Live Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Mild High Club at Lincoln Hall

Mild High Club and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard made a perfect pairing for a double header of sold out shows at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall. The two groups created an IRL experience of “Sketches of Brunswick East” for the first time. 


Mild High Club took the stage shortly after 8PM on Monday for a hometown show that featured collaborations and additional layers that brought their recorded music to life. Kicking off the collaborations, vocalist Quinn Tsan joined the group to sing alongside lead singer and frontman Alex Brettin. Shortly after Tsan left the stage to a swooping round of applause, the band added in a saxophonist for a few songs, followed by a brief guest appearance of Adam LP from new Chicago outfit wavy id. While both Sunday and Monday night’s set included popular songs like “Windowpane” and “Tessellation,” Brettin and his bandmates switched up the order of their set each nice to make their show even more dynamic. The combination of guest appearances, a refreshed setlist, and a trippy light show made for an all encompassing and captivating performance from Mild High Club.

Australian psych rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard hit the stage next with a blaze of guitar jams and pacing rhythms that never slowed down, thanks in large part to their two drummers. The seven piece group completely filled out the humble stage at the 500 capacity venue, and the crowd completely packed in to be as close as possible to stage. From the second the super group opened up with “Some Context” from their first album of 2017, Murder of the Universe, the audience and King Gizzard reciprocated one another’s energy levels. While frontman Stu MacKenzie would flip the top half of his body upside down, flail his guitar around, or flash his tongue to the crowd, the audience would thrash around in the mosh pit, which amplified in intensity as the 90 minute set progressed. The set spanned the course of several of King Gizzard’s albums, but the crowd got the rowdiest during “Rattlesnake” from Flying Microtonal Banana and “Gamma Knife” from Nonagon Infinity. At some points, a few audience members attempted to crowd surf (before being stopped by venue security). Nonetheless, the spirit of the crowd clung to the brim, never dipping as the ambitious Aussies kept up their signature pulsating pace. Just as King Gizzard’s set approached the finish line, they invited Alex and Mat of Mild High Club to join them on the stage to perform some of their collaborative album Sketches of Brunswick East, which made the stage even tighter than it already had been. The two groups performed the jazz-tinged “Countdown” and “Rolling Stoned” together before they all left the stage to a grateful and awestruck audience.


Photo Gallery of Mild High Club and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

 

 


Check out all of our King Gizzard stock on the webstore here, or head into the store to pick up one (or a few) of their many albums!

 


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

LIVE: Bastille Put on a Nostalgic Last Wild, Wild World Tour Show

Bastille took over The Fillmore in Philadelphia last Thursday night to play the last headline show of their sophomore album’s saga.


Kicking things off on the last night of the Wild, Wild World Tour, the Los Angeles duo Frenship took over the Fillmore stage for 45 minutes. Getting by with a little help from their friends in their live band, James Sunderland and Brett Hite performed popular songs like “Carpet” and “Run Wild” from their Truce EP. One of the set’s highlights included their performance of the viral track “Capsize,” which has racked up almost 400 million Spotify streams and features vocalist and songwriter Emily Warren on the studio version. Live, Frenship’s keyboardist and vocalist Celeste steps in to sing Warren’s parts, but the band also had the audience singing along to the catchy chorus as well. The real highlight of the set happened when Bastille crashed the stage during Frenship’s last song “1000 Nights,” which only got the audience more excited for the show that would follow.

 

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James Sunderland and Brett Hite of Frenship

Thirty minutes later, the house lights dimmed, stage lights flickered, and the four members of Bastille made their way onto stage, accompanied by live band member Charlie Barnes. As the opening chords of the brassy and bassy “Send Them Off!” rang out into the Philadelphia venue, cheers erupted from the crowd and lead singer Dan Smith began to sing the lyrics that allude to Shakespeare’s Othello. The set took a brief retrospective turn when the band performed “Laura Palmer” off their debut album, which seems pointedly apt again with the reboot of David Lynch’s cult classic TV show Twin Peaks. Before the bright lights on the stage dimmed to place the spotlight on Smith and his keyboard where he would sing the ironically sombre song “Overjoyed” from the debut album, Smith took a break to call attention to some of the signs held up by fans on the barricade. Bringing one on stage that read “I Totaled My Car Driving Up From DC To Be Here,” Smith asked the fan what had happened, holding out the microphone for her to share her story. He then selected a sign that read “Don’t Blame Me, I Worked 4 Hillary,” which alluded to the band’s song “Blame” and their politically driven song “The Currents,” which cleverly digs at Donald Trump. After the quick detour of “sign related stories,” as Smith called them, the show continued with Smith slightly struggling during “Overjoyed” due to vocal stress and sound issues. Although he remained visibly conscious of his vocals and sound levels during the performance, he pushed through and still delivered the sweeping range required for the song.

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Frontman Dan Smith with one of their fan’s signs

 

The remainder of the set weaved in and out of older tunes and newer ones from Wild World, which just hit its first birthday on September 9th. The fourth song of the night, “Warmth,” acts as a title track almost, with its lyrics containing “Hold me in this wild, wild world” during the chorus. Another true Bastille show staple, Smith left the stage to go sing and dance with the Fillmore audience during their single “Flaws,” another throwback to their first album. While the set contained a mix of Wild World and Bad Blood cuts, the band also sprinkled in a few other surprises. They induced 1990’s nostalgia when they performed their popular mashup cover titled “Of The Night,” which combines “Rhythm of the Night” and “Rhythm is a Dancer” and got the crowd jumping up and down with Smith yet again. “Of The Night” was first released as part of the band’s illegal mixtape called Other People’s Heartache, which contained uncleared samples and cover songs…so the only place to hear these songs are now live or in the deep dark corners of the internet.

 

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Bastille also brought back “The Draw” from their extended album All This Bad Blood, which almost acts as album 1.5, as it contains a full album of never before released songs that came out between the two official full lengths. The biggest nostalgic surprise, however, came when Smith and co performed a beautifully rearranged version of their 2014 single “Bad_News,” which was released both independently as a music video and as a remix on their mixtape entitled VS. (Other People’s Heartache Pt. III). This mixtape containing collaborations with the likes of Haim, Rationale, Lizzo and more is actually legal and can be streamed or purchased on all major platforms. Speaking of collaboration, the set ended with the group’s massive hit “Pompeii,” and this time the tables turned when Frenship crashed the stage to lend some help with the “eh-ohs” and drumming. The band left the stage to a venue ringing with applause and echoing eh-ohs.

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The 19-track setlist did not include Bastille’s latest single “Glory” or another “Wild, Wild World Tour” setlist staple “Lethargy,” probably due to Smith’s vocal strain, but they still managed to fill up 90 minutes and deliver a well-rounded show that contained layers from each saga of Bastille’s career to date. Smith told the crowd they’ll be returning to The States soon with new music, which will include another one of their mixtapes and a new LP within a year’s time. As Bastille’s musical catalog continues to grow, their sound will only grow more diverse and multifaceted, and we can’t wait to hear what they release next.


Check out the full photo gallery of the show below

 

Can’t enough Bastille? Head to the shop to pick up their full version of Wild World or snag it from the webstore here



This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

This past Friday night at Schubas Tavern, Marika Hackman and The Big Moon created an IRL experience of Hackman’s latest album I’m Not Your Man. Released on June 2nd, the sophomore album from Hackman marks a departure and transformation for the formerly folk artist. Boosting blunt lyrics, lighter melodies, and a lax, carefree recording style, I’m Not Your Man takes listeners through a 15-song journey, featuring The Big Moon as the backing band for the majority of them. Before The Big Moon pulled their second shift of the evening, backing Hackman at the Lakeview venue, they had performed their own 45 minute set, which carried the same carefree mood of friendship that comes across on their recordings. In addition to songs from their debut album Love in the 4th Dimension, the group also performed a cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Between songs, the band kept the crowd laughing with a bit of sarcasm and banter, but the standout moment of their set occurred during their song “Bonfire.” Front woman Juliette (Jules) Jackson left the stage and abandoned her guitar to sing the song with the crowd.

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Jules from The Big Moon ventures out into the crowd

The same banter and laughter only amplified when Hackman joined The Big Moon, but the focus of the night remained on the effortless musicianship displayed between the friends. The songs from I’m Not Your Man translated beautifully in the live sense, seeing as most of the album had actually been tracked live, with a minimal use of overdubs. Hackman’s hourlong set focused on the new album, with a couple of older tunes like “Cinnamon” and “Ophelia” sprinkled in. The direct, honest lyrics of tracks like “My Lover Cindy” and “Violet” had the crowd captivated and wrapped around Hackman’s finger. Prior to performing the latter, Hackman introduced “Violet” as a sexy song, encouraging the crowd to kiss their dates (only with consent) if they were feeling it. “Gina’s World” also stood out during the 11-song set, with its hauntingly heavy guitar riffs and striking harmonies, which echoed beautifully throughout the venue. Just before the set wrapped up with the dreamy “BlahBlahBlah,” Hackman and The Big Moon performed the lead single from I’m Not Your Man, Boyfriend.” The playful tune teased the light-hearted reinvention of Hackman before the release of the album, and it definitely acted as a highlight of the live show.

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Marika Hackman singing her direct and honest lyrics

More photos from the show 

Want more Marika? You can grab the physical album of I’m Not Your Man at the shop, or order it from the Shuga webstore here.


This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine.

Get to Know: Sedgewick

The three members of Chicago’s own Sedgewick have been through quite the journey since they first released their debut EP Gardens in 2015. First off, the group expanded when Jake Hawrylak joined founding members Sam Brownson and Oliver Horton. Secondly, the group has worked to broaden and reinvent their style of music. Cumulating influences from all different corners of R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, and Alternative genres and sub-genres, the trio have built a sound that’s completely their own. With this distinct new sound comes a rebirth of sorts and a fresh slate for the group to take their music to different venues around their hometown and on tour.

Last month before Brownson, Hawrylak, and Horton took the stage at SPACE in Evanston to support Family and Friends, I met up with them to talk not only about their new album, but the journey leading up to it. Find out which groundbreaking albums inspired them, what challenges they faced, what they love about the Chicago scene and more in our talk with Sedgewick.

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Sedgewick backstage at SPACE last month

THE NEW ALBUM HASN’T GONE ACCORDING TO PLAN…

But not in a bad way, the band say. While the album that the three members of Sedgwick set out to make may have been left behind long ago, the band are all extremely proud and happy with how their finished product has come out, even though it’s far from what they first envisioned. Oliver Horton shared his take on the recording process saying, “It’s been really exhausting. It’s a lot of hard work. But it’s gratifying work. It feels really good to get these in some sort of place where we can send them off to people and be really proud about it. I’m super proud of it. I really think it’s gonna accomplish what we want it to. A lot of planning for this has just all sort of fallen by the wayside. What we planned to do with it.” Horton continued on to reflect about the effect on the band that this change in route had, saying, “That alone has created a bond between the three of us that we’ve never had before. Sort of dealing with that, dealing with that totally unexpected has caused us to grow deeper together. I think that’s really starting to show up in the record. It’s been really interesting. Just rolling with the punches and seeing what we can come up with.”

Jake Hawrylak echoed that sentiment on the recording process, adding, “It’s been very eye opening. It’s been very enlightening in a lot of ways. Hands down the biggest thing any of us have been a part of, not just in terms of budget, but in terms of scope. In terms of sounds… I think where we’re at on a personal level too.” Sam Brownson weighed in on the biggest challenges of the process, saying for him the mixing proved to be the most difficult. “The hardest thing is to draw the line for yourself and as a group and saying this expresses what we want it to. And also being ok with saying if it doesn’t we can’t control how it’s gonna affect someone that listens to it. It’s a lot of trusting instincts. I’ve learned how to sit down over the course of recording and just do what feels good,” Brownson said.


THEIR INFLUENCES RANGE FROM BON IVER TO FRANK OCEAN 

In addition to the departure from Plan A, the band have also had a departure from the strictly folk sound of their EP. Their live set opening up for Family and Friends incorporated so many layers and took so many twists and turns. Before they performed, the band gave a little bit of insight as to where that influence stems from.

Brownson shared his influences, saying, “When the Dirty Projectors record came out, I….that changed how I thought about mixing. I’ve also been listening to a lot of hip hop music lately… Like SZA and Kendrick Lamar’s new record. From a mixing perspective, the space that those records create are very influential.”

Hawrylak also found some specific influence from Kendrick Lamar and other artists. He shared his insight on specific records that made his year, adding, “It’s been interesting to me to watch a lot of the bands we play with and a lot of Chicago industry people who keep talking about how the record’s dead. That everybody just needs to start releasing singles or songs. Then something likeDamn. comes along. Or A Seat at the Table or Blond and they’re very much—[they] needed to be records. There’s a very specific narrative. Or on the non-hip hop side, the new Fleet Foxes that just came out is very much a record. The songs exist in their own framework, or one thing at a time. But there’s this specific arc that I think it captures. Which is so much of what was enjoyable when I really started to get into music. The records and getting lost in the world it creates. 22, A Million, the Bon Iver record, huge one for me last year.”

Brownson interjected to say that they listened to that Bon Iver record a lot while making their record. Hawrylak continues, “‘Creeks’ was one of the more frustrating songs I’ve ever heard. That was a sound that we wanted on the record. Then that came out and we were like that’s exactly what we were trying to do.” Tying back into the change in path for the album, Brownson says, “It’s also a credit to how much space this record has spanned for us. Cause we were in the studio when 22 A Million came out. Since then, Dirty Projectors. Damn. I just remember seeing like all that stuff came out and saying wow, this has been a journey.”

Hawrylak says the band are also able to measure their own personal growth through these records and how they’ve evolved for him as a listener. “Blond is a great example. That record meant something very different to me when it came out to like a year later. Particularly to that album, half of the songs I loved and half of them were like ah whatever. Then in that year, I’ve come around to see what was brilliant about those other songs,” he said. Brownson echoed that, saying, “I think that over the course of the year…the advantage of making a record over the course of a long time is that you internalize what’s going on around you. You can’t help but be influenced by the trends, or the energy and culture going around. I feel like that was very–initially you think you want to get it out right away. Which, I think there’s merit to that, but I also think there’s something about sitting and letting it marinate and you as a creator, listen and try to understand its relevance. So that’s been very cool.”


THEY CONSIDER CHICAGO’S MUSIC SCENE ECLECTIC AND COLLABORATIVE

Although Hawrylak disagrees with some fellow Chicago musicians who think the record is dead, the band are all very appreciative of the collaborative scene that Chicago is known for. As far as his favorite musicians, he says, “ Astro Samurai is like one of the coolest bands I’ve seen. They call themselves ‘Third Eye R&B.’ They’re working on something special.” After Brownson interjected to show his appreciation for NoName, who they don’t know personally but very much admire, Hawrylak eagerly agreed that the Chicago poet and rapper is one of his favorites as well. Hawrylak continued on to say, “Saba is another one. We did a Sofar Sounds with David Ashley. He was the MC. He was really cool. For me so much of what’s cool is it’s rooted in poetry in a very particular way. NoName came up in the local After School Matters program. There’s a very distinct cadence to her flow that comes from that. It’s casual and maybe that’s what I like about the Chicago scene. It’s casual and eclectic. Like NoName is casually rattling off this fucking rapid fire, weird twist of images, then she starts singing and then she goes back. Jamila Woods is another one! Good god!”

Brownson then called attention to the spirit behind so many of these up and coming artists in Chicago, saying, “I think for me, the collaborative spirit and friendship. From what I read about NoName, she’s got a lot of people and this music community where they all look out for each other and help each other out. That’s just not the way I was brought up to think about the music industry. Just a group of friends getting together making good music? It was always like, sell your soul so you can continue to do this. Instead of saying no I want to have deep relationships with people. That’s part of the reason why I connect so deeply with her music, and Chance and Saba and all those people because they invite you in. It’s just this spirit of friendship.”

Horton concurred with his bandmates observations on the city’s spirit, saying, “It’s a small city! Especially considering the music scene.” Bouncing off that small city sentiment, Hawrylak said, “Look at like the people on Acid Rap. It’s all Chicago people. It’s the whole record. That was my first exposure to the scene. I was playing bass with a guy named Brendan Forrest, he goes by B. Forrest. He’s friends with a lot of the Sidewalk Chalk people, who connected me to Jude [Shuma]. When I met Brendan, he needed a bass player, and we got connected. He started showing me his tunes and first record he came out with, was every other track was with somebody. Now he’s working on a new one, and every track is about collaboration.”

Brownson wrapped up his take on the Chicago scene saying, “If you just are a good person, it pays off. Even if you don’t make big bucks, you’re gonna be happy with your relationships. If you decide I just want to make good art for the right reasons… I want people to hear it, but I’m not gonna fight and shove it down people’s throats to make a dollar.”

Horton chimed in with an influence of his who holds similar values, saying, “Another musician for me, is Jamie Chamberlin. He’s been a huge mentor to me. He has exemplified exactly what an old guy on the scene needs to be doing. I’ve seen a lot of musicians treat each other really poorly. It’s amazing to see a dog as old as him and how frequent he’s been on the scene, how lovely he is to be around. You can tell he’s an amazing human being. He honestly cares about you when you show up to a gig. Seeing that has made me realize what’s so amazing about music. Treating people with respect. Giving them integrity when you speak to them. Making sure everybody is held accountable for what needs to be said. I feel like that has really taken a ramp up at least in our band, as far as accountability and integrity. Seeing that roll around all these really cool scenes in Chicago is really interesting to me.”


THEY DESCRIBE THEIR LIVE SHOW AS INTENTIONAL DISORIENTATION

At the Friends and Family show, the band performed the entirety of the new album to the crowd. Talking more about the set, Hawrylak said, “We’re kind of doing the whole record backwards, which is funny. I think. I’m really liking the ones that sound bigger than they should. I like the ones that take people by surprise when we have a lot of other loops and stuff going on. We were just on tour back home where I’m from, in New Mexico. One of the cooler things that one of my friends said was that she didn’t know where anything was coming from after a while. It was hard to tell who was creating what sound. I think I like getting in that space of intentional disorientation.”

Although they managed to create this layered and intense live set now, Hawrylak admits it’s quite challenging to get there at times. “The way we play the songs live is a little different.  For better or for worse. We’ve been running into a lot of problems with sound guys when we pull out this upright, these synthesizers, all this gear…they’re like what the hell? And they’re immediately mad. Then after check, they start to kind of get that it’s supposed to be a little different. With the record we’re kind of trying to balance how do we make it it’s own thing that’s still a faithful representation in the live set. Cause we have strings and a choir and all this other stuff on the record. Live, it’s just the three of us,” he said.

Brownson mentions some highlights of their recent live shows. Talking about their recent tour, he said, “We got to see Jake’s hometown. The music was incredible. The shows were incredible. But I think we all kind of had time to just spend time together as people and talk more about what and why we do music. Why we love and respect ourselves. Why it’s important to do that. In the process getting to know Jake and also Oliver who was going through some stuff. We were all going through stuff together. That relationship is a huge part of why this record feels so good and it’s a huge part of why the show is how it is because of this energy.”


“Industry people keep talking about how the record’s dead. That everybody just needs to start releasing singles or songs. Then something like ‘Damn.’ comes along. Or ‘A Seat at the Table’ or ‘Blond’ and they’re very much—-needed to be records. There’s a very specific narrative.”

— Jake Hawrylak on making a proper record

THERE’S A LOT MORE TO COME IN 2017 FOR SEDGEWICK 

The band is obviously ready to get the record out to listeners, but they’re also ready for what goes along with a proper album release. Hawrylak elaborates, saying, “I am excited about putting out the record. It’s been a long time coming and it’ll be good to have it out in whatever form. I’m most excited about the new perception we can give people of ourselves. A lot of the songs on the EP were just completely different from where we are going with the record. I wasn’t in this band for the EP, so I can’t say much more than I like the songs. But I’m really proud of what this record has become. I’m really proud of a lot of the journey that became of it. I want to share it! We did three different tours to wet our feelers in the name of this record. I’m kind of ready to start going out and bringing it to people.”

Horton reveals what he’s most excited for with the upcoming release, and even afterwards saying, “I’m really psyched for scheduling and doing the PR and making sure we’re really super ready to have a huge release show. We’re really looking forward to cultivating something that nobody has ever seen before. Maybe more importantly, I’m getting super stoked to get back in the creative process with these people. Whenever that is, I think the next whatever it is, it’s gonna be much more webbed together. It’s gonna feel really good to create something again. These songs at this point are like…we’ve recreated them so many times. One of the tunes is four or five years old. We’re ready to just wipe the slate and start over.”

The band continue on to say they’re currently performing songs that have been around for over three years, but they still feel fresh thanks to arrangements they’re worked out. They also admit they’re at peace with the process taking as long as they need, saying, “We’re no longer at the point where we just want to put out the record when it’s done. We kind of want to raise some interest. And do it right. Put it in the right hands.”

The trio don’t have a definite release date, but they’re just enjoying the process. “That’s really important. I’m looking forward to having a fresh ear for new things and I feel like this record has been–what’s great about it is, this whole thing is a process. [The record] reflects the process. The process has led us to some really cool things for the next project as well. That’s what this record is– it encapsulates an evolution in itself. I’m excited to share that,” Brownson concluded.

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Sedgewick performing at SPACE

Sedgewick will performing at The Beat Kitchen this Sunday, August 6th to celebrate the release of their single “To Fold” from the upcoming album. Tickets start at $10 and you can grab them here.



This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine. Read the original post here