Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, March 3

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Caught in the Pear Traps Review: Kid Sister @ Pritzker 7/19 »

Review Tue Jul 20 2010

Review: Best Coast @ Empty Bottle, 7/17


Bethany Cosentino (photos by Dave Knapik)

One of the best things about music festivals is the sheer number of performances on offer over what is a relatively small span of time. Unfortunately, this can also be one of a festival's downsides, as artists play shorter sets and fans are forced to choose between simultaneous unmissable acts. Although sunshine and warm summer days are their specialty, Best Coast's early afternoon Pitchfork festival appearance always seemed easily missed by the temptation to sleep in. Considering the massive amount of dope they smoke, it seemed slightly wrong to set an alarm clock for a band I could stay up late and see at the Empty Bottle the night before.

After a brief tech check by guitarist Bobb Bruno, the full band took the stage. Make no mistake, however, for Best Coast's "full band" consists of three people, with this gig marking former Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler's first performance as an official, non-borrowed member. This minimal line-up is key to the effectiveness of their sound: short, simple pop songs that are high on fuzz, but low on fuss.


Although their first full-length release doesn't come out until next week, Best Coast already has a firm following built upon a handful of singles. It's impressive enough to sell out a venue on a night following a full day's worth of music in a city packed with afterparties, but drawing a crowd that knows all the words to songs that are barely a year old is a true testament to frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's pop songwriting prowess. Set highlights such as "When I'm With You" and "The Sun Was High (So Was I)" saw many punters singing along and eagerly bouncing to the lazy beat. That bouncing gave way to full on moshing before long, proving that Union Park didn't hold a monopoly on the weekend's energy. Noticing that a fair number of people knew the unreleased songs a bit too well, Cosentino chided the crowd for stealing the new record online, though showing us it was simply a gentle tease, she added, "I would have done the same thing."

If there's one lesson to take from Best Coast, it's that not only can a duo rock just as hard as a traditional four piece, but that if you manage to steal a Vivian Girl to make it a trio, then you're prepared to incapacitate. I can only wonder what percentage of the audience made it out to Pitchfork before sunset the next day.

GB store

Tripp / July 23, 2010 4:05 PM

I made it out for Best Coast the next day... BC are the real deal...

GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15