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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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Thursday, October 21

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Review Wed Oct 29 2014

Hozier Takes Us to Church @ Metro, 10/26

Hozier is a name I've been hearing quite frequently lately, buzzing about my city, and surely beyond. Whether it is hearing his hit song, "Take Me To Church," on radio station after radio station, and music stream after music stream, or talking to my friends about his emotive, expressive rock sound infused with folk, I was overjoyed to see him perform his breakout album live to a sold out crowd at the Metro, with the show opened by the talented James Bay.

James Bay is a new force to be reckoned with. A London-based artist at only 23 years old, he is able to craft effortless folk music that entrances and captivates from the moment he sings his first lyric. He has released two EPs in the past two years, which have allowed him to attract a fan base to his deliberate musical style from both the UK and the US.

Emerging with his classic look of flowing hair under a brimmed hat, looking like the epitome of cool, Bay performed his endearing tunes for an eager audience. With a croon akin to his predecessors such as James Morrison, he sang beautiful tunes such as "Scars," wailing out, "We can't leave us behind, anymore." Tall and gangly, he commands the stage with his presence: just him, a guitar, and his British charm. With languid, glittering tunes, I expect James Bay to amass a larger following as the years move forward.

I, like all others at the Metro, had become enamored with the music of Hozier. The beautiful and powerful ballads contain so much emotion that they can teach us how to feel the full spectrum of feelings over and over again, with no reprieve, much to our desire. His self-titled debut was just released, following the heels of his dynamic EPs, dated over the past two years. Andrew Hozier-Byrne is also a young musician at 24, and has already garnered acclaim for the music that he performs, and the well-crafted songs that he writes. Emerging to an overwhelming round of applause and cheers, Hozier began by performing the brooding "Like Real People Do," commanding the crowd from the get-go with his sexy and soulful vocals. He then proceeded with the popular tune "Jackie and Wilson," and as he sang that he would "raise 'em on rhythm and blues," the entire crowd was moving to the beat and satisfied by the music.

Hozier was flanked by a large backing band, comprised of soulful singers, guitarists, and more, which allowed his sound to become even more booming and powerful. He continued with "To Be Alone," and then let everyone know that he was going to play songs with the band, and then solo songs as well for everyone, much to their delight. The performance hit its peak during "Take Me To Church," the notable crowd-pleaser that has catapulted Hozier to his platform of fame. I think each member of the crowd left feeling satisfied by the church that Hozier was able to bring us all to, one of soulful music that keeps us intrigued and rejuvenated at every turn.

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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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