Chicago is a great city for live entertainment, theatre, sports and just about anything you would like to go do or see on a Friday night. On Oct. 7, Chicagoans had the opportunity to choose between seeing hometown hip-hop star Kanye West make everyone “feel like Pablo” at the United Center, the Cubs rise to victory at Wrigley Field during the first game of the playoffs or watch the smash Broadway hit, “Hamilton,” at The PrivateBank Theatre. But sometimes the best option is to reconnect with good old-fashioned rock and roll in an intimate venue. Enter Seratones, who packed The Empty Bottle with unbridled energy and made everyone in attendance realize that they were at the place to be.
Their furious garage rock with an edge of soul resonated with fans inside the confines of the Western Avenue club, as the Shreveport band showed fans how they get down in Louisiana. Front woman AJ Haynes exuded excitement as she manipulated her versatile voice to impossible heights. From howling blues lines to a coy little yodel, a history of song could be found in the nuances of her vocals. Connor Davis’ lead guitar pierced through the wall of burly bass lines generated from Adam Davis and jazz-infused drum licks compliments of Jesse Gabriel, as fans followed the Seratones on the path to rock and roll salvation.
“If you’re having a good time out there say ‘yeah,’” said Haynes midway through the set – a call that was met with resounding cheers from fans who knew they were seeing a band destined for bigger things.
“Get Gone,” the title track off Seratones’ 2016 debut, conjured the ferocity and heart of a Woodstock-era Janice Joplin tune, and “Don’t Need It” inspired dancing – and some emphatic head bobbing from the less outgoing members of the crowd. It is inevitable to make comparisons between Seratones and modern blues-rock royalty like The Black Keys or the Alabama Shakes. Not only does this mean they are in good company, but it also foreshadows a bright future for the group for years to come.
The show, which was presented by The Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP), featured a captivating bill from top to bottom. Baby Money and the Down Payments warmed up the stage with their quirky charm, unexpected bass riffs and steadily thumping guitars before The Evening Attraction took over – front man Miles Mailn channelling some Alex Turner swagger as bassist Paul Ansani kept the proceedings light and playful. Though each of the three acts of the evening were very different in their sonic aesthetics, they complimented each other with their love of roots rock and their drive to create intriguing independent music.
Seratones will continue to tour across the U.S. throughout the month of October before traveling overseas in November to perform in Reykjavik, Glasgow, Paris and beyond. If you are a fan of heart-pumping, soul-cleansing, no-holds-barred rock and roll, pick-up their album “Get Down” from Fat Possum Records today and follow the Seratones on Facebook to see what they do next.