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. 


Saturday, May 18

Gapers Block

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

« Review: Weedeater @ Reggie's 9/18 An Intimate Evening with The Bottle Rockets »

Concert Wed Sep 21 2011

Review: Freelance Whales @ The Empty Bottle

[This review comes to us from writer Davis Inman.]

Freelance Whales at the Empty Bottle (photo courtesy Eventbrite)

On Saturday night, Chicago was part of a simultaneous five-city, five-concert series put on by the San Francisco-based event ticketing start-up, Eventbrite. While The Hold Steady rocked The Beekman Beer Garden in New York and Wavves played L.A.'s The Troubadour, the indie-pop quintet Freelance Whales took the stage at Chicago's Empty Bottle.

The New York-based Whales drew a respectable crowd, and what the fans lacked in numbers, they made up for in enthusiasm, singing and dancing along with the band's multiharmonied baroque pop gems. The band opened with the song "Generator First Floor," a catchy ode to a haunted house, which also scored a spot in Twitter's quirky site redesign video. The group displayed plenty of musical dexterity with a stage full of instruments — guitar, banjo, synth, glockenspiel, harmonium, mandolin — which members seemed to trade between each song. Frontman Judah Dadone came out on banjo, but throughout the evening also played acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and a small synth at the front of the stage. The band's "bassist" Doris Cellar sometimes did double-duty (mid-song!) on harmonium, which Dadone joked was on its last leg after tipping over during one particularly raucous jam-out.

The free show was also a benefit for local charity Rock For Kids, which provides music education programs for underserved kids in the Chicagoland area. The band, who are not currently touring and had driven all the way from New York to play the show, were clearly excited by the opportunity to support a good cause, encouraging audience members to donate. Eventbrite's Vanessa Hope Schneider says the five concerts were a huge success. "A hundred percent of the money we collected will be going straight to the charities," she said.

-Davis Inman

GB store
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