Hey everyone! It’s been a while. Finals are right around the corner (literally), and I’ve been immersed in assignments, projects, and studying up to my ears. But I took a quick sanity break from that this past Wednesday, April 20th to head up to Schubas with my partner in crime, Pearl Shin, for the April edition of Communion Chicago!
This month’s lineup featured up-and-coming bands Cyn, AyOH, Jakubi, and Brother StarRace.
To start off the night, CYN (short for Cynthia) opened with a sound that was an enticing combination of blues, R&B, pop, and electronic. Every song she and her backing musicians played was different from, but equally as dreamlike in sound, as the others.
CYN opened up each song with an explanation of the feelings behind it that inspired her to write it. One song, she explained, stemmed from how she couldn’t get along with a guy, and wrote it while he was right there in the room. Another is about how much of a flirt she explained she was. Each song was overflowing with emotion, and the crowd that gathered around at Schubas absorbed it, and fed it right back to her.
Following CYN was AyOH, a band native to Chicago. The energy that the band, consisting of members Avi Dell, John Arrotti, Lin Takrudtong, and Austin Russell, brought forward right away was electric; it was almost impossible to not enjoy yourself. Lead singer Avi Dell had the most impressive grin on his face throughout the show as he bounded across the stage.
With the happy, uplifting music whose sound the band self-describes as “Kings of Leon meets the Killers meets Two Door Cinema Club” and crew of dancing groupies, a good time is guaranteed at an AyOH set.
One of the surprises of the night for me was the next band, Jakubi‘s, performance. Coming all the way from Australia, Jakubi is comprised of members Jerome Farah on lead vocals and keys, Robert Amoruso on guitar, keys, and drums, Adam Kane on guitar and keys, Jesse Rehaut on drums and guitar, and Jacob Farah on bass and synth.
As a decent sized crowd was prepared for the band to take the stage, but as soon as they began to play, it thickened even more. With a dynamic range of sounds from funk and R&B to rock and reggae with a Daft Punk twist, Jakubi looked just as excited to be performing on stage as the crowd was to hear them. Jakubi’s set was a dance party that couldn’t be stopped.
To finish off the night was headliner, a local alternative band called Brother StarRace. Founded by lead vocalist Richard Juarez and guitarist Justin Doebert, the band evolved from a small college pastime at our own UIC to performing shows all over the city. The band even performed at UIC’s first ever Battle of the Bands in 2014.
Since then, the band has added members drummer Scott Paloian, vocalist Emily Woods, guitarist Danny Kulasik, and bassist Anne Debre to bring their music, and their new EP Passion Prayers, to completely new levels.
Just by looking at the band members perform, you can see that creating and playing their music live means a lot to them. Each individual is very passionate, and you can see the connection that the band members have for each other as they do what they love.
Brother StarRace have shown how they’ve grown and evolved as a band through the past few years. And with their passion-fueled performance and emotion-filled music, I look forward to seeing where they will be an a few more years’ time.
Communion: April was a success. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse lineup of bands that appeal to any musical taste, and appreciated being surrounded by my fellow local music-lovers and discoverers. Be sure to check out the next Communion show and of course check out Cyn, AyOH, Jakubi, and Brother StarRace, and hope to see you next time at Shubas!