Following their January showcase that celebrated their one year anniversary, local online music magazine ANCHR Magazine is hosting another show this month at the city’s newest venue, Sleeping Village. The lineup features Blue Dream, Engine Summer and Faux Furrs and takes place on April 20th. You can grab tickets to the show here, and get to know each band a little better below!
The four-piece Chicago band consisting of Justin Sanetra, Anthony Cook, Jimmy Russell, and Danny Awisha recently released their debut album Volume Won; a captivating album with magnetic riffs and grooving bass lines that demand your attention. Blue Dream‘s electrifying stage presence amplifies their music to the next level, making them one of the city’s best live acts. Don’t miss your chance to see Blue Dream on 4/20; catch them headlining the show on Friday!
For more on Blue Dream-check out our interview with them here!
This trio from Elmhurst, IL consisting of Jeremy Marsan, Ben Kostecki, and Ryan Ohm blends together post-punk and garage rock influences to form irresistibly catchy tunes that thread together one cohesive narrative on their debut album Trophy Kids. Catch them bringing the story to life on the Sleeping Village stage this Friday.
Ryan Deffet, Adam Karstens, Michael Oliva, and Ryan Shuck, AKA Faux Furrs, bring all the good vibes with their lighthearted and upbeat melodies, which pair perfectly with the Spring weather that’s finally starting to hit the city this week. Get your dancing shoes ready and be prepared to bop around to their fun-spirited songs from their 2017 album Taxonomy. As the band describes their sound, it’s like “Garage Psych, in space”…make sure you come to the show to hear just how accurate that is.
For Fans Of: Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Summer Salt, Vundabar
Following an insane show from Wolf Alice on Friday night, The Metro outdid itself with another sold out, stunning show from James Bay on Saturday night.
Way back in 2015, singer-songwriter James Bay played a sold out show at The Metro in Chicago during the height of success of his debut album, Chaos and the Calm. Now, after nearly three years, Bay returned to the same stage with new material and a new approach towards his older material. Although he’d taken a hiatus after he finished the touring cycle for Chaos and the Calm to finish his new album, when Bay and his band hit the stage on Saturday night, the jam packed venue full of loyal fans proved that their devotion to the singer had never wavered. Not only did the show sell out in a matter of minutes when it was announced earlier this year, but some fans lined up outside the venue as early as 9:30AM Saturday morning to get a coveted front row spot.
The fans’ patience all paid off when the set began around 9PM with unreleased song “Wasted On Each Other,” which sits second on the track list of Bay’s sophomore album Electric Light, out May 18th. Next up, the band brought the new album’s second single “Pink Lemonade” to life; backup singers adding another layer to the full band’s already rich sound. Following that quick taste of refreshing new material, the set dipped back into older material, the entire audience echoing the chorus of songs “Craving,” and “When We Were on Fire” back to the stage.
As the night went on, the room lit up with a sense of recognition whenever Bay dropped in old favorites in between the few new tracks, but the show possessed a vibrant sense of revitalization. Songs like “Let It Go” and “Best Fake Smile” received new life when the band performed both with fleshed out and extended introductions, rearranging the familiar tunes into new molds. When the night began to come to a close, Bay introduced a refreshed version of his hit “Hold Back The River,” beginning the track by repeatedly riffing the lyrics “lonely water” over a moody, chilled out introduction. The crowd cheered wildly when Bay and his band transitioned into the full song, their cheers blending into the song’s first verse.
The entire band left the stage for a short break following “Hold Back The River”, and Bay returned for a stripped back encore performance of his ballad “Need The Sun To Break,” giving the magical evening the perfect send off.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind performance and to hear James Bay’s music revamped like you’ve never heard it before, do not miss the chance to see him in concert this year! Find more details on his upcoming tour dates below, and check out our photo gallery of his show at The Metro to get you pumped for the next concert.
Find the rest of James Bay’s upcoming tour dates here, and pre-order Electric Light here!
With its relatable narrative-style lyrics and addictive, blaring dance-around-your-room guitar riffs, it’s no wonder Middle Kids‘ song “Edge of Town” has racked up over 8 million Spotify plays. Fronted by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Hannah Joy, the Sydney based trio has been steadily picking up steam with their equally as catchy and relatable self-titled EP. Joy sings her stories with a sense of conviction and a hint of a twang, blurring the edges of the genres tagged to their music. In the middle of recording their debut full length album, which will undoubtedly expand on these existing themes, Joy and her bandmates Tim Fitz and Harry Day are taking a break to tour America, playing festivals and shows across the country. Before they hit Chicago next week, we talked to Joy about Elton John recommending their song, incorporating a banjo into their music, jet lag, and so much more! Tune in and get to know Middle Kids now.
Rachel Zyzda: You’re in the middle of recording your debut album, and you’ve posted a bit on social media… that it will be all new material from the EP and you’re even putting banjo on some tracks! What else can you tell us about the new songs, and where did you find yourself drawing inspiration from?
Hannah Joy: Ha, yes the banjo does get a feature! It’s small but mighty. I’m really excited about the new songs, they are mostly quite intense. Sometimes I think I should chill out a bit, and I am trying, but I’m not sure how. There are some ballady, reflective moments though, so hopefully that will allow it to breathe some. A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experiences and stories I hear from friends. Musically though, many lines came actually from being on the tour and recording little sound bites on my phone.
RZ: How has the recording process been so far? Any fun studio stories?
HJ: The process has been pretty intense, we’ve built this album in a really piecemeal kind of way. We recorded drums up at this country house so we could play away into the night. And so much was recorded in Tim’s and my home, so for the last few months I have been living snaked in microphone chords and an endless stream of scraps of paper all through the house.
RZ: You’ll be taking a break from recording to come tour the states this summer, including some major festivals like Lollapalooza and Osheaga Music Festival. Which cities are you most excited to visit and play in?
HJ: We are so very keen to hit the road. I’m excited to be in Chicago in the summer because it’s so beautiful, but we were there in the winter last time. Super keen for ACL because we consistently have extremely good times in Texas. AND Atlanta because we are playing at a venue called Purgatory and that intrigues me.
RZ: Do you prefer playing festivals or smaller gigs, and why?
HJ: The smaller gigs are very special because it allows for a collective experience with us and the audience. But it is friggin fun to run around like a madman at a festival. But not really sure as to preference, they are both so good.
RZ: Have you gotten a chance to check out the lineups for the festivals you’re playing? Are there any acts that are on the top of your list to try to watch during the festivals?
RZ: Since you’re coming all the way from Sydney for this summer tour, what are some of your tips for staying entertained on long haul flights and how do you deal with jetlag?
HJ: OK I have learned to equip myself with many activities for entertainment. Some are: Yahtzee, crochet, cards (we like to play 500, black maria and go fish), UNO. I also got a Kindle, which I was resisting for a long time, but now I have embraced it and it is rocking my world.
RZ: Elton John added your music to his Beats 1 playlist, which I’m sure has got to be a career highlight, but what have been some other highlights since you released your debut single, “Edge of Town”?
HJ: I think touring has been the biggest highlight, I mean getting to travel to different parts of the world and connect with all different kinds of people is seriously amazing. Playing on Conan was very cool too because we don’t have television like that in Australia. We were wide eyed the whole time.
HJ: I liked these songs for different reasons – I love the melody of “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, it has sung to me for a very long time. “Fill in the Blank” is a special song in the way that it conveys existential angst, something I am very familiar with.
RZ: Any ideas on what your next cover song will be?
HJ: We cover songs all the time because why only play our songs when there are thousands better out there to play. But not sure what we will release next.
RZ: You’re one of our favorite new bands. Who are some of your favorite new acts?
HJ: Heh thank you. Some of my new favorites are a punk band from Ballarat called Good Boy, Andy Shauf is amazing…maybe not so new but still pretty fresh, The Lemon Twigs are tres cool.
Chicago, you have several chances to catch Middle Kids in August. In addition to a sold-out after show with Mac DeMarco at Concord Music Hall on August 5th, the trio will be performing in WKQX‘s Sound Lounge on August 1st. Finally, they’ll also be playing twice at Lollapalooza– once at the Pepsi Stage at 2:50 PM and again in the Toyota Music Den at 6PM on Thursday, August 3rd.
See all of Middle Kid’s upcoming tour dates here, and listen to their self-titled EP in full here.