all it means to be an artist and an entertainer in every sense of both words. With a habit of performing in outfits just as exciting as the music he creates, Fleming excels in mastering all aspects of live performance: he engages the crowd in a manner that surpasses the traditional “How are you guys doing out there?”, performs his work with evident skill and care, and has an ability to turn each venue he performs in into something of a warm community. His performance at Lincoln Hall was certainly no exception to this magic. If Diane Coffee has proven one thing through their performance this weekend, it is that they are a group of artists who knows how to consistently deliver. That in itself is a noted key to success, and Diane Coffee has taken that key and swiftly unlocked the door.

Relive the magic of the evening by checking out our photo gallery of all three bands, shot by Rachel Zyzda. 

Keep up with all the Ron Gallo and Diane Coffee updates by following them on Social Media! 

Ron Gallo: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Diane Coffee: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


Yoko and The Oh No's and Ron Gallo review written by Rachel Zyzda

 

PHOTOS: Cut Worms with Cafe Racer and Okey Dokey at TNK Fest 2018

Day 2 of TNK Fest 2018 included a stacked line up at Lakeview's Schubas Tavern, with Cafe Racer, Okey Dokey and Cut Worms. If you missed it, check out our photo gallery of their sets below!

Can't get enough Cut Worms? Check out our interview with Max Clarke here!

 

PHOTOS: Helado Negro and Cuco at TNK Fest 2018

Last week, Helado Negro and Cuco played to a packed house at Lincoln Hall on Wednesday, January 17th, kicking off the annual TNK Fest. Check out photos from the show below, and check out the rest of Cuco and Helado Negro's tour dates here


Listen to Cuco's Songs4U in full below

TNK Fest 2018: Five Must See Acts

Ahh, it's January in Chicago, which means snow and sub-zero temperatures. On the bright side, it also means it's time for Tomorrow Never Knows Fest, the annual multi-venue, 5-day, indoor (thank god) festival. Last year we wrote about our five most anticipated bands playing the festival, but we also discovered some new favorites, like Dream Version, Overcoats, and Acid Dad. While we're excited for pretty much all of the bands playing this year, and looking forward to even discovering some new favorites, here are our top five most anticipated acts of TNK Fest 2018.


HINDS

This Madrid quartet consisting of Carlotta Cosials, Ana García Perrote, Ade Martín, and Amber Grimberge crafts irresistibly lively and light-hearted lo-fi rock tunes with melodies that'll get lodged in your head for days, but their live show is where it's at. The four piece exude crazy chemistry and project so much positivity and energy whenever they take the stage, making their set at TNK 2018 one you absolutely cannot miss. Although they're based in Spain, 2017 saw HINDS over in The States quite a bit, performing at Coachella, and co-headlining a tour with Chicago's Twin Peaks. It's been a minute since they headlined a packed Empty Bottle here in the city back in May, though, so make sure you snag a ticket to welcome them back to Chicago. 

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 21st, 9PM. Grab tickets here. 

Start With: "Bamboo," "Garden," and "Warts"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: PEEL

For Fans Of: Twin Peaks, The Big Moon, Cherry Glazerr 

Photo By Aaron Serrano

Photo By Aaron Serrano

Ron Gallo

Speaking of incredible stage presence, the Nashville-via-Philly singer songwriter Ron Gallo puts on an unforgettable show. 2017 was quite the year for Gallo, which saw the release of his debut solo album, Heavy Meta, following Gallo's time with his band Toy Soldiers.  Heavy Meta sees Gallo exploring serious subjects in a quirky and blunt way, wrapped up in raw and rowdy rock tunes. Gallo toured heavily last year as well, not only touring Europe and The States, but appearing heavily on the festival circuit; playing Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Lou Fest and more! This year he's already been booked for Coachella and Hangout, but help him kick things off by grabbing tickets to see him with Diane Coffee at TNK Fest! You can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Ron Gallo here

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 19th, 9PM. Grab tickets here. 

Start With: "Young Lady, You're Scaring Me," "Put The Kids to Bed," and "All the Punks are Domesticated

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Yoko and the Oh No's

For Fans Of: Cage The Elephant, The Districts, Naked Giants 

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Snail Mail

The brainchild of the Maryland musical prodigy Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail brings honest alternative rock narratives that deserve your full attention. Following her 2015 and 2016 EPs, Sticki and Habit, Jordan toured extensively with the likes of Waxahatchee and Beach Fossils in 2017. This year is already filling up quickly for her, with Snail Mail being booked for Coachella and national tour dates announced through April. Help Snail Mail also kick off a sure-to-be successful year by coming to her show at Schubas Tavern, which features a stacked lineup of fellow badass bands and artists, including Stef Chura and Ratboys

When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 19th, 8PM. The show is sold out, but you can grab TNK 5-day passes here

Start With: "Thinning," "Habit," and "Slug"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Bunny

For Fans Of: Priests, Japanese Breakfast, Beach Fossils 

Photo By Audrey Melton

Photo By Audrey Melton

Liz Cooper & The Stampede 

Nashville based trio Liz Cooper & The Stampede blend multiple genres together to create a recognizable yet refreshing sound. The nomadic and multi-talented Liz Cooper fronts the group, and the trio's folk rock melodies mesh perfectly with Cooper's soulful and raspy vocals. The group has caught the eye of many lately; recording Audiotree sessions and performing at their annual festival last year, as well as making an appearance at the massive ACL Festival in 2017. The three piece will perform at Lincoln Hall with Rayland Baxter, and you can get ready for the show by re-visiting our interview with Liz Cooper & The Stampede here

When/Where: Lincoln Hall //January 20th, 9PM. Grab tickets here

Start With:  "Mountain Man," "Hey Man," and "Dalai Lama"

For Fans Of: Desert Noises, Big Thief, Julien Baker 

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Photo by Rachel Zyzda

Okey Dokey

Also from Nashville, the duo of Aaron Martin and Johny Fisher (guitarist for The Weeks) blend retro and soulful tones into psychedelic rock tunes that completely capture their listeners with the stories told in each song. Okey Dokey's show at TNK fest marks nearly a year since the release of their debut album, Love You, Mean It, which brought on an incredible year for them in 2017. Their show at Schubas will undoubtedly showcase their fun and dynamic spirit, and the lineup also includes former Chicagoan Cut Worms and Sonny Smith, so don't miss it!

When/Where: Schubas Tavern //January 18th, 8PM. Grab tickets here

Start With: "Wavy Gravy," "Coffee Boi," and "Low Rent/ Blue Skies"

ANCHR Recommended Local Bands Playing The Show: Cafe Racer

For Fans Of: Mt. Joy, Omni, Hoops

Photo Courtesy of Okey Dokey

Photo Courtesy of Okey Dokey


There you have it! Again, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full line up here, and make sure you get to all the shows early. So many of our favorite hometown bands are playing these shows, and they all need to be on your radar this year! Lastly, get ready for the show by listening to the official TNK Mixtape below.  

Big Thief Deliver a Powerful Set at TNK Fest Night One

The Brooklyn-based band headline a sold out Schubas as part of Chicago's annual Tomorrow Never Knows Festival

“Best song of 2017!” exclaims at audience member, after the Brooklyn based band Big Thief finish their popular track “Paul.”  It’s a Wednesday evening at a completely packed Schubas Tavern, and the first night of Chicago’s annual 5-day festival Tomorrow Never Knows.  “We’ve got a long way to go….I hope we can make it,” lead singer Adrianne Lenker responds. 

Forty minutes prior to this exchange, give or take a few minutes, the usually four-piece Big Thief made their way on stage sans guitarist Buck Meek, opening with a new track “Cut My Hair.”  It’s nearly midnight by the time the band starts, headlining a stellar line up of Campdogzz, Hoops, and Sam Evian, but from the minute Adrianne sang out the first line of her narrative-style lyrics, the crowd was mesmerized.  After playing new tracks called “Those Girls” and “Shark Smile,” Big Thief played some crowd favorites, “Vegas” and “Real Love” from their debut album Masterpiece.  The title track of the debut album immediately followed, the crowd singing along with Adrianne’s cutting, yet delicate vocals. 

Big Thief at TNK Festival 2017

Big Thief at TNK Festival 2017

The streak of older tunes ended and more new tunes followed, each still possessing Adrianne’s signature story-telling structure and emotive delivery.  Before playing the tune “Parallels” from the first album, Adrianne addressed the heavy presence of new songs on the set list, saying “We’re doing a lot of new songs, and we’re gonna do a few more…but not at this moment.”  Cut to the band playing “Paul,” and the exchange that happened between an enthusiastic fan and Adrianne.

Despite the fact that they were missing a band member, the remaining three bandmates all displayed incredible musicianship, with a no frills stage set up (they even had handwritten set lists) that allowed for the crowd to focus solely on the music.  Adrianne chatted briefly a few times between songs, connecting with the audience, but the rest of the time it was like Adrianne, James, and Max were in their own world with a magnetic energy coursing between each of them on stage.  The band managed to further lure in their audience by being so well connected and in-tune with each other.  

The hour-long set winded down with a couple more older tracks, including “Velvet Ring” and the single “Humans.”  Adrianne chatted to the still-mesmerized crowd before their final song, thanking everyone for coming out and mentioning they already have a new record finished.  “We’re just getting ready to make some copies of it.  It’s gonna come out in the spring, and a lot of these songs will be on there,” she continued.  The set wrapped up around 12:50AM, with a new track shown on the set list as “Terminal.” 

Keep up with all the latest on Big Thief and their upcoming album by heading to their website and signing up for the mailing list.  To hold you over until you can hear the new stuff, grab a copy of Masterpiece here.