Filtering by Tag: The Bottom Lounge
Kirin J Callinan brought his extravagant one-man spectacle to Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on Thursday, May 9th, warming up the stage for Broncho. Callinan’s set included dance moves, outfit changes, crowd participation, an A cappella closer and more— making for one of the best solo performances I’ve ever seen. If you missed out on the fun, check out photos of Planet What and Kirin J Callinan’s set below!
This past Monday night, my week started off on a high note with a sold out show from The Japanese House and Art School Girlfriend. The moniker for English musician and songwriter Amber Bain, The Japanese House is no stranger to Chicago, having played sold out shows at Lincoln Hall and Bottom Lounge in the past, and performing at Lollapalooza. This show marked Bain’s return to the Bottom Lounge and her first performance in Chicago since releasing her debut full length album Good At Falling on March 1st.
While I was able to catch The Japanese House’s set at Lollapalooza in 2017, this show was my first time seeing a headlining show from Bain and her bandmates. I arrived at the venue early to catch the opening set from Art School Girlfriend, the stage name for solo musician Polly Mackey from Margate, UK. Mackey took the stage on her own and captivated the audience with her experimental electronic sound, which had hints of influence from the likes of Zola Jesus and The xx. When Art School Girlfriend’s set started, the Monday night crowd had still been pretty thin as everyone still made their way to the venue from work— but by the end, the room had mostly filled in.
After a short changeover, Bain and her band took the stage to a hazy intro track, which faded into “Face Like Thunder,” from 2016’s EP Swim Against the Tide. Right away, Bain hooked the audience with her dreamy vocals, mesmerizing harmonies, and a tightness with her bandmates that brought the songs from her album to life in a really vivid way. Early on in the show, an audience member shouted out, “you’re my favorite artist!” (a sentiment that I think many people in the crowd shared) and passed a bouquet of flowers to Bain. That moment set up the night to become even more special, as a room full of strangers bonded over a shared love of an artist. Bain also did a great job at crafting a setlist that highlighted the best parts of The Japanese House’s discography, including a throwback to “Still” from her 2015 debut EP, which the crowd seemed to love. The audience also eagerly soaked up the performance of newer songs, like “Follow My Girl” and “Lilo” from the the new album.
The Japanese House’s show on Monday provided an oasis-like escape for fans to hear some of the new material performed live for the first time. If you weren’t able to attend, relive some of the magic by checking out photos from the evening below, and see where you can catch The Japanese House on tour next here.
This past Tuesday and Wednesday night, Kevin Krauter warmed up a completely packed Bottom Lounge, opening up for Beach Fossils and WAVVES’ co-headline tour. Krauter took the stage backed by his usual full band, plus special guest Paul Cherry on the shakers. The short but sweet 30 minute set consisted mostly of songs from Krauter’s newest album Toss Up, released this past June via Bayonet Records, but the full band also tried out a couple of brand new songs. Check out photos from Kevin Krauter and Beach Fossils’ sets below if you missed out.
This past Friday night, The Marías and Albert Hammond Jr gave the sold out crowd at Bottom Lounge an unforgettable start to their weekend. Fresh off an intense SXSW schedule, The Marías joined Albert Hammond Jr on a stretch of tour dates supporting his latest album, Francis Trouble. While the weather for this April show may have been a little chillier than usual for this time of year, the Chicago audience still gave the LA natives a warm welcome, attentively listening and encouraging the band with claps and cheers between tracks from their velvety debut EP Superclean Vol. I. Throughout the set, the band's lead singer, named--you guessed it--Maria, seemed completely at ease on the unfamiliar stage, her silky and dreamy vocals hypnotizing the room. By the time the band worked through their whole EP and even a cover of "Lovergirl" by Teena Maria, the audience had become so invested that they demanded an encore from The Marías. Unfortunately the band was unable to oblige as their stage time had come to an end, but hopefully they'll return soon for a headlining show!
Next up, the legendary Albert Hammond Jr hit the stage with a burst of energy, which was immediately matched by the loyal and enthusiastic fans; the entire crowd loudly showed support by screaming along and dancing to the opening song "Caught By My Shadow." Between songs, Hammond called out the audience's noise levels with a nod of appreciation, telling the Bottom Lounge audience they had to be the loudest crowd yet on this tour. The electric dynamic between Hammond and the audience members remained in full swing the entire night; Hammond threw his all into his performance and the crowd would act as a boomerang, throwing the positive energy right back. Throughout the 90 minute set, Hammond and his band played songs from his discography, focusing on the brand new album Francis Trouble, released March 9th on Red Bull Records. While some fans may have been more familiar with every single song, singing along to the entire set, Hammond puts on the type of show that keeps an audience captivated for the entire show, no matter how familiar everyone is with the music. For fans old and new, Hammond created a safe space with his performance, where everyone could escape their troubles for the night and just focus on the pure entertainment and feel good vibes provided by Albert Hammond Jr.
In a world where we're often laden with distractions, it's rare to experience a performer as enthralling as Albert Hammond Jr, so if you get the chance to see his live show, don't miss it. See the rest of Hammond's tour dates here.
Photos of The Marías and Albert Hammond Jr at The Bottom Lounge
LIVE: Beach Fossils Bring Their Music, a Proposal, Skateboard Tricks, and Stage Crashing to Bottom Lounge
This past Tuesday night, NYC’s Beach Fossils put on a show at Chicago's Bottom Lounge that was just as entertaining between songs as it was during the songs. Although the tour was in support of Beach Fossils’ latest album, Somersault, their eventful set kicked off just before 10PM with a few older tunes, “Generational Synthetic” and “Shallow.” Before playing their third song of the evening, lead singer Dustin Payseur noticed that someone in the crowd had been making airhorn sound effects and called forward the audience member to demonstrate his skills over Payseur’s microphone.
From the second Beach Fossils had taken the stage, a sense of unity and excitement fell over the crowd and remained there throughout the whole set, but a huge highlight of the evening happened early on when a couple got engaged onstage. Beach Fossils staged the proposal by telling the crowd that they had a nightly raffle contest and that the winner tonight got to come onstage with his guest, and then called the name of the fan who would be proposing. Once the couple joined the band onstage, the question was popped and of course she said yes. Beach Fossils invited the newly engaged couple to dance onstage for the next song and Payseur addressed the crowd, saying, “There’s too much hate in this world. We need to come together.” The crowd did just that by cheering and applauding the special moment they had just witnessed.
The good vibes and positive energy just soared upwards from then, with the audience beginning to crowd surf at the intimate venue during “Sugar,” from the latest album Somersault. That crowd surfing momentum carried over into the following song, “Be Nothing,” also from the latest album. The track starts slow and finishes with an epic build up that had the crowd losing their minds. The explosive energy lulled slightly for laid-back “Sleep Apnea,” but the crowd still showed their support by turning on their phone lights and holding up lighters as they swayed together. An audience member chucked their bra onstage at the end of the track, and Payseur decided to put it on himself, over his t-shirt, saying, “I also look great in a dress and fuck you if you think I shouldn’t wear one.”
As the first part of the set began to wind down, the band left the stage briefly before returning for an eventful three song encore. During the encore, Beach Fossils invited an audience member onstage with his skateboard, where he actually did a kickflip on the small stage. Beach Fossils then invited people to come dance on stage for their second to last song, “Daydream,” which further promoted the sense of unity they had instilled. The night ended with Payseur singing “Jesus Christ Saved My Life” in a British accent, and the crowd erupted with applause and cheers at the end of the encore.
Beach Fossils has frequently spoken up on social media about accepting everyone and calling out abusers, and their show that promoted spreading love and coming together continues to spread that same message in real life. Their tour continues for the rest of this week, and you can check out all the dates here.
Photos of Beach Fossils 10.17.17
While you wait for Beach Fossils to tour again, listen to Somersault in full below!
Los Angeles friends Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas, better known as Coast Modern, took over Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on Monday night as part of their first headlining tour. The two have been making waves over the years with their catchy, indie pop tunes...which have even caught the attention of the legendary Smashmouth and Kate Hudson. They’ve toured in the past with bands like The Wombats, Temper Trap, Sundara Karma, and more, but this time around they’ve stepped up their show.
To celebrate their biggest tour yet and their self-titled debut album being released this Summer, the pair incorporated some fun activities and social experiments between songs. One of the activities included having the crowd all say their name at the same time on Coleman's count of three, and another time he asked the crowd to introduce themselves to the people around them that they didn't know.
After performing some of their popular songs like "Guru" and "Pockets Full of No," which got the crowd grooving, Coleman also asked the crowd to all think about a thing they desired and yell that on the count of three. One of the coolest activities, though, which was amplified by Coleman and Luke's incredible live band, was when Coleman had the whole crowd close their eyes and imagine they were in an Amazon Rainforest. Meanwhile, the band played some sound effects to enhance the imaginative activity. Coast Modern's 18-track debut album proves that Coleman and Luke are skilled musicians, with a broad range of tones and moods that sit all over the sonic field, but these between-songs engaging moments proved that Coast Modern have also become performers over the years, in addition to their developed musical talents.
Other highlights of the hour-long set included the band's cover of Julia Michael's song "Uh Huh" and their own song "Comb My Hair" towards the end of the set, which had the crowd animatedly singing along still. The personable and authentic show ended just after 9PM to a thundering of applause. If you missed out on the incredible show, check out our photo gallery of the evening, including some behind the scenes shots before the show!
Check out all of Coast Modern's tour dates here, and listen to their debut album below!
Can't get enough Coast Modern? Check out our interview with Luke Atlas here.
“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