When OHMME’s Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart joined V.V. Lightbody on stage at Schubas last week, 2019 officially started. The Friday night was atypically mild and warm for a Chicago winter, and with a stacked local bill that also included Ruins, Cold Beaches, and Slow Pulp, the show sold out.
But this show wasn’t celebrating something being new; it was celebrating something becoming old. After all, the local music publication ANCHR Magazine turned two this month, and birthday balloons filled Schubas’ cabin-like venue.
By now, if you follow local music closely, you may know ANCHR puts together some the city’s best local lineups and you may know that they cover just about every show in Chicago (with much of it coming directly from the founder, Rachel Zyzda). This second-anniversary showcase made a night for of 2019’s books.
Ruins, a project started in the middle of this past year by Adam Schubert of Cafe Racer, kicked off the night with his hauntingly hazy songs, reminiscent of Deerhunter. Schubert created a dreamy mood that would be reverberated by the rest of the bands during the night too.
Merriment and excitement filled the bar that night, as getting to the venue space and moving toward the stage required shuffling past waves of concertgoers. V.V. Lightbody’s method to quiet the crowd was confrontational. “I know you guys love to chit-chat,” she paused, “but there’s a bar for that.” And to her credit, she got the crowd to stop talking and to start listening.
With two flautists, V.V. Lightbody entranced us with her ethereal songs. A highlight of her set — and of the year so far — was when OHMME joined her for a cover of Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife.” Finally, Slow Pulp took over the night, who sounded like TOPS meets Post Animal. The band from Madison just moved here, adding yet another exciting rock band to the city.
If you missed ANCHR’s two-year anniversary show, there will plenty more showcases in 2019. You can read their articles here, and you can follow their founder here for more photos and local music news.