Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg
Its performance at Subterranean – aka SubT – was a fun one. The members seemed especially grateful that their friends in Into It, Over It were able to join them. Signals Midwest lead singer/guitarist Maxwell Stern expressed the sentiment that they should be supporting Into It. Over It instead of the reverse.
Signals Midwest played to what appeared to be an almost capacity crowd in the warm club on a hot night. Said crowd was vastly mellower than most of the shows we cover here in Chicago, with virtually no circle pit, and many fans watched from a second level. Nonetheless, the crowd members were very vocal as they repeatedly shouted their approval.
Signals Midwest performed 7 of the 12 tracks on their new LP “Dent,” which was released in April 2022. The set opener, “I Used To Draw,” was one of those seven. Other “Dent” tracks performed included consecutively “Tommy Takes A Picture,” “Gold In The Grey,” “Sure of It “ and “All Good Things.” The band also performed “Your New Old Apartment,” though without the song’s featured performer, Sincere Engineer. Signals Midwest closed its set with “Alchemy Hour,” from the album, “At This Age” (2016).
Chicago’s own Into It.Over It ripped through its set, performing songs from a cross-section of its albums. These included, among others, “Discretion and Depressing People”, and “Fortunate Friends” from the album Proper; “Spinning Thread”, and “Upstate Blues,” from, Intersections; “Brenham, TX,” and “Augusta GA,” from 12 Towns; and “Heartificial” and 22 Syllables” from 52 Weeks.
The band members also made it absolutely clear their opinions on the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Joe George Shadid, has a sticker on his guitar stating, “Abortion on Demand & Without Apology.” Evan Thomas Weiss echoed the message posted on the band’s Facebook page. Whilst promoting a t-shirt to raise money for abortionfunds.org, Into It. Over It declares, “this band aids and abets abortion. it is our belief that abortion is a human right and we’ll continue to do what we can to fight for the human rights of US citizens.peace and love.”
For the band Downhaul, from Richmond VA, the SubT show marked the furthest from home the group has performed. Gordon Phillips, singer and guitarist for the group said it was during the middle of the tour so they were feeling pretty comfortable with their sets at that point. He did admit they might have been a bit nervous because they usually play venues much smaller than SubT. However, Downhaul received a very warm welcome and Phillips and the rest of his bandmates were very happy to have numerous good friends in the crowd. This group of friends included members of the Atlanta based band Worlds Greatest Dad, who were in the city on a night off from their own tour. They were also accompanied by Signals Midwest’s Max Stern on lap guitar. Up next for Downhaul? The members are finalizing, for release, some new songs they recorded in June and playing Fest for the first time ever. Needless to say, the band is very excited about its future.
Mush, the 5-member group from Chicago and Grand Rapids MI, was the first band to play. The band’s spirited set launched an enjoyable evening in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area of Chicago.
Please see below for more photos!