This fine Friday evening, at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall, showcased two powerhouse rock bands at different yet exciting stages of their careers. With only a couple full-length releases under their belt, Brooklyn’s Spotlights kicked off the night followed by OG math rockers, Shiner.
Before I get into it, a brief public service announcement that might be necessary after the COVID show hiatus, I dunno… BUT, when you buy a ticket to a show you can come see all the bands, not just the headliner! 🙂 While the crowd was in good spirits and the floor was certainly packed by the time Shiner got rollin, I would say about half of the evening’s patrons missed out on an amazing opening set by Spotlights. Ok, ok… I’m not saying that I’ve seen every opener for every show, but this was one of those nights where you could definitely miss out on your new favorite band if you’re not there from the start.
ANYWAY, about an hour after doors, Spotlights hit the stage. They’re a band whose story is as perplexing as it is encouraging. This Brooklyn product built some legit notoriety the old-fashioned way; good songs, word-of-mouth, and the support of a bunch of much larger acts. It’s strange right? No mega-hit-streaming-sensation-influencer-endorsed anything… no bullshit. Just hard work, dreamy vocals, and crushing riffs that are amazing, loud, and amazingly loud.
It’s no surprise that they launched into their set embracing this no bullshit origin story; dark blues and purples accented the trio, dressed in all black, while smoke rolled over the stage. Melodic, reverberated vocal harmonies fill the high end while methodical drop-tuned grooves force you to move something. Throw in a few half-speed stompers and a couple flood lights blasting into the crowd (just in case you weren’t paying attention) and you have yourself quite the heavy show!
After inviting Allen, from Shiner, to come out and perform their 2018 collaboration “Kiss the Ring”, they moved into some of their newer work from the 2020 EP We Are All Atomic. As “Part I” erupts, the stage lighting transitions to rose and orange building to a thoughtful and effective conclusion to an hour set.