Reviews Stories

The 2018 Juke Joint Festival In Words and Pictures

Words: Robin Zimmerman | Photos: Michael LepekA large Chicago contingent descended on Clarksdale, Mississippi for the 15th Annual Juke Joint Festival. But, long-anticipated balmy weather was not to be. Heavy overnight rains descended on the Delta on Friday into Saturday, ushering in cold, windy temperatures.Worse yet, much of Clarksdale was without power on the day...

Review | Dr. Dog @ The Riv 5/5/18

Words: Ryan Mannix | Photos: Hannah ShankerDr. Dog took the stage at The Riviera Theatre midway through their US tour promoting the new album Critical Equation.While the night was heavy on new material, it didnt stop the crowd from singing along. An interesting choice to open the show, the frolicking, Survive was a...

Review & Audio | Kung Fu @ Martyrs' 3/31/18

Kung Fu have become perennial visitors to the Chicago area, and their loyal local fanbase packed Martyrs' on Easter Eve for a fantastic show full of extended jazz-inspired solos, danceable favorites, and straight up heavy grooves.It seems the band and venue have worked out a mutual attraction, as their regular spring visits have created...

Umphrey's McGee & Marcus King Band Go Big In Kalamazoo

By: Ryan MannixUmphrey's McGee set up shop for two nights at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan with special guests Marcus King Band. This short winter run saw people coming in from all over the Midwest for the band's only regional shows of the season.The small hockey arena seemed like an odd choice...

Review / Photos / Video | Samantha Fish @ Lincoln Hall 1/31/18

Words: Robin Zimmerman | Photos: Michael Lepek Samantha Fish has certainly racked up her share of accolades in 2017. During this heady year, she was named as one of the 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know by Rolling Stone magazine and released two highly-regarded CDs.Her collection of soulful covers, Chills and Fever popped up in...

Review / Photos / Setlist | Andrew Bird @ 4th Presbyterian Church 12/11/17

Words: Alex Wood | Photos (from 12/12): Zach StoneFor a number of reasons, Andrew Birds Gezelligheid performances at 4th Presbyterian Church have become a holiday tradition for me.From the gorgeous, decorated church setting on Michigan Avenue to the intimate, warm performances from the native-to-Chicago violinist, the unpredictable setlists, guest musicians and natural sound quality form an...

Phil Takes Chicago | 10 Bullets, 30 Photos, 5 Videos & 2 Streams

Photos: John 'Nunu' ZomotAt age 77, there's little that Phil Lesh needs to prove.  And that's the genius of the Grateful Dead bassist, he doesn't fall comfortably into any narrative.  His very appeal lies in his ability to march to his own beat (bass lines?). So rather than try to recount the entirety...

Review / Photos / Video / Setlist | Fleet Foxes @ Chicago Theatre 10/3/17

By: Alex Wood | Photos: Zach Stone (10/4 show)Despite finding critical and commercial success throughout their career, Fleet Foxes have had it tough.The band emerged as leaders of a folk renaissance in the music scene with their self-titled, 2008 debut, bringing a Simon & Garfunkel brand of acoustic music back into the mainstream.Yet before the...

Review / Photos | John Butler Trio @ Ravinia 8/30/17

Words & Photos: Zach StoneThe John Butler Trio blew my mind.It's that feeling when after pursuing live music actively for over a decade, something that was hiding in plain sight comes rushing into focus.Kicking off their set with "Cold Wind" from their 2014 album Flesh + Blood, Butler noted that Nicky Bomba is currently...

John Mellencamp Balances Dark and Light At Ravinia Performance

Words: Lisa Torem | Photos: Philamonjaro StudioOn a Wednesday night at Ravinia -- dressed in black, like his collaborator Carlene Carters famous dad, Johnny Cash -- John Mellencamp wasted no time getting in tune for his second performance at the venue.  Surrounded by a smoke machine and a background of scrawled graffiti, the stage was...