Arctic Monkeys but, let's face it, Arctic Monkeys aren't half the band these Chicago lads are." />

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Tuesday, April 23

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« Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - February 2012 Tour Diary: Canasta in Mongolia - Day 1 »

Concert Sat Feb 04 2012

Photos/Review: Smith Westerns @ Cabaret Metro 2/3/12

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Though Chicago's own Smith Westerns barely played for an hour on a stage adorned with Happy Faces, they left an immediate impression on the audience and did what great bands can truly do, which is leave their fans wanting more instead of getting tired of the songs. In fact, as the set progressed to the end, the night culminated in complete audience wild abandon and the band did well to feed on this adoration and become even stronger on stage, lead singer Cullen Omori especially. The band perhaps made a breakthrough when they achieved an opener touring spot for Arctic Monkeys but, let's face it, Arctic Monkeys aren't half the band these Chicago lads are.

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If you've been paying attention for awhile, you've probably seen this band grow from being a little sloppy and imperfect into what seems like flawless rock stars. Though the actual lighting on the stage was mostly backlighting vs. front lighting, focusing on silhouetted movements vs. facial expressions, The Omori brothers have an incredible stage presence between Cameron constantly thrashing his head around and Cullen moving his hips about like a postmodern reincarnation of Elvis, only with about 100x more sex appeal. Their wondrous glammy songs seem mainly about being young and in love. At this point in their career, their lyrics aren't completely original sounding and the music reminds one of the best eras of music, when psychedelic, pop, and glam all danced languidly together, sharing eachother's worth. It's the sum of the parts in this case: lyrics and music accompaniment that seem to make the songs click with the listener.

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Their albums are also getting more interesting and stronger as a whole. Their self titled release in 2009 showed promise but it was their 2011 release Dye it Blonde that truly showed touches of brilliance. The only real negative of the album is that is just isn't long enough and resembles more an EP in its length. Still, it's better to have the quality over quantity and Dye it Blonde surely delivers in that department, with perhaps the absolute pinnacle achievement being "Smile," which they also pulled off perfectly live.

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In fact, the songs from this latest release came off especially well, though it seems more natural that "End of the Night" be placed last instead of second (sort of like how it would be odd for Leonard Cohen to begin a night with "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye") Besides that, it's key to add that there were a few new songs that really felt like they belonged most with the songs on their most recent album vs. their debut. Though the young fans will yearn for Cullen to touch their extended fingers and let them caress his guitar, it will be nice to continue to hear the band grow musically and lyrically. But, either way, with their lush sounds and their engaging stage presence, "I wanna tell you, you're hard to resist."

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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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