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, February 3

Gapers Block

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

« The End of Radar Eyes' Reign Our Favorite Lines from Pitchfork Artists (Plus, a Contest!) »

Review Fri Jun 05 2015

Will Butler Classed Up the Joint at Lincoln Hall on Thursday Night


Will Butler is probably best known as little brother of Win Butler, lead singer for Arcade Fire, and fellow band member, but recently he's done quite a good job of breaking free of that moniker. In 2014 Butler was nominated for an academy award for his work on the music for the Joaquin Phoenix film Her, and then in May of this year he dropped his debut solo album Policy on Merge records.

The debut album is everything you'd expect from Will Butler - rambunctious, infectious, surprising, fun - and I'm happy to report that none of that is lost in the live setting.

Showing up in his signature suit and bow tie, Will Butler was looking dapper, but with the flopping hair and the slightly screwy grin also a little goofy, which only seems appropriate for a man whose lyrics include the laugh out loud funny "If I could fly...I'd beat the shit outta some birds."

Butler, who only has one album, rocked the stage for an impressive full hour, playing the entirety of Policy as well as a good number of unrecorded tracks. The crowd went especially wild for the rollicking, "Anna", the bouncy "Witness" and of course the gem of the album "Take My Side."

Butler was backed by two female vocalists/multi-instrumentalists providing some keyboard as well as tambourine and synth and also by the inimitable Miles on drums. Miles was not only killing it on his sparkly drum set, he was also standing while doing it - something I'd never seen before.


As much fun as the crowd was clearly having, Butler and his buddies looked like they were having more. On "Anna", Butler dropped off his guitar, took center stage, and did something that looked like a combination of tripping and dancing that looked like a whole lot of fun, and on the intro to another song as Butler strummed his guitar, the backup crew assembled at the back of the stage and did some sort of pump up exercise which included a gyrating huddle and then a break and run back to the instruments.

As everyone swarmed out of Lincoln Hall at the end of the night, I noticed the merch table was selling black t-shirts that just said, "Will." I was tempted to buy one just so that people would ask me who "Will" was and I would have an excuse to recount the night to them.

GB store

the1stmikec / June 9, 2015 9:12 AM

Great review, I stayed after and waited, sure enough Will & Sara Dobbs came out and chatted/autographed with remaining fans. He told me he studied Poetry at Northwestern when living in Chicago. I videoed show, it’s up on YouTube.

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