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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.
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Tuesday, January 31

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Review Mon Jul 02 2012

Review: Brendan Benson @ Lincoln Hall, 6/28

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Brendan Benson (photos by Steve Stearns)

Over his career, Brendan Benson has transformed from a raw power-pop rocker to more of a traditional rock'n'roll singer/songwriter. But he hasn't forgotten what initially made him popular. Twenty minutes into Thursday's set at Lincoln Hall, Benson had played songs from each of his five albums and dropped in a Raconteurs tune, too. It's a far cry from some acts who don't stretch further back than one album live anymore. And it seemed like he knew what people wanted to hear, based on the cheers of recognition for older songs. Perhaps as a consequence of trying to appeal to everyone, though, the set list was pretty generic. Benson's released ten singles over his career. Eight made it into the short set. (Seriously, under an hour for someone with five albums?) That kept the evening sort of predictable and light on pleasant surprises. (When he played Schubas in 2009, an unexpected cover of Superdrag's "Sucked Out" was a highlight.)

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However, within those confines, Benson and his band performed well. New songs were kept to a minimum to maximize appeal. Downtempo songs were followed with uptempo ones. Momentum never really waned. ("Tiny Spark" revived the crowd from a brief lull.) Banter was never overbearing. The sound was terrific. Updated arrangements didn't veer too far, but Benson has clearly changed from how he played ten years ago. The high-energy power-pop tunes of Lapalco lacked some punch in the style of his latest material. That's not to say they're worse. They're just more laid-back and some older songs don't lend themselves to the style easily. But when everything clicked, as it often did with newer songs, Benson and his band shined.

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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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