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Wednesday, October 17

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« Riot Fest: Congress Theater 10/10/09 Ticket Giveaway: Chromeo/Crystal Castles/Boys Noize @ The Congress »

Review Sun Oct 18 2009

Sharon Van Etten at The Double Door 10/17/09


It takes a strong kind of woman to be able to pull off opening for TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone without a backing band. Sharon Van Etten is definitely that person. At one point, she even apologized for the fact that it was just her owning the stage she was on but there was no need to say sorry. In fact, her set this time was edgier than both times she's previously played Chicago at the Empty Bottle and it proved difficult to be a passive listener throughout the length of it.


It was somewhat unusual for her to play a couple of songs that aren't on her stellar official full length release (2009's) Because I Was in Love. Opening up her 30 minute long set with "Give Out" and closing with "Joke or a Lie" was an interesting choice and a contrast to her playing previous live sets that mainly focused on this album. In addition, she covered Blaze Foley's "Ooh Love" towards the end of her set explaining that the song wasn't hers but that she really loved it. "For You" "I Fold," and "Consolation Prize" were highlights from her officially released full length album.


In contrast to her more serious tone during the songs, Van Etten comes off as warm and genuinely happy to see so many people adoring her up front. It's not uncommon to see her even smile at audience members when she isn't singing. Yet, while the songs take shape, the tone changes into a subtly dramatic one. Her lyrics feel both personal and sensitive without any sort of pretense to them. Likewise, the way she sings them is always in a heartfelt manner that makes you aware of every little sound, even her breathing between notes.


It might be easy to simply describe Van Etten as a folk singer or a female singer/songwriter but that denies something special and enchanting about her. It's best to experience the music for yourself and discover the wonder in it. If you're searching for something honest and comforting at the same time, you'll no doubt soon fall in love with Van Etten.


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Raf / October 21, 2009 12:35 PM

What about the other two bands playing that night? Rain Machine and Reds and Blue ripped it up.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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