Concert Review: Small Black, April 6, Schubas


Sometimes friends visit from out of town and you promise to bring them to a concert. And sometimes the two of you decide on a show with a band you’ve never heard of, which makes you think you can wait until the last second to get tickets. And then sometimes that show sells out a week in advance. And then sometimes you’re totally screwed. And then sometimes the wonderful independent radio station you volunteer for sends out a super nonchalant email about how they happen to have two extra staff tickets to that exact same show and does anyone want them? And then sometimes you reply to that email within .2 seconds in a message that contains approximately 378,184,678,234 exclamation points.

But that would never happen to me because I’m a super organized and on top of it Panic Manual correspondent.

In a completely unrelated story, Snowmine and Small Black played a sold out show at Schubas on Sunday April 6th. I had in fact never heard of either of the bands, so you could say I was moderately surprised when I saw that they had sold out the venue a week in advance. But Chicago tends to know what’s up, so I figured it was going to be a good show.

And it was – there were in fact two shows going on.

When we got there Snowmine was wrapping up with their delicate, mesmerizing and intoxicating “Beast in Air, Beast in Water.” Obviously they’re a well loved band because the second they finished and headed over to the merch table, half of the crowd cleared out to say hello and ogle so we moved up to the front for Small Black. When they started to play was when the second unexpected show began.

Small Black’s recorded music is fantastic – laid back and also precise – but they have a great and unexpectedly enthusiastic live vibe. They fall into the category of bands that rock out so hard that the front row counts as a sweat splash zone. Their live show reminded me of the energy and spunk that Foster the People used to give in their heyday. And Chicago was loving it. And they were showing their appreciation by getting Sloppy with a capital S.

To the left of us was a couple who the lead singer kept referring to as “the pit” who were jumping and fist pumping at about double the speed of the drums. To the right of us was a couple who became so enthused with their dancing that one of them jumped on the back of the other and they toppled. My personal favorite though, was the dude in the backwards hat who was rocking out so hard it looked like he didn’t have joints. And that was just in my immediate area – I don’t even know what was going on in the rest of the venue.

Small Black put on a great show for Chicago – starting especially strong in the first part of the set with their new material from the Real People EP. I can only hope they enjoyed the show they got in return.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts

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