Tag Archives: Willis Earl Beal
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Live on Yours Truly: Willis Earl Beal.
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TOC: Summer Festival Guide.
The Drums, Lucero headline Wicker Park Festival.
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Phil Vettel’s Summer Eating List.
Logan Square Kitchen Closing.
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Neil Young Journeys:
Willis Earl Beal has been on my radar since I kept hearing about an awesome show he performed at Cole’s a couple of months ago. When tickets went on sale for his show at The Hideout I purchased them based solely on the tremendous word of mouth rather than having ever heard his music. When I finally heard his music, first the lovely Evening’s Kiss single and then the entire Acousmatic Sorcery album, I was a little perplexed at all of the excitement. While I enjoyed parts of the album, a lot of the stuff seemed too much like outsider art to me. “Another Daniel Johnston,” I exclaimed to no one. After digging deeper, I started to enjoy the album more and more, yet I still wondered why he was being talked about so much. Then he was asked to perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Clearly, I was missing something. Well, holy fuck was I missing something.
Willis Earl Beal’s show at The Hideout last Thursday night was like watching a reverend preaching to an adoring flock of worshipers like The Rapture was coming. This wasn’t a performance by an outsider artist, but rather a show by a man who commanded the stage like a legendary soul showman. Think Otis Redding backed by a reel to reel tape recorder. He was funny, enthralling, and most of all, entertaining. After starting off the show with a poem by Charles Bukowski, he proceeded to unleash songs with the fury of a champion prize fighter. After the last song he said, “I am not a musician but a motivational speaker with harmonious inclinations.” Indeed.
Openers Quarter Mile Thunder were also quite good. Stream their album Twist here.