Concert Review: Jonquil, April 4, Empty Bottle

As with most educated people, everything I know I learned from youtube comments. Which is why, when the anonymous posters of youtube deemed Jonquil’s “It’s My Part” the official song of summer 2012, I knew I had to go see them. Who am I to argue with a comment with 42 likes? That’s more people than I can convince to agree with me on anything. So I took a foray Wednesday night into the Ukrainian Village to visit the Empty Bottle, one of Chicago’s more intimate little venues. The set-up is simple, with a minimal stage illuminated by a string of multicolored lights draped above.

I wish I could write a review about the entire show, starting with Speck Mountain and ending with Keep Shelly in Athens, but real talk real time, the show started at 9:30pm on a Wednesday and I have a strict bedtime of “as soon as possible.” Add to that a public transit mishap and me not quite understanding which way North was and you’re left with a Jonquil concert. But good news is that it was superb. I can’t pretend to be objective – I’d already listened to It’s My Part approximately 30 times before hitting up the concert and then when I saw that they had a trumpet on stage I knew I approved before they ever played a note.

Jonquil is a four piece outfit from Oxford who have just started their North American tour – apparently Chicago was their second stop, and they seemed genuinely appreciative and a little surprised by the love they got from the crowd – but they deserved it. They’ve got a fun tropical indie beat going on and they had the skinny jeans and the plaid in the front row of the crowd rocking out in no time. The band themselves didn’t dance much, but the lead singer was all over the keyboard and the wood block and the trumpet kept the energy level high. It’s My Part was an obvious crowd favorite but I thought the band really came together especially on Mexico. I can’t say much for Keep Shelly in Athens, but if you have the chance to see Jonquil I’d take it – it’s hard to go wrong with a sincere band, tropical beats and a trumpet.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts