Photo: The Recording Academy
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Sarah Mudler
Sporting beards, long hair and worn button-down shirts, Everest — the handsomely unkept five-piece country/rock band from Los Angeles — brought their unique style of grit to Chicago's Subterranean on March 31. The eclectic three-story venue is nestled in the heart of the Wicker Park neighborhood — complete with a spiral staircase onstage, a massive overhead chandelier and a conversation-worthy statue framing the small stage.
The crowd covering the black-and-white checkerboard main floor buzzed with chatter as Everest set their gear and headed up the tiny winding staircase to the green room. Comprised of Russell Pollard (vocals, guitar, drums), Jason Soda (guitar, keys, vocals), Joel Graves (guitar, keys, vocals), Elijah Thomson (bass, vocals), and Davey Latter (drums, percussion), the group signed to Neil Young's Vapor Records and released their sophomore studio effort, On Approach, in April 2010. That same year the band performed at the 20th annual MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Young.
When the band returned to the stage there were hoots and hollers from the crowd. "Hey everybody, how are you doing?" asked Pollard. "It's so good to be here in Chicago and see you!" he exclaimed as the band eased into their first song of the evening.
A proliferance of red-and-blue can lighting added to the gritty, hard-earned rock feel of the show. The audience moved instinctually to the beat of "Into The Grey," for which Pollard switched to tambourine.
The vocal- and guitar-heavy group was framed by four microphones and packed the tiny stage with stacks of guitars, an upright piano and sparkling drum kit. "You guys doing OK?" asked Pollard, checking on the crowd before heading into their first single from On Approach, "Let Go."
Between songs Pollard took swigs from his 312 Urban Wheat Ale, likely a nod to the local Goose Island brewery and in anticipation for their performance the next morning with WXRT-FM celebrating the Chicago Cubs' Opening Day.
The California boys took to the microphones lining the front of the stage, acoustically harmonizing for "Catalyst" as the fans hushed knowingly. The incessant drum beat was almost hypnotic, and by the end of the song the room was filled with looping guitar riffs.
The band clapped infectiously during the obvious crowd favorite, "Keeping The Score," and by the end had the whole room in on the fun, including yours truly.
Throughout the night fans slowly crept closer and closer to the low-set stage, settling in mere inches from the band by the final song, clapping and nodding their heads in appreciation of the heavy guitar solos and grimy jams.
At the end of the set Pollard shouted, "Thank you so much Chicago!" before following his bandmates offstage for a short break.
Returning alone, Pollard took a chance during the encore to play a new song solo before the rest of the group joined him to perform a handful of more fan favorites. Closing the night out, he raised his bottle to the crowd and shouted, "Good luck to the Cubs!"
I wish I could say the luck worked, but in true Cubs fashion, they lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in spite of the five new fans they had earned that night.
To catch Everest in a city near you, click here.
Below is footage from The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter's interview with Everest prior to their March 31 performance at Subterranean.
To purchase music from Everest, click here.
"Into The Grey"
"I've Had This Feeling Before"
"Rebels In The Roses"
"Keeping The Score"
"House Of 9's"
(A Midwest girl at heart, Sarah Mudler joined The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter in 2004. Coming from a Detroit rock background, she has expanded her musical interests into everything from pop to blues to jazz to gospel, and even a little country now and again. She can be seen haunting local Chicago venues almost every night of the week, and is currently the Senior Project Manager for the Chicago Chapter.)