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Review Sun Jan 11 2015

Bloodshot Records Toasted its 20th Anniversary at the Metro


While nobody was looking, Bloodshot Records turned 20. The iconic Chicago label, which has boasted the likes of Ryan Adams, Andrew Bird, and the Old 97's on their roster, took over the Metro on Saturday to toast the big birthday.

While the lineup for the night started out as Banditos, Bobby Bare Jr, Jon Langford, Lydia Loveless and Ben Kweller, it morphed unexpectedly throughout the night. Local favorites JC Brooks and the Uptown sound took the stage after Banditos much to the crowd's delight. With his normal flair and panache, JC Brooks strolled onstage in a brimmed black hat and a pair of huge sunglasses, and the band powered their way through a speedy mash-up of tracks off their 2013 album Howl. After the 10-minute montage, JC went off-stage for a quick wardrobe change, coming back on in a fringed cowboy jacket, absolutely appropriate as the band finished up with a cover of Ryan Adams' "To Be Young" off the 2000 masterpiece Heartbreaker and a perfect example of the insurgent country that Bloodshot brought to the forefront so many years ago (the track is covered by Blitzen Trapper on the label's 20th anniversary compilation disc).

Rhett_Miller.jpgRhett Miller took the stage in lieu of Jon Langford (whom the audience was told was attending his mother's memorial) and played a range of solo tracks as well as pieces from the Old 97's including "Longer than You've Been Alive" which sports the delightful lyric, "But love that comes easy's a fake or a fluke/Love is a marathon sometimes you puke."

To help finish up his set, Miller brought on the last opener for the night, Lydia Loveless, for a duet. If the audience was curious as to what exactly was going on during the duet, as Loveless seemed somewhat disoriented and incoherent, they soon realized when she started her own set that she was probably three sheets to the wind. Taking two topples during her hour-long set, and not so much stripping as just having her clothing fall off of her, Loveless ran through a good number of the tracks on her 2014 album Somewhere Else.

Ben_kweller_2.jpgBy the time Kweller came onstage it was midnight (for those who were there for doors, five and a half hours later) and only the dedicated fans were left, but they were certainly rewarded for their staunchness.

No matter what age or success level he achieves, Kweller will always just be a nice kid from Texas -- and it comes across on stage: no drama, no gimmicks, just good old fashioned talent delivered with a friendly demeanor. With nothing more than himself, a guitar and a keyboard, Kweller started his set rolling with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" sung in chorus with the audience in Bloodshot's honor. He then moved into all the favorites from his own catalog: "Walk on Me", "Full Circle", "Gossip", "On My Way", "Mean to Me", "Falling", "Sundress" and, being the nice guy he is, he took audience requests for "Lizzie" "Thirteen" and of course classic Kweller "Sha Sha." He finished up his set with the epically catchy "Penny on a Train Track," and with a toast to Bloodshot congratulating them on the big two-oh, and a shot of Jager, Kweller called it a night.

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handlord / January 12, 2015 10:12 AM

And then there was the best act of the night, the first band up, Banditos. Followed by a great psychedelic set by Bobby Bare Jr. That preceded the overrated New Kids on the Block/Huey Lewis tribute band, the Uptown Sound. After that, zzzzzz.

Tony Mendoza / January 18, 2015 7:23 PM

Quick correction....Danny Black started the night off as the first act of the BloodShot 20th Anniversary Show, playing a few of his classic songs of The Blacks (Bloodshot), and he and his drummer lady were great.

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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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