Concert Review: The Drums – Wicker Park Fest – Chicago
I am still recovering from last weekend. Chicago was the venue, there was a bachelor party and I was in charge. A group gathered to pay homage to a dear friend. Steaks were smashed, craft beers were demolished, and humiliating headaches were shared. Being the childhood friend, I knew little about the crowd of college friends, but a special bond was formed post-destruction. While the fantastic beer selection helped bridge the gap, it was a special band from Brooklyn that brought the boys together.
The Drums played headliner to not only Saturday night at Wicker Park Fest, but also bachelor party weekend. When front man Jonathan Pierce took the stage, the atmosphere flipped and fans were zoned in. The Drums are one of those bands that seem to grow in my favor on a monthly basis. Their self-titled debut and 2011 follow-up Portamento have been heavy favorites in my rotation and the songs translated brilliantly live. I had seen the Drums last year at Lollapalooza and enjoyed them, but this time I was completely blown away.
A group of new friends traded high fives as The Drums traded songs from their two full-length releases. The crowd was huge and they were singing along throughout. Pierce maintained his charismatic persona throughout while plowing through a heavy set. The Drums delivered a magnificent setlist that kept momentum while demanding my full attention.
If He Likes It Let Him Do It
Baby That’s Not the Point
I Need a Doctor
Book of Stories
I Need Fun in My Life
What You Were
How It Ended
Let’s Go Surfing
Me and the Moon
I still can’t decide if it was the atmosphere, the bachelor party festivities, or simply The Drums, but this was the best live set that I have seen this year. The Drums offered a laid back coolness that provides the perfect soundtrack to a summer evening. While segments of our group were scattered throughout the venue, all agreed that The Drums were it. While the body continues to heal, I will spend this week diving back through The Drums catalog….they’ve earned it.
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Written by Brett McGrath
Setlist: The Black Keys – Banker’s Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis
March 16, 2012
Howlin’ for You
Run Right Back
Same Old Thing
Dead and Gone
Gold on the Ceiling
Girl Is On My Mind
I’ll Be Your Man
Little Black Submarines
Chop & Change
Ten Cent Pistol
She’s Long Gone
I Got Mine
Concert Review: LKB, Bonesetters & She Does Is Magic at White Rabbit Cabaret
Saturday night at the White Rabbit Cabaret was all about growth. Laura K. Balke, She Does Is Magic, and The Bonesetters all have advanced their talents, which is a great sign for any musician. After chatting with members from each group I am convinced that they all have the opportunity to gain fans outside of our Indianapolis scene. Smart, talented, and kind are a few words that come to mind when describing the bands that provided me entertainment on Saturday evening.
Each of the three performers is an entrepreneur at heart. By marketing themselves and continuing to create a terrific product, they all show signs of thinking like an owner. My hope is that this kind of dedication and determination will continue to be recognized as more people come to their shows and buy their music. These musicians provide an excellent representation for our Indianapolis scene.
Laura K. Balke opened the night with her electric guitar and soothing songs. Balke was comfortable on stage and confident as she spoke to the crowd. In between songs LKB told the crowd “This is the most attentive crowd that I have ever played for.” While this was a compliment for those it attendance, it should be more of a highlight to the captivating sound she offered to visitors. Song, “Two Ships” (not “Two Shits” as she joked) was the highlight for me. Rich song writing allowed my mind to sail and get caught in the moment. After the show, I purchased her latest album, Rumors & Legends on vinyl. A true artist in every sense of the word, the hard-cover release displays prints of Balke’s hand-drawn artwork accompanying each track. Check out Record Geeks review of this pressing.
She Does is Magic provided a solid first impression for me as this was my first time seeing them live. Band member, Mark Walker described their songs as “fun music” and I completely agree. They are an extremely easy band to not only approach, but also become a fan of. I am excited to watch this band grow as they plan to release their debut full-length sometime later this year.
Blog favorite, The Bonesetters closed the night out with their strongest performance to date. Their timing was perfect and stage presence was improved. The song writing and delivery of front man, Dan Snodgrass initially drew me to this band. During this performance I was drawn to the talent of drummer, Cody Davis. Exceptional fills and impeccable timing has helped build out the Bonesetters brand for me. The Bonesetters are true rock and roll and local readers of the blog should fill up venues any time they are on the bill.
Here is the set list from The Bonesetters:
You are Shaun Gannon
Waltz #2 (XO) (Elliot Smith Cover)
As I strolled out of the White Rabbit Cabaret on Saturday night I felt a sense of pride for talking about these bands in the depth that we do here. There needs to be more types of these events on a more consistent basis. Take advantage of the talent that Indianapolis offers. It does not disappoint.
Written by Brett McGrath