Monthly Archives: November 2021

Powerful! VÉRITÉ at Lincoln Hall (November 10, 2021)

The theme of the concert tonight is songs about heartbreak. First, she plays a string of “pre-breakup” songs.

On “younger women”, she sings “If you don’t want me anymore… just say it.” The audience eats this song of raw emotion up.  

Then there is “Phase Me Out”. “Don’t you want to stay here or do you want to phase me out?” She fully expresses the pain and heartache in this song.

“I don’t want your body, but I hate to think of you with somebody else”. This is from “Somebody Else” by The 1975. Her cover of this song has exploded on Spotify with 129 million listens. It fits in very well with her songs.

Then, there are the post-breakup songs. On “think of me” she sings, “I hope you fuck her with your eyes closed… and think of me.”

VÉRITÉ passed around two disposable cameras for fans to take pictures, like it was a wedding. Also, a boyfriend borrowed the microphone for a minute and proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes.

While most of the songs are dark, it’s actually a joyful night. Music gives us the power to feel and express these emotions which makes us feel better in the end.

Cost of a ticket: $18

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Stellar! Lucky Boys Confusion at Bottom Lounge (November 5, 2021)

Lucky Boys Confusion stopped doing Songs From a Scene 10 years ago. But now they are bringing it back. When they were just getting started, they found it very difficult to book any shows, even as opener. So they promised themselves that if they ever reached a point where they could help other bands by giving them opening slots, they would do just that. And so, Songs From a Scene was born. Tonight’s openers are The Dog and Everything, The Gelheads, and Til Morning.

They start with “City Lights” and instantly the party is started. One of the lines took on a new poignant meaning post pandemic:  “Feels like this episode should end, and I miss my friends.” Another great moment is the slow build to the climax of the lyric:  “I can’t breathe this Midwest air tonight, oh ya!” Everyone is singing along is so happy to be out again seeing live music.

Next up is the fun and catchy “Atari”. “I don’t want to stand here and say I’m sorry, I just want to drink beer and play Atari!” The joy from this song is infectious as everyone has a huge smile on their face.

Later on they play, “Not About Debra”. This song has one of the best riffs ever. It’s so smooth and fits perfectly in this song.

Every single song they play tonight is stellar. This band has been going strong for 24 years and will be a staple of the Chicago music scene for many years to come. 

See the full setlist here.

Stubhy Pandav also has a new project called Mr. Ms. & the Infusions. The name is a nod to his MS diagnosis. Check out the first single, “Hallelujah”. 

Also, check out our LBC review from 2017.

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn

Masterful! Shawn Mullins at City Winery Chicago (November 2, 2021)

“Cocaine’s free and the music’s loud, backstage at the Hollywood bowl” sings Shawn Mullins early on in his set. This is a fun ode to California, though actually it’s all just about LA specifically. He says inspiration for writing the song was Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”.

Later on he plays “Twin Rocks, Oregon”, which sounds a lot like “Lullaby”. It has the talking while gently playing the guitar leading to a big singing portion. He should do more of these style of song, it’s his signature sound.

Towards the end of the set, he plays “Beautiful Wreck”. “I’ve lost count of the times I’ve given up on you” he sings. The audience is fully engaged watching this master of songwriting and singing perform this beautiful song.

Afterwards, he stands up, as if to the leave the stage. The audience gets up for a standing ovation. He then sits down and says, “this counts as an encore.” After playing “House of the Rising Sun”, he stands up again. Is this the end of the show? He then grabs the other guitar that has been sitting on stage for the entire show and sits down again. At last he launches into 1998 hit, “Lullaby”, which has over 32 millions streams on Spotify. It’s another great song about LA. “It’s kinda like Nashville, with a tan.” “Everything’s going to be alright, Rockaby, rockabye, rockabye”. It’s a perfect end to a fantastic night of music.

Photos by Janet Mami Takayama

Quinn Delaney

Very Witty! The Saint Sebastian Players Present Born Yesterday at St. Bonaventure (Through November 7th, 2021)

Born Yesterday first opened in 1946 on Broadway. In 1950, it was adapted into a movie. In 1989, Broadway revived the play and again it was followed by a movie version, in 1983. Lastly, it was revived one more time on Broadway in 2011.

If witty barbs delivered by a sharply dressed cast is your thing, Born Yesterday is for you. This absorbing play takes the audience to Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of World War II, where Harry Brock and his girlfriend Billie Dawn are moving up in the world, thanks to Harry’s shady business dealings.

But the audience soon learns that Billie isn’t satisfied with just being Harry’s girl and singing show tunes (e.g. “Anything Goes). She has a desire to expand her knowledge of the world and her place in it. They watch Billie transform from an idle, would-be socialite into a bespectacled revolutionary. She delves into book after book and scribbles newly learned facts in a tiny notebook (London is in England? Who knew?!).

She revels in her new knowledge of literature and history, and her transformation is delivered in a way that makes her funny and vulnerable. The play’s message is never heavy handed, even when Billie is debating exploding her own life to live a more moral one. Billie forces not only herself, but the people around her, to question their motives and the societal implications of their actions. Born Yesterday leaves the audience with more questions than answers, which seems to be the point.

The cast in this production is excellent. Neal Goldman is great as Harry Brock, giving off the Tony Soprano mob boss style. Anna Gallucci is terrific as Billie Dawn, becoming empowered by knowledge. Joshua Paul Wright is splendid as Paul Verrall, playing a Ryan Reynolds type. He seems meek at first but is actually quite bold. The rest of the cast are solid in their roles, as well. This includes Julie Catarello Mitre as Helen, Brendan Siddal as Hotel Staff, Rob Gretta as Eddie Brock, Nat Kier as Ed Devery, Russ Gager as Senator Norval Hedges, and Melinda “MJ” Deamon as Mrs. Anna Hedges.

Cost of a ticket: $25

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Born Yesterday through November 7th!

Jen Hubert and Quinn Delaney

Excellent! Michigander at Lincoln Hall (October 28, 2021)

As soon as Michigander enters the stage, they launch into “Better”, which has a strong driving beat and immediately gets everyone moving. “I don’t want to live without you anymore” sings Jason Singer, the lead singer of the band.

Later on, they play “Reds”. This is just one of many songs that sound a lot like the great band, The War on Drugs. They both have long lasting guitar chords with strong repetition that creates a great atmosphere.

To introduce the band, Jason does a little skit with each of the band members. Firstly, the bass player, Connor Robertson, says he came up with an original riff that he would like to play. They then launch into a Tenacious D song about getting kicked out of the band. Then, the lead guitarist, Jake LeMond, says he is feeling down because of seasonal affective disorder. Jason gives him a hug with their guitars making a whole bunch of noise being pushed together. The other guitarist, Dylan Grantham, is new to the band. They don’t have a skit yet, so he just gets a normal intro. Lastly, the drummer, Aaron Senor, says they just wrote a song called “West Chicago”. Jason then proceeds to sing a completely improvised song while Aaron pretends to sing along like he knows the words. This is just like the recurring sketch that Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig do on SNL as Garth and Kat.

Before the finale, Singer says this will be last song. They aren’t going to play an encore. He begins by singing acapella “I’ve got high hopes. I’ve got high hopes, but they let me down. They usually let me down.” He then stops and the audience sings it without the band. It’s a very cool moment. Then the band joins back in and rocks it out.

At one point, Singer mentioned this is their first show playing in a venue with a balcony. This surely will not be the last time as their future looks bright. See them next in Chicago with the Lumineers on December 6th at the Aragon Ballroom.

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $20
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney