Features Stories

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...

Photos & Video | Michael McDermott Kicks Off Tour At City Winery

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotMichael McDermott is looking to spread the vibes his hometown audiences have given him for 20 years to audiences everywhere.So he used Chicago's City Winery as a beachhead, launching a tour in support of Out From Under (out on April 27th) with a pair of shows that also had the support of...

PHOTOS & VIDEO | Matador! Soul Sounds & Hartswick/Cassarino Duo @ Martyrs' 3/22/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotIn this age of funk-and-soul supergroups, it seems like a pick-up band can materialize -- full of a handful of musicians sourced from a pool of well-known jammers -- at any time and for any reason.This group of road warriors is ready to be drawn into battle at...

Review / Setlist / Video | The Wood Brothers @ The Vic 4/14/18

Words: Alex Wood | Photo: @TinaNiberiThe Wood Brothers have long been one of the hardest working bands in the business, constantly touring, writing and recording for more than a decade.Ive watched the band grow from playing dive bars to their recent two-night run at The Vic Theatre, and the increased popularity doesnt feel the slightest...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | JGB @ Park West 3/16/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotFormer Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals is no stranger to the Chicago area.  He appears frequently as a special guest with the local Dead tribute staple Terrapin Flyer.But it's been a minute since he's brought his JGB project through the city -- so it was nice to get a...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | Pigeons Playing Ping Pong @ Turner Hall 3/1/18

Photos: Adam MiszewskiI'm going to say it.  Beyond just their name, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has a jambandy aesthetic that makes String Cheese Incident seem reserved, self-serious and demure by comparison.But good on them for just embracing the fuck out of it.  And you can't say the audience hasn't responded. The...

PHOTOS / VIDEO | Stanley Clarke @ City Winery 3/21/18

By: John 'Nunu' ZomotAs a music veteran, Stanley Clarke can fly a little bit under the radar, but when he pops up you best pay attention.The man is an absolute beast on the bass.  City Winery goers were treated to a full-on clinic during his March visit with his talented touring ensemble....

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...

PREMIERE | JC Brooks Band - Red Black + Blue EP

JC Brooks exploded into Chicagoans' consciousness in 2010 with a smooth-as-silk re-imagining of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart".  It was a damn near perfect introduction to the version of retro-soul that he and his band The Uptown Sound were offering just year into the Obama era.But digging deeper after this intro,...

Review / Videos / Setlist | Rivers Cuomo @ Beat Kitchen 4/10/18

Words: Alex Wood | Photo: @comedyjunkie1Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo announced an intimate, one-off acoustic performance at Beat Kitchen last week, with tickets selling out instantly the next morning.Though Weezer will perform at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater with Pixies this summer, this 300-capacity performance naturally felt like the polar opposite, an extremely rare opportunity to see...