Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Show review: King Sparrow, Pet Lions at Schubas, 10/15

Posted by
Susan Schomburg

King Sparrow (photo: Susan Schomburg)

Last Friday, the sold-out crowd at Schubas' late show saw Chicago rock trio King Sparrow celebrate the release of their first full-length album, King Sparrow, in style.

Show openers This is Versailles got things started with lots of good energy. Their sound is a bit shoutier than I typically like in my rock, but their set was entertaining and got people on their feet. Pet Lions kept things going with their poppy indie sound and a mix of new songs (the band plans to go into the studio to record their first full-length soon) and fan favorites, with many in the audience singing along to tracks off their debut EP, Soft Right. I have to say, I like Pet Lions' live sound a lot--it's fresh-faced and delightful, with rough corners that make you want to come back for more.

But the main event was yet to come. I have to start this review by saying that I like King Sparrow a lot, and I've seen them play live at least half a dozen times in the past twelve months. They work hard, and it pays off--they always sound good live. But last Friday, they went above and beyond. I have never heard them sound better than they did at their record release. And from the enthusiastic cheers from the crowd after each song, neither has anyone else. They were polished and note-perfect, without sacrificing the raw vitality that is the centerpiece of their sound. They are a rich, gritty three-piece rock ensemble that fills a room with sound (not just volume), and I really can't recommend them, their live show, and their new album highly enough. They are one Chicago band you should get on your radar right now, if not sooner.

King Sparrow's self-titled full length is available for download and online streaming here. Check it out now, thank me later.

This article also appears on Examiner.com.

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