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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 »


  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


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Andy's Jazz Club
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Beat Kitchen
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The Burlington
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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

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
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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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