Wild Child has been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them on the KAXE morning show about three years ago. The song was “Crazy Bird,” and almost immediately after I heard that track, I found myself downloading and devouring everything I could that was theirs. I grabbed tickets to the first show I could, which was in Chicago at Lincoln Hall, and continued to love their music more and more. Almost a year later, I found myself in the crowd again at Lincoln Hall, dancing to some of the new tunes they would release later that year (well, this year, Fools is the new album).
Of course, being a fan of their music, I had the utmost faith that they would release another solid record, so I pre-ordered it on vinyl when sales went live. I grabbed a ticket for their show that was coming in October to Chicago again, pleased to see a venue change for them: Thalia Hall.
After months of waiting, the night finally arrived to see one of my favorite bands live once again, and for the first time, the commute wasn’t too rough. Thalia Hall is located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, not far from the CTA pink line, and a bus route runs right by it. Easily accessible, and hard to miss — the beautiful architecture can have it mistaken for a castle, and for the acts Thalia Hall draws, the entertainment could be fit for royalty.
The show put on that Halloween eve was no exception; opening up at 8pm with New York’s alt-electronic artist Elliot Moss. Moss’s debut and most recent album was released in 2014, which was the majority of his setlist at Thalia Hall. Having not done any prior research or listening to his work before Friday night, the Chet Faker-esque music was pleasantly surprising, and I found myself feeling like I was back in Reykjavík covering Iceland Airwaves. That could be because Moss could play alongside CeaseTone and would fit in perfectly, or because after about a half hour of the bass-heavy, chill-vibe tunes, I was ready for the folk-rock band that I had come to see.
Wild Child took the stage as “This Is How We Do It” blasted through the speakers, but almost as suddenly as it started, the music faded out, and the Alexander’s plucks, marking the beginning of “The Escape” echoed through the hall. Cue audience going nuts.
The January show at Lincoln Hall was the first I saw where they had added a trumpet player, and I was happy he returned for this show, because the subtle addition of those brass instruments always makes me so happy, and adds such a richness to the folk-rock sound that fills the venue.
One song that surprised me with the audience involvement was “Silly Things” — a more low-key and lyric-heavy song, it hasn’t been a huge hit at the two previously attended shows. When the crowd chimed in with the lyrics (almost perfectly, minus the more intoxicated attendees), I smiled and belted right along with them.
Most surprising moment of the night? The duet performance of “Break Bones”, featuring Alexander on piano and Kelsey on vocal, they decided to leave out the chorus for the entire song, and jumped straight from verse to verse. Personally, I was let down a little bit, since that’s one of my favorites from the new record, but I couldn’t be upset for too long, because it was absolutely beautiful.
All in all, it was a wonderful way to start off my halloween weekend, and I’m definitely attributing the enjoyment I had from the show carrying over to the next day for my PR-ing Half Marathon. Thanks so much, Wild Child and Thalia Hall, for putting on a great event. Looking forward to seeing another show soon in my backyard.