We had the amazing opportunity to review The Hush Sound’s final date of their reunion tour at the House of Blues in their hometown, Chicago. The tour featured support from JJamz (featuring members of Maroon 5, Rilo Kiley/Bright Eyes, Phantom Planet, and The Like), as well as Future Monarchs. You can check out the review after the break.
Another opportunity to see a recently reunited band for the first time in a number of years when The Hush Sound announced they were doing a short tour to support their reunion and the fact that they were going to be releasing new music in 2013. I figured the show would be a return to a few years ago, only this time they were playing at the House of Blues, not in the basement of a church in the suburbs or at a VFW hall. I wasn’t familiar with the opening bands, Future Monarchs and JJamz, but if they were playing with a band from the old “Chicago scene” I knew they would be decent.
Future Monarchs were the first band on the bill. The 5-piece power pop/indie rock Chicagoans were known to a portion of the crowd, so it was nice to see fans singing along to some of the songs. The band spent most of their set thanking and dedicating their songs to the evening’s headlining band. They also told the story behind having to change the name of the band because the previous one, Deserters, was being used by a hardcore band and they were “just 5 wussies that wouldn’t last in a fight with tough guys like that”.
JJamz was next, and with a goofy sounding name like that, I wasn’t expecting much out of them, but I couldn’t have been more surprised. After doing some research I found out that the band is actually an indie-pop super group comprised of members of Maroon 5, Rilo Kiley/Bright Eyes, Phantom Planet, and The Like. After learning that, it was very apparent where the sound of the band comes from. JJamz has a sunny, jazzy, groove driven, and hook heavy sound with super catchy melodies and call and response style vocals. Although JJamz has only released one album due to the members’ hectic schedules they did not let that stop them from having fun on stage and cruising through most of the songs off of Suicide Pact. As the band let loose through “LAX”, “Cleverly Disguised”, “Heartbeat” vocalist Z Berg (The Like) twirled about the stage like a young girl showing off a pretty new dress while guitarists James Valentine (Maroon 5) and Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet) traded guitar lines. The band made the entire venue feel like it was transported to sunny Southern California, despite the chilly weather that lay outside.
The Hush Sound closed out the night on an even higher note. When the curtain opened Greta Salpeter was seated at her keyboard playing a short opening number while the rest of the band sat on the drum riser watching intently. As the intro was ending the rest of the band took their places with their respective instruments and the band launched into “Don’t Wake Me Up” off of the album Like Vines. The Hush Sound’s entire set was comprised of songs from Like Vines and Goodbye Blues; save for one brand new song which the band said doesn’t have a title yet. As the band left the stage the crowd demanded an encore, and of course The Hush Sound was happy to oblige. The show finally reached the moment I had been waiting all night for, the band played “City Traffic Puzzle” off of their first album So Sudden. I was hoping to hear more songs off of that album, but I was happy to hear one.
The entire show was a fun, happy care-free night. Everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy the show but looked a little worn out from bouncing and dancing along to every song from all 3 of the night’s bands. Given the right chances Future Monarchs could be a band to watch. JJamz was a refreshing break from its collective member’s regular bands. And it was great to see The Hush Sound back together singing their happy-go-lucky style of pop tunes and it was even better hearing the crowd react the way they did.
Information about the review…
Tour: The Hush Sound Reunion Tour
Bands: The Hush Sound, JJamz, Future Monarchs
Date: October 26, 2012
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL