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Review Fri Jun 05 2015

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

Butler.jpg

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.

Miles.jpg

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.

 
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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.

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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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