The Rural Alberta Advantage, Friday night would put those thoughts to rest. The audience for the RAA was better than ever in their deeply felt love of all of the lyrics to the songs they knew by heart. It's a rare day in this jaded postmodern world when a band doesn't have to ask the audience to sing along and they just passionately feel so inclined as if they were fulfilling some deep aspect of their souls. " />

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Transmission
« Day Two: Tomorrow Never Knows - Circuit Des Yeux, Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never 1/16/14 @ Lincoln Hall Day Three: Tomorrow Never Knows - Weekend, Bare Mutants @ Schubas, 1/17 »

Tomorrow Never Knows Sat Jan 18 2014

Day Two: Tomorrow Never Knows - Rural Alberta Advantage, Kopecki Family Band, Mutual Benefit at Lincoln Hall 1/17/14

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If there was any previous doubt how much Chicagoans love The Rural Alberta Advantage, Friday night would put those thoughts to rest. The audience for the RAA was better than ever in their deeply felt love of all of the lyrics to the songs they knew by heart. It's a rare day in this jaded postmodern world when a band doesn't have to ask the audience to sing along and they just passionately feel so inclined as if they were fulfilling some deep aspect of their souls.

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Such was the case for all of the songs that fans knew from their first full length, 2009's Hometowns, and their second 2011's Departing. The band also played some news songs lead singer Nils Edenloff told the audience they would be recording soon back in Toronto. It will be interesting to hear these recorded tracks and see how it fits with the rest of their catalog. They didn't seem to represent a huge departure from previous material but it was one of the few times the audience was quiet as the words hadn't been learned yet.

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There was a very special feeling surrounding the band as they played. There's a certain energy created when musicians realize how loved they truly are, especially after a short hiatus. It perhaps kept them playing a little longer than they would have for their 90 minute long set and perhaps was the reason why they treated us to an extra song or two in their encore with "The Dethbridge in Lethbridge" then singing a lovely a capella version of "Good Night" out in the crowd.

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In turn, there's a special quality about an audience that really appreciates the band playing and has waited for their return with such anticipation. Edenloff pointed out that they were only playing selected stops on this abridged tour but they would be back later. It seemed given the overly warm reception, that Edenloff definitely realize this would be a city he would want to return to when he said it. And, though the RAA deserve to big really huge considering both all of their talent and hard work, all of us present at this show will cherish it no matter what happens with the band in the future. It was just that special.

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Setlist:

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The night began with five piece Mutual Benefit who projected a sort of presence that walked the line between melancholic and whimsical. At one point during their lullabyish set, a fan yelled out "Who are you guys?" to which the lead singer, Jordan Lee replied "Shazam it!" but if there was any doubt to their sincerity, the violinist and melodic guitar melodies put any concerns to rest. To make matters more poignant, Lee also effects quite a vulnerable and tortured tone to his voice at times. At one point, this reviewer/photographer also heard an audience member declare that he looked as if he was straight out of a Wes Anderson film. The band's set was overall quite sensitive with a few love lorn lyrics tossed in for good measure. It was lovely to linger in the warm moments they managed to create in this bleak midwinter.

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Kopecki Family Band admitted they were not a biological family but they were definitely able to play a tight performance combining a slight twangy Nashville feel with Indie pop and rock influences with audience participation thrown in for good measure. Their 50 minute set was rather joyous and energetic with all six band members singing and dancing all over the stage. They were a nice pick to get the audience ready for The Rural Alberta Advantage and when lead female singer, Kelsey Kopecky, explained that last time they were in Chicago, they played a Lolla aftershow, it clicked that one could easily see them playing well with that crowd too.

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Read all our Tomorrow Never Knows coverage.

 
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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.

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