Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 29

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Spring Awakening 2014 in Pictures Preview: Evian Christ Tonight at Primary »

Review Wed Jun 18 2014

Empty Bottle Filled Up with Allah-Las' Psychedelia

Allah-Las (Photos by Cody Davis)

The resurgence of psychedelic rock should come as no surprise by now. The past few years have been filled with bands mining the genre that was most prevalent during 60s and 70s for inspiration. Many tend to fall too far into the sound for their own good, while the immersion for others works so well that it's hard to believe they aren't directly from that time period. California's Allah-Las easily fall into the latter. They have managed to replicate that old garage psychedelic rock without being tiresome or boring. They wholeheartedly embrace the sound, especially when playing live. Such was the case this past weekend at their sold out show at Empty Bottle.

Oklahoma City's Horse Thief opened the night with their surprisingly catchy songs. Horse Thief is fronted by Cameron Neil, whose lyrics and laid back voice propel the band forward. His cadence is uniquely odd and enjoyable. Neil's voice gently drifted over his band's instrumentation before they all eventually delved into folky jam sessions. These moments of jamming gave the set an epic sound, meshing well with their melodic timbre. Their songs more often than not had an ethereal quality to them. "Let Go" in particular floated around the venue and had the crowd swaying along.

Paige Brubeck of Sleepy Kitty (Photos by Cody Davis)

Sleepy Kitty are no strangers to the Empty Bottle. Despite currently being based in St. Louis, which garnered moans and boos from the crowd, Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult started the band in Chicago. Thus, Sleepy Kitty's set felt like a spectacular homecoming. Their aesthetic is filled with a really boisterous and raw attitude that matches their fun sound. They've gotten comparisons to Sleigh Bells, but Sleepy Kitty is a little more laid back and organic. Sult's drumming could barely be contained as he continually rose up from his seat. Brubeck swayed and strutted around the stage barefooted as she played unwavering passion. She manipulated both her guitar and voice intensely, looping both to lend a wider sense to their songs. Newish songs like "Mockingbird" displayed their talents in the best light possible with Brubeck's impeccable guitar work in the forefront. They finished their set with "Don't You Start", the chorus of which echoes "don't you start missing me now", something the Chicago crowd couldn't help but do as they exited the stage.

Miles Michaud of Allah-Las (Photos by Cody Davis)

Allah-Las came to the stage with the Empty Bottle filled to the brim with devoted fans. Miles Michaud stand at the front, Matthew Correia sat behind his drum kit, Spencer Dunham and Pedrum Siadatian stood at opposite ends wielding their bass and guitar, respectively. Instantly every member of the band looked like veterans of the stage. It's somewhat surprising, considering that the only have one album under their belt. The opening chords of Don't You Forget" rang out to the loud crowd as a kaleidoscope of colorful melting liquids was projected on the band.

Pedrum Siadatian of Allah-Las (Photos by Cody Davis)

Their songs mimicked the visuals of the show, blending together at times. There is a very cohesive structure across Allah-Las songs that makes it hard not to entangle oneself into their music. While it's easy to see the connections the band has made to create their sound, they still are able to add something new. "Tell Me (What's on You Mind)" can be linked to a Byrds song, but it sprinkled with more garage rock attitude.

Matthew Correia of Allah-Las (Photos by Cody Davis)

They played a couple new songs, teasing their forthcoming album in September. They seemed like more of what Allah-Las' does best, dreamy psych rock that bounces better than ever. Even when sticking to what they know, Allah-Las' can be very versatile. This quality was at it's height during "Long Journey", where Michaud took over drumming while Correia stepped out and handled vocals and tambourine. It was a great moment, filled with a very cool energy exuding from the band. They ended their encoreless set with "Had it All", an adequate farewell to the fun show.

Miles Michaud of Allah-Las (Photos by Cody Davis)

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15