October 23, 2015

A Dose of Sweet Spirit / The Empty Bottle / Chicago

On Wednesday night, I got a righteous dose of Sweet Spirit.

Here's the story;

A buddy of mine, Robbie, messaged me earlier in the month about this band I needed to check out, along with the link of upcoming tour dates. They were a band from Texas called Sweet Spirit. He had seen them open for Spoon, as they opened on a number of their shows, and he had fallen in love with them. I was informed that Britt Daniel was a big fan of the band and would come out and jam with them during their sets. I love Spoon & I love Britt Daniel. I also trust the hell out of Robbie's musical opinion. I went ahead and purchased the tickets and decided to trust him even further by not even listening to them. He was completely confident that I'd dig the hell out of them. I wanted to walk in without having heard their music and fall in love on the spot. I am normally not that kind of girl. Normally I like to be really familiar with what I'm about to go and see. I even go as far as looking at set-lists ahead of time, which is horrible. I don't know why I cannot seem to go with the element of surprise anymore. I suppose it just depends on the show.

I was able to go without listening, with bubbling curiosity for weeks, until HOURS BEFORE THE SHOW. I CRACKED. I could not resist. I needed to know what was about to go down. I put on Cokomo and fell in love instantly. Check out Bandcamp for their EP, and donate some extra money, would ya? I went from excited to stoked and continued to play them until it was time to head over for the show, which was over at The Empty Bottle. This is a great little spot to go and check out artists that are rolling through Chicago for the first couple trips through and/or get exposed to new music of both local artists and those on tour.

We got there early and were able to see the two bands that went on ahead of them (there were four bands playing that night); Skip Church, which had this really incredible raw sound that made me think they were on the brink of something real good. The Mad Doctors were there reppin' Brooklyn and throwing around sound (and toilet paper), and third was Sweet Spirit, and sweet it was.

Now, I like to be hospitable for artists I love, along with those rolling through Chicago early on. This was a tasty combo of both. They were here back in April at The Burlington, but unfortunately was completely off my radar. I am glad I was able to catch them on this tour, while it's still nice and intimate. Next time they come through, I doubt that will be the case. I decided to bring them some boxes of cookies from my work. I figured I'd likely be able to leave them somewhere that they would be able to get them or pick them up, but then I realized it would also be a possibility to actually just hand them off to them. I wanted to make sure that they got some of that sweetness back and had some good to enjoy on the road. Luckily, the plan went off without a hitch and it was totally worth carting them around all night. I was able to hand them to Sabrina during their setup, which resulted in a quick, yet nice exchange. I didn't want to hold them up during their time to get prepared, but they sat on stage through the duration of the show and she even came back over to make sure I got a picture of them with her boots (they were some pretty rad boots).


They kicked up the set up with 'Poor' which is such a great starter jam, gets you right into the thick of the groove. The dancing started immediately. The kind of music that just kind of takes you and moves you. The stage presence is fantastic, definitely engaging and full force. Sabrina has a wonderful way of entertaining the crowd and taking command of the environment. Her vocals are right at home on the stage and they hold a unique sound. She belts out fantastic lyrics whilst dancing and throwing her body around in wonderful ways. The rest of the band compliments everything so well, they have a rather large group, and they all work together so well. There was this phenomenal energy that really takes you in. The crowd was definitely feeling that momentum and others joined in the fun of making their bodies move about.

Mid-set she says from the stage she gives me a shout-out from the stage and notes the cookies and gives a shout-out to the Bakery. It was a lovely moment and totally unexpected, since she had already thanked me and had chatted briefly. Hell yeah.

Highlights for sure included 'Chained & Tied'. 'If You Wanna', & 'Take Me To A Party'. It was such an enjoyable experience from beginning to end. I had such a great time and really absorbed everything that was being thrown down musically. I was lucky enough to snag their set-list, which was HANDWRITTEN! Oh, the glory!

We also bought a fair share of merch; a tshirt, 10" EP, & their 7" single with Britt Daniel (!!!), and we were more than happy to give our money to that band. I ended up going back and trying to get a picture with Sabrina and she was more than happy to comply. It was the cherry on top of a rockin' night and it was all exactly what I needed.

All in all, it was a great show that left me ridin' high. My ears were ringing and my brain was shaken about, rattled up by righteous tunes. I am so thankful that Robbie got at me and told me to check them out. I look forward to seeing where they go from here. They have such an awesome support base and I know that they have some real solid ability. Cannot wait to see them next time they swing through.

Their tour has pretty much wrapped, however, keep and open eye and ear to what is going on with this band. They will be well worth your time and energy! Here's to 'em! 



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