Here’s Why You Should See These Bands On Tour

20 Nov

Over the weekend, I was able to check out two exceptionally great shows. Each were amazing in their own way. One being at an actual venue and the other in a much more intimate setting.

Wildcat! Wildcat! – Schuba’s Tavern

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I had heard little of W!W!’s music prior to attending this show. I previewed a couple of their songs on the day of the show (Friday) and liked what I heard. Stepping into the venue, hearing that it was a sold out show, I was intrigued to hear them live. When I found my spot, I overheard the surrounding crowd talk about how much they loved the bands music. Basically, with each passing second of waiting for Wildcat! Wildcat! to take the stage, I became more and more excited. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the moment they began their set, the entire crowd erupted. My ears instantly perked as I listened to their harmonies. Holy shit, their harmonies. The packed crowd sang along to every song, while I stood their kind of in awe. I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived, but I left that night a diehard fan. Their stage presence was intoxicating, but more than anything, their vocals were incredibly strong (they were actually better live than the record). The guys are currently on tour and if you have a chance to check them out in your city, you won’t regret a single minute.

Alex Dezen (of The Damnwells) – Oswego, IL

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Let me start this review off by telling you that The Damnwells is one of my favorite bands. I’ve been a fan for years, and every single album they’ve released, I’ve loved. When I heard that Alex, the lead singer of the band, was doing a solo living room tour, and he was playing near me, I had to go. The best part about it? It was a house show. Awhile ago, The Damnwells held a Kickstarter event to fund their record, No One Listens to the Band Anymore. If you’re familiar with the site, fans pay different amounts and for that, they’re awarded different perks. Two huge fans, paid a certain amount and their prize was to have Alex in their very own living room. I offered to review the show, and that’s how I was lucky enough to attend. The setting was intimate, the homeowners were two of the nicest people I’d ever met, inviting their friends over for a night of music, alcohol, and they even catered in Chipotle. What nice folks! I’ve seen The Damnwells play twice, so I already knew how incredible they were live, but hearing Alex Dezen play stripped down versions of their songs was magic. With just an acoustic guitar and his voice, he played for about an hour and a half to a small adoring audience. I wanted you to hear how incredible my experience was, so I filmed Alex performing one of my favorite Damnwells songs, Louisville.

The Damnwells will be releasing their new album in just a few months, but until then, they have five other records you can play until you memorize all the words.

Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes – The Hi-Fi

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I recently interviewed these guys and I was so sad to hear they were playing in Indianapolis and I wasn’t able to attend. Thankfully, my good friend, Derrick, was! Here is what he had to say about their performance last night.

They live up to the hype.

To be honest, I had never heard of Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes before today. I read only one review of them and to call it glorifying would be a gross understatement. I jumped at the chance to see them live and vilify them in print. Surely, surely they couldn’t be that good.

All show I waited for the “I fucked up” look on one of their faces, for the sour notes of exhaustion, or at the least the inevitable point in the show when I’ve just had enough. Much to my initial dismay and latter joy, it never happened. I was never bored, they never tired, and they seemed to actually ENJOY themselves the entire time on stage. They were having a blast and that became incredibly obvious in their playing.

How rare it is to be at a small indie show where everyone is dancing and hollering through the whole set. I even glimpsed a few near the front who contemplated starting an encore chant. A crowd clamoring for more on a Tuesday night!? No encore was to be had and I actually found myself disappointed it was over.

“If the shoe fits, If the shoe fits, It’s what you are. If the shoe fits, If the shoe fits, then wear it baby. If the shoe fits, If the shoe fits, It’s what you are. Whoa-oh-oh-oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh.” Nashville’s indie rock incubator has woven some mighty big shoes and these rockers wear them well. Don’t balk at your chance to see them live.

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