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Monday, November 7

The Wood Brothers at the Vic in Chicago. A Review by Mike Wallentin

Something so Eventful - Wood Bros celebrate with Chicago at the Vic

 The air was filled with excitement. In my heart, and in the city of Chicago. On my side, I was in route to the first event I've covered with the love of my life, and talented photographer Lauren Mcnalis, as a writer/photographer duo. Let alone the dawn after a Chicago Cubs World Series victory. The ability to share this together, for a shared likeness of a band such as The Wood Brothers with an electrified rate of cheer, made for a night to remember.
As a huge Cubs fan myself, and most likely for many Cubs fans in attendance for the Wood Brothers, or those from the city at least had an immediate cheery feeling at the theatre that night. Regardless, it was a positive gathering for all walks involved. There's been much reason for celebration in Chicago throughout the summer. Now after October with the Cubs, a rare Bear's victory against Minnesota, or a night on the town, let the good times roll.
For the Wood Brothers, they had their own personal celebration, because earlier in the tour they had some medical emergencies. Unfortunately, Chris Wood was held up in the hospital, and tour dates cancelled. As Cubs fans were praying for a positive outcome, fans, friends, and family prayed from the bottom of their hearts for a clean,quick, positive recovery for Wood. Luckily, Chris was able to recover, and once again take up the bass line. Giving yet another reason for Chicago to celebrate on November 3rd at the Vic Theatre.
Oliver Wood, Chris' brother, and long time musical counterpart was ready to douse gasoline on an already raging fire of excitement in Chicago. The Wood Brothers, one of the modern day masters of soulful folk-rock, are completed by the creative and wildly adventurous percussion mind of Jano Rix. Goosebumps, and gorgeous melodies make way for the make of their sound. From fast kicking blues, to a tension and release style finale to show, they are something not to miss.
Put your heartfelt boogie shoes on. A Wood Brothers crowd is a fast and easy group of people to mesh with. Amongst them, comes with fans rocking band's shirtsd such as Avett Brothers, Ben Harper, Phish, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Panic, and others such as the Shins, Strokes, or even Modest Mouse to name a few. That being said, a conversation is easy to come by in such a welcoming crowd of people. And the reaction of the music is all one in the same, positive.
Honest and reflective are two words to describe a room when a band is as genuine as the Wood Bros. As for Chicago, The Vic Theatre is one of the more intimate places to find this feeling. Formerly named the Victorian Theatre, owned and operated by the one and only Jay Goldberg, and Jam Production. Who have produced the now 16 year old Summer Camp Music Festival. With its capacity at 1,400 the acoustics are tremendous. Added is a delay system treating the 1,000 capacity single balcony some breathing room from the floor.
As the night began for the Wood Brothers, it was short, it was sweet, and it was beautiful. They has sang songs such as "I Got Loaded". Commemorating a Cubs hangover, and a night out, drinking whiskey, gin, and wine. The meaning to be, that we felt alright. Introducing the song Oliver mentions, "Ain't it nice to step away from the election, and put all the other bullshit in our lives aside, let's be positive". He was talking about the Cubs. Which he had done multiple times throughout the show.
As the one long set had spread greatness through the night, so does the crowd. Through classic, and stellar Woods Bros. songs alike, the responses only grew larger. Someone had shouted out "Postcards" a clear nod to the band's great song 'Postcards from Hell'. Eventually the right chords were struck and the venue began to levitate with applause. A fantastic version blossomed from the stage.
As for other notable parts of the shows, there was sections, of dancing, drum solos, and undeniable admiration for a band with such talent. Swinging back and forth with an upright bass, as if it were your ballroom dance partner, probably isn't that easy. For Chris Wood, it's one of his favorite things to do, a must see addition to an incredible stage performance. Also playing "Ain't No More Cane" a traditional song made famous by Bob Dylan, The Wood Brothers show more of what they are about.
Leaving the stage and coming back on had us all guessing for what there would be to come. Again, Oliver came to the mic, saluting us for being a beautiful crowd, a wonderful city, and a group of "lucky men and women". Shortly thereafter we were given a very special take on "Luckiest Man" a more commonly know song. It was time to remind us that if we do believe, things just might come true. I took it that way at least, as I do the Cubs victory as well. Stick to your dreams, friends! What a night November 3rd turned out to be!
Written by: Michael Wallentin
Photos by: Lauren Mcnalis
Edited by: Greg Heffelfinger


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