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Tomorrow Never Knows Thu Jan 15 2015

Generationals Dazzled Lincoln Hall for the First Night of TNK

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Chicago loves Lincoln Hall and Schubas. The sparkling clean sister venues bring us all our favorite bands in a small intimate atmosphere with a stellar sound system -- of course we love them. And clearly Lincoln Hall and Schubas love us back. Sure, when the lake thaws and the Ferris wheel starts mobilizing again, Lollapalooza and Pitchfork and North Coast and Riot Fest all open their gates and declare their love for the city, but what about those months of negative degrees? When the streets get dark at 4:30 and our heating bills somehow quadruple while our pipes still freeze? Lincoln Hall and Schubas have our backs. In the midst of the bleakness of winter they give us Tomorrow Never Knows -- the five day multi-venue festival hosted by the sister venues every January.

The first night of TNK kicked off yesterday with Operators at Schubas, The Both at Athenaeum and Generationals at Lincoln Hall. Although they were up against some stiff competition and they had just played Thalia Hall back in October, the Generationals still managed to pull in a sold out crowd at Lincoln Hall Wednesday night -- and nobody left disappointed.

First up was Young Buffalo, a fivesome out of Oxford Mississippi (the theme of the night was southern bands -- the groups hailed from Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana). The band brought their brand of jangling feel good indie rock to the stage for a quick thirty minute set, drawing from their two EPs Young Buffalo and Young Von Prettylips.

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ElEl took the stage immediately after (points for promptness) and filled the stage to the point of overflowing with instruments - three keyboards, a saxophone, a trumpet, a guitar, a bass, drums, a wood block, a cowbell, a tambourine, a triangle, and a guiro all made appearances during their set. The seven piece band hailing from Nashville brought on a sound so rich and encompassing it felt like it must have been spilling out of the walls - it sounded like indie pop hit with a hint of world music. Not only did they provide great tunes, but lead singer Ben Elkins was giving the crowd some Dad dance moves that were so uncool they were actually cool (there was a lot of hopping and finger pointing going down.)

Anybody who might have been nervous about the shows they were missing out on at this point (which I doubt anyone was given the two stellar openers) was instantly reassured as to the rightness of their decision when they realized that Thursday's Athenaeum headliner Kishi Bashi was up on the balcony enjoying the show as well -- 100% validation that we were all in the right spot.

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Finally the Generationals took the stage. Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, the frontmen of the group who hail from New Orleans, are great musicians sure, but they also know how to put on one impressive light show. Rainbow beams of light hit the audience and Lincoln Hall's disco ball in time to the music as the duo brought their special brand of light-hearted danceable electronic indie with "Black Lemon" "Ten Twenty Ten" "Reviver" and "Would You Want Me." Unfortunately the band didn't have their woodwind section backing them up so they didn't do "When They Fight They Fight," but the crowd was delighted none the less. I think we were all just appreciative that these groups were willing to leave their warm Southern cities to come up to Chicago in January.

 
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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 »

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