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Review Sun Jan 30 2011

Review: Banner Pilot @ Beat Kitchen


Photo Credit: Kelly Lone

The best of shows are the ones that are just as enjoyable for the performers as the audience. Luckily for attendees of Saturday night's Banner Pilot show at the Beat Kitchen, such a balance was struck and the result was just plain fun.

As the late show headliner, Banner Pilot kicked off just before 11:30pm in front of a wildly receptive crowd. Of course, it's no wonder that Chicagoans would be drawn like moths to a flame to a band that cites both Alkaline Trio and the Lawrence Arms as direct influences. What ensued next was forty minutes of fist pumping, hand clapping, anthemic punk rock.

Much to the appreciation of their fans, the Minneapolis-based quartet pulled songs that spanned its entire discography to comprise a solid setlist including fan favorites such as "Skeleton Key" and "Empty Your Bottles." Each song was executed well instrumentally, but what I was most impressed with were the vocals. Frontman Nick Johnson's gravely voice drove the band through spitfire verses and choruses too catchy not to sing along to. And when guitarist Corey Ayd jumped in on vocals it was a real treat. Pitch-perfect vocal harmonies are not something that all punk bands can boast.

My only gripe was the start-stop pace that persisted throughout the entire performance. With twenty or thirty or sixty-plus seconds in between each two and a half-minute song the set lacked momentum. These pauses seemed to carry much more weight after Banner Pilot's abrupt end to their set. The lack of an encore--despite the crowd's urges--left room to wonder how many more songs could have been squeezed into the set if not for all the downtime. I understand needing a breather or having to retune, but come on.

Regardless, Banner Pilot's high-energy performance was the perfect kick in the pants that I, and probably many of the other attendees, needed in the midst of these droning winter months. It's not always easy to work up a sweat mid-January, but that certainly wasn't the case for anyone at the Beat Kitchen on Saturday night.

 
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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 »

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