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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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Thursday, January 26

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Review Sun Mar 17 2013

Review: Anberlin, Bottom Lounge 3/14

Stephen Christian is obviously tired of singing older Anberlin songs. This makes sense given the fact he's performed songs off the band's breakout album Never Take Friendship Personal like "Paperthin Hymn" hundreds upon hundreds of times over the last eight years. I get the sense that he's hasn't necessarily turned his back on them. He just seems a bit bored. On Thursday, during Anberlin's headlining show at the Bottom Lounge he sang matured songs like opener "The Resistance" and the aforementioned "Paperthin Hymn" with almost total disregard for their original vocal melodies -- changing keys and octaves unexpectedly. I love when bands diverge a bit from recordings during their live performances, but at times it was a bit much.

On the other hand, Christian sounded outstanding on more recent tracks, most notably songs off the band's 2012 release Vital. Given the album's most complex sound to date for the band, he was clearly happier with the challenges that songs like "Self-Starter" and the incredibly moving "Other Side" present.

I've had the pleasure of following this band since its earliest days and have seen them on all sorts of stages -- teenie tiny clubs', theaters', festivals' -- and, as a whole, they've never sounded better musically than at the Bottom Lounge last week. Props to whoever was doing the sound that night. The guitar tones were almost perfectly translated from the records. The drums were poignant but not overpowering. And the vocals held up well against the heaviest, most rock-induced songs. Even the acoustic rendition of "The Unwinding Cable Car" sounded great in the packed club.

I admit I was a bit nervous after the first couple of songs, however, with their most powerful album yet under their belts, Anberlin seems more invigorated than ever. If anyone with the right influence is reading this, can we please consider them for a Riot Fest set?

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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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