Archive for the ‘The Stone Foxes’ Category

December 1st, 2012 The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL

December 1st was a cool, crisp night in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. I had successfully persuaded my girlfriend and some friends to come with me to a bar called The Empty Bottle. There were a few bands playing, but The Stone Foxes were the real reason for us going. My friends had never really heard them before, but I was well aware of what was in store. Having spent many hours listening to their albums and watching countless live videos of them on YouTube, I had set the bar pretty high for my upcoming experience. Shannon, Spence, Aaron, and Elliot (Aforementioned Stone Foxes) took my expectations and absolutely annihilated them.

I’m not entirely sure how many people attended that night, I’d guess somewhere around 100. The Stone Foxes had some kind of strange power over all of us, absolutely captivating. From the first few notes of “Beneath Mt. Sinai,” I could tell that my senses were going to be obliterated in the best way possible. This was a real show and they made sure that every last one of us were going to be a part of it. The atmosphere for this loud, energetic, dirty blues band could not have been more perfect. Personally, I enjoyed the packed, dingy, sweaty aura of that small bar. It was a wonderful garnish to the face melting that was served that evening.

I have seen a lot of great bands, such as Incubus, Rush, Roger Waters, Gorillaz, B.B. King, Alabama Shakes, and many more. However, not a single one of these artists can match the energy that The Stone Foxes are capable of producing. I have never had so much fun at a concert before. The great thing about them is that they can switch instruments and do something completely unexpected. Their drummer, Shannon, is also a great harmonica player and a very solid singer. His drumming is comparable to John Bonham’s (Led Zeppelin). He plays the drums the way they are meant to be played: BEAT THE HELL OUT OF ‘EM! His brother, Spence, is the guitarist. His playing is very precise and his slide playing is very fun to watch. My favorite thing about his style is that it’s loud. Very loud. Fearless.

Everyone in this band interacts so well with each other, which really lays the foundation for a truly enjoyable live experience. Their sound is heavily influenced by the blues, rock, and hints of folk. I understand that there are an infinite amount of bands out there doing the same thing. However, these guys really bring something different and savory to the table. They really know how to put on a good live show. No fancy tricks or acrobatics, just raw music delivered with passion and charisma. During one song, Shannon left his throne and left the drumming up to bassist, Aaron. This allowed him to be front and center for lead singing and harmonica duties. About half way through “Mr. Hangman,” he jumped down into the crowd, got everyone circled up, and started a chant. I can’t really remember what that chant was because I had treated myself to a few beers by that point. Anyway, I do remember that he had us all crouched down as low as possible and chanting softly. Then we elevated a little higher and chanted louder. Then a little more. Higher and louder. Higher! Louder! We did this until we were all screaming and jumping like heathens. The room felt like it was going to explode! The pure, raw energy that came forth was unforgettable. Any normal person after performing a set like this would have simply fallen over and plunged into a brief coma. These guys kept going.

Overall, the show was fantastic. Spence, Shannon, Aaron, and Elliot are all great musicians and each offer something unique that blends together perfectly. I highly recommend seeing The Stone Foxes, regardless of your musical taste. You will have fun, and lots of it. The guys are really easy to talk with, and they’re just good people. They currently have two albums out: The Stone Foxes and Bears & Bulls. February 12, 2013 marks the release of their new album, Small Fires. Make sure to check them out on their website, Facebook, and their PledgeMusic page. Buy some tunes, shirts, vinyl, tickets, or whatever you can to support this phenomenal band.

Set list: Beneath Mt. Sinai, Patience, Ulysses Jones, So Much Better, Cotto, Reno, Small Fires, Everybody Knows, Stomp, I’m a King Bee, Psycho, Jump in the Water, Mr. Hangman

Encore: Spoonful, Christmas Wave