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Monday, December 6

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Review Mon Oct 07 2013

You'll Want to Know More About Betty Who

Standing 6'2", with a cropped coif of white-blond hair, there was no missing Betty Who as she marched into Schubas on Saturday night and promptly went to the bar to grab a drink before her show. Who, an Australian native, New York resident, Berklee School of Music student, and most recently, the happy and surprised beneficiary of a
viral video in which her song is featured, made Schubas feel as cozy as a living room and as charged as a headlining arena tour.

There's something to say about seeing an artist in a tiny, 200-person club. Proximity aside, it's really up to artists to make a show feel intimate to all involved. Who, who was gabbing with fans by the side of the stage before her grand entrance, was clearly no novice in the crowd-pleasing department. Her soaring, '80s-style synth pop filled the room as she launched into "You're in Love," one of the songs on her The Movement EP.

"Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the world," Who said after her leadoff song, pandering to the crowd in the best way possible. "I only have four songs," the singer joked, "So I'm going to play some new ones."

Who played a new, as-of-yet unreleased single "Heartbreak Dream," to great effect, as well as a slowed-down version of Taylor Swift's "22" (it was her birthday) that convinced me and probably everyone else that this was the way the song was meant to be sung.

Clearly at home on the stage, Who danced, smiled, and belted her songs while rarely missing a note, and looked to be having 100% as much fun as each audience member. Between laughing with her band, all of whom were decked out in WHO CREW t-shirts, poking fun at her own love life ("This must be a theme in my life...the next song is called 'Alone Again'"), Who was an unaffected and relatable performer who effortlessly worked the crowd into a lather. Speaking as if she was surrounded by her closest friends, she alternated between confident performer and self-deprecating, regaling the audience with funny stories and personal tidbits. Who came off as just another 22-year-old stumbling through the follies of love and growing up like the rest of us, resulting in a rare camaraderie between artist and fan that felt sincere and reciprocal.

Who's lack of self-consciousness seeped into the audience, each of whom in my vicinity were dancing as goofily and joyfully as if no one were watching for the entire show. She sang the hell out of Miguel's "Use Me," apologizing to her parents in the audience afterward for singing the line in the song that goes, "Defiiiiiiiiiile me." Another highlight involved her bringing a member of the audience on stage for a "twerk-off," luckily with a very game member of the crowd which resulted in hilarity for all.

For all her relatable asides and friendly demeanor, there is no doubt Who is serious about being a pop star — and stands an excellent chance. At present, she occupies a unique step in the career of a musician: She is poised on the brink of "making it," (with a little help from a viral video — it is 2013, after all), but still possesses the humble nature and grind of a new artist. With the energy level at a 10 for nearly the entire 45 minute set, hooks worthy of Katy Perry, and a loyal and raucous (albeit small for now) fan base, my guess is Who won't be waiting very long, and all 200 people at her Schubas show will soon have a great story to tell about the early days of a great pop star.

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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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