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.
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Tuesday, January 31

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« Metro Celebrated Saturday Night with Jukebox the Ghost Family Crest Wrapped up TNK Festival at Schubas Sunday Night »

Tomorrow Never Knows Sun Jan 18 2015

Alvvays Bring Sunshine Vibes to Schubas, 11/17

The inventive Toronto five-piece Alvvays crafted one of my favorite releases of 2014. After swiftly building their fan base, their debut self-titled album featured summery rhythms, that infectious twee sound, and stunning vocals by lead singer Molly Rankin. Would the sugary melodies be too sweet in a live setting, or would they prove to decrease our winter blues just a little bit?

Carbon Tigers opened up the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival show at Schubas with their powerhouse ballads. I honestly think they could have headlined their own show with the spiritual-experience-inducing tunes. Begun in Chicago, their sound is unique and inventive, with lead vocalist Chris Wienke's commanding vocals drawing you in instantly. They dazzled the crowd with songs off of their first and second EPs, and off of their full length album being released this year. They shared their penchant for learning covers of their favorite songs, and played an exquisite version of Chris Isaak's hypnotizing "Wicked Game."

We then heard the wonderful indie sounds of local group, Santah, who brought their unique vocal stylings and infectious beats from their three high-caliber studio albums for a gradually more crowded concert venue. Sun Club emerged next, a Baltimore outfit with their rambunctious stage presence and wailing vocals that kept us moving before Alvvays' arrival.

It was 11:40pm when Alvvays finally took the stage, much to our delight. Schubas was packed with wall-to-wall concertgoers, as I wedged my way into the crowd to get a view of their illuminated and simple namesake sign posted on the wall, a stark white background with black jagged lettering. They opened the show with a lengthy intro signaling "The Agency Group," where Rankin's vocals were effervescent. It sounded like they took a moment to get their footing and integrate all parts of their sound together in harmony, but by their second ballad they were completely in check.

They continued with "Atop A Cake," which proved that sound cannot be too sweet or too catchy. Alvvays is able to effortlessly convey larger themes and intense events with a fuzzy, jangly backdrop, especially in their most well-known ballad, "Next of Kin." It's hard to not be even a little bit happier after listening to their songs. A truly valuable aspect of their music is that they are able to showcase these wistful tunes with emotional lyrics and raw subject matters. As they began the rumbling hit "Adult Diversion," they showed that their artistry definitely has staying power with their sound that won't lose its luster anytime soon.

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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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