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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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Concert Sun Mar 23 2014

The Love on Top Tour Throws a Dance Party at Schubas

I saw TOPS perform last year when opening for King Krule. I was immediately impressed with their pop driven songs. I honestly felt like they were old classics, songs I had heard countless times and still had not grown tired of them. As soon as this feeling would sink in, TOPS would change it up. They are not a simple retread of familiar sounds, but rather an evolution of them. It only makes sense that they are touring with their fellow Canadian Calvin Love, whose own music go towards a similar sense evolution, albeit via a different path. Together they form the Love on Top Tour as they passed through Schubas this past Thursday.


It is crucial emphasize how great it is to come on time to see openers, especially when they are as talented as Calvin Love. Love started his set to a very sparse crowd. Aside from a few very direct jokes about the latecomers, like dedicating "Waiting on You" to them, it didn't seem like Love cared. He played like he was in a full house. On his records, Love's music is a very dark and experimental version of the 80s synth that has come back into fashion. But when performing live he is filled with pure punk fury, which makes sense considering those are his roots. His croon is much grittier and his songs are faster. Luckily more and more people started coming into Schubas as "Cool", Love's most appropriately named song, sparked a dance party. I'm not saying the typical concert swaying and grooving, I mean full on across the room dancing. Even TOPS lead singer Jane Penny joined in as more than just a few rugs were cut during the second half of his set.

After all that dancing it was fitting that TOPS continue the jubilancy with the ever growing audience. Instantly the crowd caught on with their energy. It really isn't surprising; their songs have a completely approachable sense about them. "Turn Your Love Around", one of their catchiest off their album Tender Opposites, is lively as the band goes wild at its end. It's one of those moments that just explode though a crowd as Jane Penny's vibrant voice breaks through the band's feverish playing. They all work incredibly well together, playing off each other wonderfully. David Carriere guitar fuses with Madeline Glowicki's bass while Penny' gentle keyboards contrast Riley Fleck's strong drums. There wasn't an instance in there set where TOPS faltered.


TOPS music grew progressively more danceable and much like Love's set, this played an integral role to the end of the show. While the much denser crowd prohibited the area of the dance floor, there was still enough room for Love to join in and bounce along with everyone to TOPS. The band quickly returned for a final song at the behest of the crowd. They truly gave it their all, with Carriere spinning his guitar around his body. After asking if any one had a place for them to stay, both bands went out into the crowd to take pictures and talk with the audience.There was a lot of love going around at Schubas that night, all of it well deserved.

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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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