Live Recap: Albert Hammond Jr and The Marías at Bottom Lounge

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

Grab your copy of Francis Trouble at the shop, or online here!


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

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.

 

While you wait for the next tour from Beach Fossils, check out their latest album on our webstore here.


 

This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

 

 

Bulls and Roosters – A Chat with Danny of together PANGEA

Words By Alicia Maciel 

LA rock quartet together PANGEA is driving across the nation, touring in support of their latest full-length album Bulls and Roosters, via Nettwerk. The Bulls and Roosters Tour kicked off on September 14th in San Diego, CA and is wrapping up on October 22nd, and feature support from Tall Juan and  Daddy Issues.

Releasing a 1-minute-40-second gimmicky, nostalgic music video via Stereogum for the album’s mosh inducing lead single “Better Find Out”, directed by Steele O’Neal, heightened expectations of fans everywhere. The video can be seen HERE. “Better Find Out” is available to download/stream now HERE.

Co-produced by together PANGEA and longtime collaborator Andrew Schubert, and mixed by Chris Coady (TV On The Radio, Beach House, The Black Lips), Bulls and Roosters was recorded to two-inch tape at Golden Beat studios in Los Angeles and showcases a more matured sound than prior efforts.

We wanted to try new things and experiment with making music that wasn’t so aggressive or fast,” said singer/guitarist William Keegan. “Rather than worrying about any expectations, we were like, ‘Fuck all that. Let’s be as honest as we can possibly be.’ Sure, it’s growth, but there’s still a brattiness to it.”

Together Pangea have continually challenged themselves with each subsequent offering. Jelly Jam [2010] poured the gasoline, Living Dummy [2011] struck the match, and Badillac [2014] lit the fire with its revved-up nineties rock-inspired flames. Along the way, fan favorites like “Sick Shit,” “Badillac,” and “Offer” would rack up millions of Spotify streams. “Snakedog” became a plot point in a bonkers episode of NCIS and “Sick Shit” soundtracked a trailer for HBO’s Animals, while the group received support from Consequence of Sound, Pitchfork, MTV, Stereogum, and more. Following the 2015 release of The Phage EP, produced by The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson, the boys independently embarked on the journey to what would become Bulls and Roosters.

Bringing matured rock brattiness along with minimalistic, portrait album art – Bulls and Roosters represents together PANGEA’s growth and determinacy of “never making the same album twice”. Other than the album art alone standing out compared to their previous album artworks, Bulls and Roosters is a tame yet brash rock n’ roll earworm that’ll stay in listeners’ minds for years to come.

While on the road heading to their Nashville gig at noon central time, bassist Danny Bengston took some time to chat with me on the phone.

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Photo credit: Derek Perlman

Hey Danny, how are you?

Pretty good – it’s been a nice day, not too long of a drive. We’re driving to Nashville from Atlanta right now. We just played in Orlando yesterday. It was awesome, never played there before. The show was beyond our expectations!

That’s sick – was the show close to capacity?

The room was pretty big, a lot more people were there than we thought there would be.

To start off, I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your gear. What you got, any pedals?

I have two basses I take on the road, one’s a Rickenbacker maple wood and the other’s a Fender P bass. I play them through a 1978 Peavy Mark III bass amp head. 410115 bass cabinet and a chewing pedal.

What tones did you find in your equipment that resonates with your sound?

I’ve always liked my very first bass amp. It has a great, shitty sound so I just looked around until I got another Peavy.

When recording your bass tracks, do you record along with the drummer live or are the drums overdubbed?

Most of the time, we record drums, guitar, and bass altogether live. I think it really adds to the sound and it’s always better to play together. On this album, there’s one or two songs without everyone recording together.

Are the bass parts planned or is it more improvisation?

The bass parts are planned ahead. We tend to write a month in advance. So, we’d learn a new song and I’ll go into working on bass parts.

What’s the songwriting process like for the band?

Usually, William or I bring ideas to the table.

It seems you guys have taken a different approach to songwriting, less garage rock influenced and more honky-tonk, 60s/70s country rock. What drew you to this change other than simply bringing different sounds to your audience?

As a band, we decided collectively to keep writing music we enjoy and we take influence from the music we’re listening to during the recording process. During this album, we were listening to a lot of Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young.

I recognized you guys recorded Bulls and Roosters on tape. Is there a reason together PANGEA took the analog route?

We chose to go in that direction since it would fit the mood of the songs a lot better.

 

What’s your favorite track on the album?

After making the album and having some time away from it, “Gold Moon” is my favorite. I really like the vibe of the song, the guitar playing, and everything else about it.

Why did you choose to name the album after the track Bulls and Roosters?

It’s a reference to a painting by John Baldessari. It’s about selling artwork and we thought it fit well.

With Bulls and Roosters being a more minimalistic take compared to your previous, more aggressive works – do you feel it’s the best work of the band so far?

Definitely – I think it’s the best stuff we’ve done so far.

While you’re on the road, I figure you guys are already working on some stuff.

Yeah, we’re working on some things right now and are trying to get in the studio soon enough to get a demo done.

Is the Bulls and Roosters tour your first big, national headlining tour?

No, I think it’s our third or fourth American headlining tour. We did one for Badillac and The Phase.

I’m excited for your show here in Chicago on the 6th – are there any other cities you’re looking forward to hit?

We LOVE Chicago, it’s one of our favorite places to play. The crowd’s always really good, so are the people and the food. New York is always a spot to look forward to as well as Toronto. We’re looking forward to heading back to the west coast, too.

Check out together PANGEA on tour! Hope to see some fellow Chicagoans at Bottom Lounge Friday, October 6!

September 26 – Nashville, TN @ The End

September 27 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – Back Room

September 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery

September 29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge

September 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg*

October 01 – Boston, MA @ Sonia’s Nightclub

October 03 – Montreal, QC @ L’Escogriffe

October 04 – Toronto, ON @ The Hard Luck

October 05 – Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s

October 06 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge

October 07 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency

October 08 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry

October 10 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird

October 11 – Ames, IA @ Iowa State University – The Maintenance Shop

October 12 – Omaha, NE @ Showdown

October 13 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

October 14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

October 16 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project

October 17 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret

October 18 – Portland, OR @ Analog Theater

October 20 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Night Club

October 21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

October 22 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst – Atrium

Tickets for the tour are available now HERE.

Alicia Maciel is a junior at DePaul University studying marketing, music business, public relations, and advertising. Immersing in photography, promotion, interviews, interning at Metro and Notion Presents, managing The Chicago Vibe, curating live music, and plenty more – she hopes to bring innovation to the music scene. “A Chicagoan gal making music personnel personal.”