Live Review: Fever Queen/ Bestman/ Bardo/ Anti Beyond (12/15) @ Subterranean

Four local bands came together on Thursday, December 15th at Subterranean for the release of Anti/Beyond’s first full-length self-titled album. The brutally cold night was filled with a diverse group of artists exploring various genres ranging from synth pop to hip-hop.

The night opened with the debut performance of the duo Fever Queen made up of Eleanor Rose and Adam Wayne. Their psychedelic rock sound was composed by a blend of bass, keys, guitar and vocals. While Rose’s harsh vocals were definitely on point with feminine grunge, there was something about the live keys that added a bit of 80s pop to the tunes (along with their all white getup). For a first time performance, the band was musically well put together. A bit more work on stage presence and utilizing space and they’ll be sure to draw a loyal following in no time.

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Live Review: Golden Boys/ Genome/ Bifunkal (8/3) @ Emporium Arcade Bar

Wander the streets of Chicago on any given night and it’s never hard to find inspiring live music, especially sounds falling along the spectrum of funk, jazz and blues. This past Wednesday, August 3rd was no exception as three Chicago-based bands took the stage for an exhilarating night of funk at Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

The night’s festivities opened with Bifunkal, a two-piece group made up of drummer Hershyl Edwards and guitarist/vocalist Jesse Cryderman. The two played a solid mix of lyrical and instrumental tunes. While the vocals were decent, it was Cryderman’s catchy guitar riffs along with the impressive vox bass lines from Edwards that stole the set. For only two musicians, the band was able to project a full sound which was later emphasized by accompanying brass during a handful of tunes.

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Live Review: Engine Summer (3/24) @ Quencher’s Saloon

Sometime soon, you’ll be scrolling through Listen Live and Local’s Upcoming Shows page, and you’ll see Engine Summer is gracing the stage somewhere in Chicago that night. When this happens, I strongly advise you to put on your shoes, squad up with your best buds and head to the show.

I know that sometimes recruiting your friends to see unfamiliar bands can be a little nerve-racking. “What if I make them come pay money for this show and they don’t like it?” Oh man, I can feel the anxiety building right now. But I assure you Engine Summer is a safe bet. Even the most casual music fans in your group will get hooked by the band’s catchy riffs, high energy and character. As for the music lovers you’ll bring with you, they’ll be enamored by how a three-piece can create such a unique sound.

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Live Review: Doug Shotwell & The Right Hand Band/ Sweet Mary/ Walsher Clemons (2/12) @ Martyrs’

One of the best things about the Chicago music scene is it isn’t dominated by a single genre. On any given night one can hear the soulful groan of a blues band, the twang of an Americana banjo or the pulse of a hi-hat in a modern jazz tune. And sometimes, one can even hear all those things on the same stage. This was the case (though a different representation of genres) on Friday, February 12th at Martyrs’; a night featuring three local bands with three different sounds.

The night started with some progressive folk rock provided by Doug Shotwell & The Right Hand Band. While Shotwell is a Virginia native his “right hand” men are mainly made up of Chicago jazz, blues and rock musicians. Together the group crafted a sound rooted in soul with smooth slide guitar lines and a constant steady push from the rhythm section. On the surface, the songs felt simple, giving them a laid back, easy-to-listen-to vibe. But underneath there were layers of complexity which helped differentiate the songs from one another. It also helped keep the music from sounding too run-of-the-mill or twangy.

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Watch: Stampy Makes Debut Performance

Newly-founded Chicago group Stampy is running full speed right out of the gate. The band had already started tracking its debut LP before it even took the stage for the very first time February 6th at Double Door. The quintet’s first time gracing the stage was eclectic. Stampy’s original music appears to derive influence from across the musical spectrum. Progressive rock and blues are apparent, with tastes of soul throughout to soothe the pallet.

Below is a video, courtesy of gigity.tv, of Stampy performing a sweet-sounding original tune called “Drop of Rain” at the band’s debut performance. Enjoy!

Stampy’s debut LP is expect to drop by Summer 2016.

Live Review: Mungion (1/16) @ Subterranean

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Let’s face it: If you could wear pajamas out on a Saturday night, you probably would. The only reason you don’t is because you don’t want to be the only person at the bar wearing flannels and a big, baggy t-shirt.

You’re not an outlier though. There’s a thriving community of pajama enthusiasts, as evident by the Subterranean‘s Pajamuary event at Saturday, January 16th, featuring local acts Bronson Rock, Mungion and EGI. It was $5 off for anyone wearing PJs. Just wearing flannels qualified for discounted admission, but a surprising number of people went above and beyond, sporting giant animal-themed onesies. It was very rock and roll.

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Live Review: Nasty Snacks (12/17) @ Martyrs’

Funk is just fun, plain and simple. It’s got to be one of the most universally appreciated genres of music. Even the most reserved people seem to struggle resisting the urge to get down and dance when the funk is hot, and some of the hottest funk Chicago has to offer is from Nasty Snacks.

The nine-piece group opened up In The Loop ProductionsPerse as Funk showcase Thursday, December 17th at Martyrs’ with a high-energy set of original music and soul covers of groups like Earth, Wind and Fire and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Christmas lights and decorations lined Martyrs’ spacious interior, and Nasty Snacks played a perfect song for the occasion. Christmas songs can be sort of sappy, but the band did a rendition of Vulfpeck’s “Christmas in L.A.” that spread holiday cheer without breaking the upbeat mold cast by the rest of the set.

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