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. 


Friday, June 2

Gapers Block

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

« Record Store Day 2015: Chicago's Best Shops and More Kendrick Lamar Joins BJ The Chicago Kid "It's True" Remix »

Review Wed Apr 15 2015

Beat Kitchen Rocked Out With Colleen Green and Upset

colleengreen.jpgWhen this show was first announced it was only the pairing of Collen Green and Upset, who had just released I Want to Grow Up and '76 EP respectively. The lineup for this show at Beat Kitchen slowly grew larger as the date crept up. Two local acts, Sam Vicari and Impulsive Hearts, were added to the already worthwhile show. Little did I know that I would walk away from this show with a couple new bands to follow and a greater appreciation of the ones I already loved.

sam vicari.jpgIt would be fitting to say that Sam Vicari, who opened the night, was the odd man out considering he was the sole male frontman of the night. Luckily the pressure did nothing but let him shine with his guitar driven power pop songs. At times I wished he had a full band backing, especially after hearing some of the songs on his album Giving Up. Even so, Vicari was able to hold his own with just his electric guitar and songs filled with lovelorn lyrics. Vicari finished off his set with a surprising gentle cover of The Ramones' "I Wanna Be your Boyfriend", which he dedicated to Colleen Green and Upset.

impulsive.jpgI was out ordering a drink during opening moments of Impulsive Hearts, but I quickly abandoned that pursuit after hearing them through the swinging door of the venue. Frontwoman Danielle Sines had an great presence on stage, belting out her songs while guitarist John Paul rocked out beside her and Dan Julian trounced the drums. Their songs have an almost surf rock sound to them, but with a surprising harder edge to them live. Their final song MDB solidified the band's place in my heart. The song had the whole band at their best, with Sines voice reaching a beautiful peak singing "I can't sleep when I'm wit out you." They were a great highlight of the night and pretty much stealing the show for me.

Collen Green began her time by adjust her levels, teasing out the beginning of a song. The tease never really came to fruition as she checked the tune of her guitar and prepared her drum machine, asking the crowd if everything sounded alright. Not too long after she donned her sunglasses, completing her onstage persona and quickly jumped into "Pay Attention". Green doesn't need much to come off as one of the coolest people in the world as everyone in the crowd clung to her every move. She sang every song with an effortless precision, catching the perfect mood of her dreamy songs. "Wild One" Her set was entirely made up of her latest album I Want to Grow Up and the crowd was completely charmed by the affair.

colleengreen1.jpgGreen finished off her time at Beat Kitchen with an inspired final three songs. She played both parts of "Things That Are Bad for Me" back to back. The first half rattles on as a self-betterment ode while the second half slows down to a hazy crawl with its opening lines of "I wanna do drugs right now/I wanna get fucked up, I don't care how/I wanna feel high right now". Green's resolute strumming of her guitar, with its multicolored scrawling of "Happy Bifday Jeff" across the front, sent chills down my spine during the song change between part one and two. It's such a sudden shift of tone that parallels the differing ideals and produced one of the most rocking moments of her set. The back and forth of these sentiments is prevalent throughout I Want to Grow Up. The eponymous song of that album followed, full of desire and need to find something more beyond those constant but necessary vacillations. It was a great cap to the fantastic solo set.

Upset finished the great lineup with the most punk drenched songs of the night. Unfortunately, a few audience members had filed out after Colleen Green and missed a tremendous, albeit short set. Ali Koehler, formerly of Best Coast and Vivian Girls, cracked jokes and lead the band through the rapid fire set. Bassist Rachel Gagliardi and and guitarist Lauren Freeman were a joy to watch but as amazing as the strings were it was near impossible not to gaze toward the back of the stage at Patty Schemel who was completely thrashing her drums. When all these elements linked together Upset seamlessly played songs off of '76 EP with furious speed. The Charlie Brown linked "Linus" was incredibly amped up and careened to its finish. Covers of Jawbreaker's "Do You Still Hate Me?" and Green Day's "J.A.R" were made completely their own.

upset.jpgBetween songs they bantered with a certain casualness reserved for close friends just hanging out. They deftly referenced Louis CK bits and recalled a tale of throwing up pot chocolate bars at airports to ease the fear of vampires. There was also a lot of honesty with Koehler lamenting the thought of playing "Wonder" live, noting the difficulty of playing one string at a time. Nonetheless she played on, proving how uncalled for her misgivings of her ability truly were. Upset's set came to end only two songs later, which was slightly disappointing, but at least what was presented was a fantastic example of pure punk fun.

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