After listening to the new Chad Valley album over and over on Friday and Saturday I saw that he was playing a small show in Chicago. I wasn’t originally planning to go considering the drive is between 2-2.5 hours, but the show was a late one (he went on a bit after 11) and I didn’t have any other plans, but was still unsure. I then watched DC United come from behind twice to beat the Columbus Crew 3-2 at the home finale at RFK to clinch their first playoff spot since 2007. In celebration I decided to head up to the show in Chicago and it was totally worth it.
Schubas‘ capacity is in between Rock & Roll and DC9, about 150-200 people. I walked right in, grabbed a drink and watched the end of the opener who played some semi-decent dubstep. Once Hugo, aka Chad Valley, got on stage the smiles went around the room and everyone got ready to dance. It was a pretty short set, probably about 45 minutes, but thoroughly enjoyable. The set consisted of about half of the new album and half of old hits with “Up and Down” falling into both categories. Even without a backing band the sound was fantastic and the dance party broke out about five minutes into the set. The new album, Young Hunger, features a lot of contributing artists so it was interesting to hear those songs sung solo. There was no drop-off in quality though and the show turned out to be one of my favorites of this year. Hopefully Chad Valley will have a full tour next year with a backing band or set-up that will allow the audience to fully appreciate the new album.