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Concert Fri Mar 30 2012

Review: Bowerbirds @ Lincoln Hall, 3/29

[This review and photos come to us from reader Rachel Angres.]


Following the energetic set by opening band Dry The River, there was a sense of disjointedness as Bowerbirds began. The stage was somber — in mood and lighting. The first few songs were hurried; Beth switched from keys to accordion as if it was a game of "capture the flag." Phil sang in his own timing, as the percussion rushed the songs into an abrupt ending.

Eventually, seemingly after realizing how loyal and forgiving the fans were, all five members of Bowerbirds loosened up and began to sing and play in synchronic bliss. Their faces relaxed and their eyes closed slightly. It felt as if the band had a need to share their emotional tie with each song, a longing to express their life stories through music. The enchanting harmonics of Beth Tacular's voice, soothed the rugged tenor of her counterpart — and real-life love — Phillip Moore was as beguiling as it was symphonic.


At least a half a dozen times during the set, they mentioned the recent release of their latest record, The Clearing, as if to forewarn the audience that they may not recognize the sound — but to also assure them they will love it. In fact, it was not the popular track "Northern Lights" off their debut album Upper Air that riled up the crowd the most, but a simple and elegant song titled "Stitch The Hem" from The Clearing that excited them.

Phil, as lead vocalist and guitarist, did not say much between songs. He mentioned that he was from Iowa, almost begrudgingly, and some audience members cheered while others empathized. "I have not been happy playing a show every night for months straight, but tonight — here in Chicago — I am happy," Phil said with sincerity. Proud to be Midwestern and perhaps in someway play a part in a near flawless, bucolic and joyous set.

-Rachel Angres

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Rachel / March 31, 2012 12:40 PM

I get to see Dry The River tonight at the Fine Line in Minneapolis! I hope their show is as energetic as it was with Bowerbirds. They seem like such a fun group!

Marina / April 1, 2012 10:52 PM

Love these guys so much, "Weights and Measures" is an awesome song, so much passion

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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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