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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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Monday, February 26

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« Spitalfield Remember Right Now at Bottom Lounge on Friday Review: The Field @ The Empty Bottle, 6/5/13 »

Concert Sun Jun 09 2013

Review/Photos: The Bats @ Schubas Tavern 06/09/13

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It has been 19 years since the legendary Kiwi band The Bats have visited Chicago so for many fans this show felt as rare as an eclipse and therefore extremely special. The Bats probably realized this in some way, even though the four New Zealanders on stage were nothing but modest and appreciative of Schubas, Laurie's Planet of Sound where they had performed at an earlier in-store, and even the beer from the local brewery Revolution that they liked. They seemed so excited for their sold out audience that they took a picture from the stage. This reviewer/photographer is happy to say that their one hour and forty minute set of 21 songs did not disappoint. The timing and interplay vocally and musically of the four piece was exceptional throughout the night and it was impossible deny the sense of wonder we all felt, old and new fans alike to witness these songs come to life in front of our very eyes and ears.

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It seems impossible that the amazing New Zealand record label, Flying Nun, could be as great without such an important band like The Bats. There is something quite special and nostalgic about listening to their super melodic tracks that bring about a consistently honest and energetic approach to music across their 8 full length albums. The Bats aren't trying to impress anyone and that makes them seem more real and listenable in a way that many bands starting out today simply aren't.

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There was also an undeniable comfort on stage across the four band members both in-between songs and during each song amongst both the vocals and the instrumentation. Though lead singer and guitarist Robert Scott had the lyrics for each song written down on sheets, it seemed like the songs had become quite a part of the group without it and that they hadn't misses a beat or were in danger of forgetting any of the tracks within their great body of work. In fact, the songs came off as if they had been playing them with ease every day even though some songs were definitely from newer releases.

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The band also did a great job in terms of playing songs from throughout their career, spanning a whopping 25 years + of greatness. Though they've garnered some recent press with the re-release of their first two releases (one of which that came out this year on Record Store Day, 1984's By Night), it was easy to tell that there were many audience members who had experienced some peak lifelong memories listening to their songs for a decade or two. And, though some might say that music affects you more when you're young, it's easy to believe any newcomer there to hear the Bats for the first time after getting a more recent release or re-release would be touched by the band's accomplished sense of themselves as musicians and how they could make the best out of their songs. It was fantastic to see the sold out crowd that the band clearly deserves. Let's hope they come around sooner next time they tour!

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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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