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Tuesday, May 21

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« Clothes Don't Make the Man: Hip-Hop Artists' Outrage Over Misrepresentation in the Reader Review: A Concert Gets "Dastardly" @ Subterranean, 5/10/12 »

Concert Sun May 13 2012

Review: Pearl and the Beard @ Schubas

It is easy to pre-judge bands. One look at the thick-framed-glasses-wearing, happy-fun-time-haired, trio of Pearl and the Beard, and I had already labeled them HIPSTER is bold, judgmental letters. I mean they are from Brooklyn for Christ's sake. But, being a huge fan of their 2011 album "Killing the Darlings," I also knew they were really effin' talented. As I headed into Schubas on Saturday night for their sold-out show, I was prepared for a night of solid jams with a hint of the traditional detached coolness hipster affect.

But Pearl and the Beard is one of those bands that makes you eat all of your stupidly preconceived notions and wash it all down with a healthy non-ironic gulp of PBR. They were warm, friendly and really freaking funny on stage in addition to just looking really freaking cool in those thick-framed glasses. They also immediately engaged the crowd. Halfway through the second song, the audience was already out of traditional stand-and-stare mode, and was clapping along with "Sweetness."

And all of this loveliness was amplified even more by the fact that Pearl and the Beard contains three very big and bold personalities who all shared the stage and harmonized with each other in a kismet kind of way. From their banter in between songs to the spine-tingling harmonies, each member, who could be good solo, comes together to make Pearl and the Beard magical.

But perhaps most surprisingly was the unexpected sexiness to come out of the trio. From the album cover, of the three sharing a 6-armed sweater, you don't get the impression that Pearl and the Beard are out to sell sex. But on stage their combination of confidence, extreme talent and core-thumping beats creates this kind of natural sexiness that is more palpable than anything prepackaged by RCA Records.

Beyond the sexy, Pearl and the Beard's set was one of the most engaging I had ever heard. From their more recognizable songs to new stuff, I was enthralled for every minute, occasionally realizing I had been holding my breath during particularly beautiful moments. And I was not alone, by the time, Pearl and the Beard came back for an encore the crowd, was literally stomping their feet for one of their most popular songs "Douglass." Singer Jeremy Styles, belted the lyrics from the middle of the Schubas' crowd, getting the sold-out group to clap, sing and foot-stomp along to the beat.

When Pearl and the Beard ended with "Oh Death," I had this moment when I realized this would become one of those rare "I knew them when" concerts and I felt just lucky to witness it. Hopefully Chicago doesn't have to wait too long for another magical Pearl and the Beard night.

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Kate / May 24, 2012 11:32 AM

Magical, sexy, engaging, funny. Exactly. Yes. Yes. I have been following Emily for the past few years and this was their best night to date. Keep on that sexy.

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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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