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Concert Wed Mar 19 2014

Islands and Escondido Shine Bright in SPACE

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Islands (Photos by Steve Sterns)

Before I get into the amazing performances, I have to applaud the atmosphere at SPACE. It is an extraordinary place to see a show. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fantastic intimate venues all around the Chicagoland area, but SPACE in Evanston is a must see. SPACE feels like the clubs I imagined when I was younger, big enough to get a crowd but small enough for it to feel special. The sound travels nicely through the room, capturing the bands in the best way possible. It certainly didn't hurt that the groups were Islands and Escondido, whose sets were fantastically crafted and performed.

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Escondido (Photos by Steve Sterns)

There's something really wonderful about Escondido. The openings to some of their songs sound like scores from old westerns filled with sweeping trumpets and gently strummed guitars. Their music is warm to the touch, a mixture of twang and straight up rock. Plenty of influences come to mind, but rarely overcome the band. Despite their name meaning hidden in Spanish, Escondido's sound and stage presence is anything but. They just have a unique aura about them that comes through in their music and lyrics, wrapping up whatever room they're in.

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Escondido (Photos by Steve Sterns)

They started their set with "Evil Girls", the first song of their album The Ghost of Escondido. The song showcased Jessica Maros' sultry and impossibly elegant voice while Tyler James' electric guitar and occasional trumpeting shined through. It's hard not to fall in love with the band as James and Maros banter with one another. They joked about sleeping surround gold and being a little scared to play the piano that was on stage. While they played songs off their album like "Rodeo Queen" and "Cold October", it was newer songs like "Leaving Brookyln" that caught on quickly. Watching them perform their dreamy cover of "When Will I Be Loved" puts you in a state of delirium and Maros said it best, "Delirium is a nice place to be."

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Islands (Photos by Steve Sterns)

When The Unicorns disbanded in 2004, there was no doubt the Nicholas Thorburn would find himself another outlet to expound his music talents. Luckily his band Islands has been going strong since then and his musical output has been getting even stronger. Islands' music has matured since their first album Return to the Sea. This has as much to do with the ever changing lineup, which currently features Adam Halferty, Evan and Geordie Gordon, as it does with Thorburn's growing talent. I may not have had the opportunity to see The Unicorns live, but Islands more than made up for that at SPACE.

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Islands (Photos by Steve Sterns)

Islands appropriately started the set with "Switched On" which was played with more energy than I expected. Thorburn has this swagger about him that is filled with more rock and roll that his music implies. He swam across the stage with ease in his shiny white shoes as the Gordon brothers played their respective instruments with a coolness I didn't even know existed. Halferty's drums melted in and out of songs, especially during "Creeper" and "Don't' Call Me Whitney, Bobby" where the crowd matched his intensity. The slower and more deliberate "Shotgun Vision" had everyone is a soulful sway, moving along it's staggered beat. Islands also treated the crowd to a new song "Snowflake", which sounds closer to their earlier albums than their latest.

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Islands (Photos by Steve Sterns)

Towards the end of the set, Thorburn playful announced "This is the ravey part of the set where I dose you... with MDMA." The Gordon brothers switched places on stage as Thorburn strutted through "Where There's a Will, There's a Whalebone" and "I Can't Feel My Face" with such poise. Islands left the stage momentarily for the pause before the encore, brought back to an enthusiastic cheering from the crowd. Thorburn played "This is Not a Song" on the piano and was later joined by Geordie on it for the final song. It was a nice note to end of this fantastic show at SPACE.

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Islands (Photos by Steve Sterns)

 

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Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 16 2014

Our Picks for Pitchfork Fest 2014

By Transmission Staff

Come on and see what we're most excited to hear with our staff's picks for the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival sets you won't want to miss.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
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Oh My Rockness
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Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
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

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
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


Events

Wed Jul 30 2014
Oneida & CAVE @ Empty Bottle

Wed Jul 30 2014
Nelarusky ft. Twin Shadow @ Metro

Thu Jul 31 2014
Spin's Lollapalooza Kick Off Party with Interpol, Gemini Club, Wildcat! Wildcat!

Thu Jul 31 2014
School of Rock Allstars @ Beat Kitchen

Sat Aug 2 2014
Fiesta Del Sol @ Pilsen Neighborhood

Sun Aug 3 2014
Great Midwest Uke Fest @ Chief O'Neill's

Mon Aug 4 2014
Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips @ Downtown Sound

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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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