Spirit Adrift, Starless and Ikaray in Chicago 6/4/19

Spirit Adrift are on tour and played a killer show supporting their third album.

Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Place: Sleeping Village (3734 W Belmont Ave.; Chicago, Illinois 60618)

Ticket price: $12 ($15.45 after fees)

Spirit Adrift are from Phoenix, Arizona that started out in 2015. The band released its third full length album “Divided by Darkness” on May 10 via 20 Buck Spin. Divided By Darkness is pretty amazing. I saw them last summer when they came through Chicago and it was a great show. They were doing a mix of a heavy metal/doom sound on the previous records but the new album continues to move toward more of a modern heavy metal style. Divided by Darkness is probably going to end up being one of my favorite albums of the year. The riffs are killer, the lyrics are cool, the melodies rock and the vocals are great. Their tour started on May 18 and goes through June 22.

The cool thing about Sleeping Village is that there is a lot of neighborhood parking surrounding the building so you don’t have to rely on public transportation or Uber. They sent out an email the night before that all tickets were buy one, bring one. I’m assuming that meant the show was selling poorly and they wanted to make more money on the bar. It’s hard to know who paid for a ticket and who got in for free that way though.

The shows are played all the way in the back area of the building. When you first go inside the place there’s a bar/open seating area. They had a pretty small merch table set up in the concert area. Spirit Adrift shirts were $20 and they had some sweet designs. They also had LPs and a flag that looked cool. The doors opened at 8 p.m. The show started exactly at 9. I got in around 8:50. At first there was like hardly anybody in the room. I was like, man. No one is coming to this show. I’m guessing it got filled up to maybe around 80-100 people by the time Starless and Spirit Adrift were playing. It was hard to tell because there were people standing in the back section that’s elevated from the ground floor by the stage.

This was my first time seeing a full set from Ikaray. They were on a show I went to in April supporting Ulthar but I missed most of them. They only played a few songs during this set but it was real good. They ended again with “No Borders,” an upcoming song from an album of the same title they’re working on. The song is awesome. Ikaray ended around 9:25. The singer talked to the crowd at different points but I have no idea what he said. Ikaray have a really heavy sound and good tone. The band was tight and everyone was jamming in sync. The sound was vibrating pretty heavy in my right ear even though I had plugs in. It’s probably because I was standing so close to this big speaker like an idiot. Still, the actual reason is that Ikaray are real heavy. I like the band a lot.

https://ikaraydoom.bandcamp.com/releases

This is my third time seeing Starless. They’re a great local Chicago band. They also opened for Spirit Adrift last August when they came to Chicago at The Empty Bottle. Starless is a four piece group. They released a full length in 2016 called “Deadly Light.” They started playing on stage around 9:45. They played like five songs. They do a seriously killer mellow, doom sound. I like the way the singer and backup vocals come together on the songs. Their Deadly Light album is a great listen. After one of the songs was done, the bass player took a drink of water. The singer pointed it out because they were about to go into the next song. Someone in the crowd yelled out, “Yeah! Stay hydrated brother!” It was hilarious because the dude yelled it out in this deep, 1980s pro wrestler voice. The third song they did was “In Delirium” followed by “This Hallowed Eve.” These are really good live.

The last song they played was a new one from their upcoming album releasing this year.  It started off as a slower, mellow song. The middle of it had a bass only section. The bass sounded great. The bass player has a sick beard too. The song’s ending got heavy with fast riffing and drumming. I liked the song a lot. Starless ended around 10:20. The band is terrific live. I’m definitely looking forward to the new music they will put out this year.

https://starlessad.bandcamp.com/

Spirit Adrift were awesome live. They started around 10:39. They played a few songs from the new album. They opened with “Curse of Conception” off their second album from 2017. They followed that with “Hear Her” and “Born Into Fire” from Divided By Darkness. Hear Her sounded excellent. The combination of the song’s riff and vocals came across well when played live. The band’s singer/guitarist Nate Garrett is a tall dude. He’s a good frontman. They played “Eyes Were Not Alive” next, which is a single they released last October. This is a real cool song and one of their best. After the song was done someone in the crowd yelled out that we needed more riffs. Garrett replied, “We got ’em man. They’re comin’.” They definitely brought them big time.

 

They played “Spectral Savior” from Curse of Conception after that. They followed with “Tortured by Time” and “Angel & Abyss” from the latest album. These both sounded killer live, especially the later parts of Angel & Abyss with the faster tempo and guitar solos. They definitely had a few headbangers in the crowd going nuts during the set. Garrett said they love coming to Chicago and it’s one of their favorite cities. He said Chicago rules and Trouble rules. Trouble are from Chicago and are a great band, so he has good taste. They closed with “Earthbound,” the first track off Curse of Conception. The set ended around 11:30. Spirit Adrift killed it live. The band definitely played tight and delivered with high energy. It was a good mix of the new songs and stuff from the last album. They could have played the entire Divided By Darkness album front to back and I would have been happy.

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