It may be cold outside, but it’s hot in the Metro. The place is completely packed as Bobby Bare Jr rocks through his set. After a short break, a special guest takes the stage! It’s JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound! JC comes out last after being announced by the lead guitarist with a bundle of energy. He’s wearing a suit coat, a classy hat, and a silver earring. During the first song, he changes into a wild brown coat. And then as quickly as they came, they are off the stage. It’s a fast paced night as there is a lot of talent still waiting to take the stage.
Next up is Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s. Tonight he is playing alone with just an acoustic guitar. Midway through his set he invites Lydia Loveless to join him on stage. We get our first taste of her instantly recognizable voice. This was the highlight of his set, as he didn’t really seem to be able to fill the large stage by himself.
As the night rolls on, the crowd begins to thin out a bit. The show had started at 7pm and a lot of people had exhausted themselves before Lydia Loveless took the stage at 11. This just meant that those who stayed were real fans. And so when Lydia took the stage, the entire crowd erupted in applause. She’s rocking the place and raising the heat as everyone is jumping around. Eventually she removes her long sleeved shirt. As she continues to jump around the stage with her electric guitar, her dress straps fall down. While the band plays through rockers like “Wine Lips” and “Head”, the audience is wondering how much skin she will reveal. She closes with “Really Wanna See You”, an energetic finish to a fantastic set that gripped everyone’s attention the entire time.
It’s now midnight and the crowd has become small enough to set up a fan filled finale for Ben Kweller. Just like Rhett Miller, he comes out on just an acoustic guitar. However, midway through the second song, he hits a pedal and adds an electric distortion effect and rocks the fuck out. The sound of an acoustic guitar distorted is incredible and was a very pleasant surprise. Later on, he takes a seat at the keyboard and plays one of his greatest ballads, “Falling”. The entire metro sings “Ba ba ba, ba ba ba!” It’s an intoxicating moment. It’s become such an intimate show that he begins taking requests. He plays an old favorite, “Lizzy and also “Thirteen”, since it might be a long time until he returns to Chicago(You could probably put that into one sentence). For his encore, he rocks to another crowd favorite, “Penny On The Train Track,” while fully utilizing the distortion pedal. Throughout the entire set, he commanded the entire stage like a pro. It was the perfect finish to a fantastic celebration of Bloodshot Record’s 20th Anniversary.