2016 is off to a great start and so is the return of Communion in Chicago!

In my previous Communion blog, I gave you all the basic information about what makes Communion special. This month, I was excited to return to the monthly gathering of up-and-coming music fans from all over Chicago.

This month’s lineup was full of variety in the best sort of way, featuring performances by Moonrise Nation, Whiskey Shivers, LOLO, and Allan Rayman.

To start off the night, Moonrise Nation, a Chicago native band comprised of members Arden Bee, Eva Bee, and Emma McCall. An indie rock trio, Moonrise Nation has a dreamy indie pop sound that gives emphasis to its fairy tale-like name. All 3 female musicians are incredibly multi talented, as seen during their performance when they would shuffle around on the instruments and play flawlessly. Moonrise Nation’s indie pop set mixed with fun, dancey and slow, daydreamy songs made for a great introduction to the night.

Photos by Pearl Shin

Next up in the lineup was Whiskey Shivers coming all the way to Chicago from Texas with an entire group of friends with them. The moment the band stepped on stage, it was already a southern-style party. And how could it not be a party when the five members, Bobby Fitzgerald, Andrew VanVoorhees, James Gwyn, Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa, and James Bookert arrived barefoot and smiling, ready for a good time.

The band’s eclectic combination of country, bluegrass, and folk immediately made me begin tapping my foot and urged me to want to dance. There were others in the crowd who had the moves better suited for their music than mine, and were just as much of a spectacle as the band was. Whiskey Shivers’ set was full of foot stomping, banjo plucking, and quick fiddling fit for a southern party that anyone could enjoy.

Photos by Pearl Shin

Following them was LOLO, a duo comprised of leading woman Lolo and guitarist and backup vocals Josh. Lolo immediately proved her musical talent as soon as she began singing with her strong, blues-y voice. Often times she got so into her songs that she would fall to her knees while hitting strong, drawn-out high notes, eliciting a loud applause from the crowd.

LOLO’s combination of indie, rock, and blues throughout the set proved to be a groovy dance and love party full of excitement on so many levels. The duo’s contribution to the coming together event of Communion was certainly a good one.

Photos by Pearl Shin

To wrap up the night, Allan Rayman provided us with an obscure, intriguing performance. Storming onto the stage to sit down to a glass of red wine at a table draped with a black tablecloth, Allan Rayman slowly gained the attention of the audience by silently sitting still until they went quiet. He proceeded to walk up to the mic and begin his set.

Allan Rayman’s sound is kind of a combination of rap, r&b, and rock. Between songs, Rayman would sit back down at the table, sip his wine, as a voice came through a speaker in the form of a supposed ex girlfriend arguing about their relationship. He would then return to the mic and recite his songs, which often sounded like they were about a change in love. As he sang, he danced in gyrating motions. The entire spectacle captivated the audience.

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Photo by Pearl Shin

At the very end, Rayman finished his last song, and immediately stormed off the stage and out the door. Everyone loved it. It was the kind of performance that made you go “okay… cool.”

Overall, Communion proved once again to bring people together in the best way to celebrate music. This diverse and exciting lineup drew in all types of audiences to collectively enjoy it together. Communion gave me a taste of today’s up and coming artists and has left me an appetite for more, once again.


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