Whitney at The Bottleneck

About a fourth of our staff decided to start Dead Week off right by driving to The Bottleneck to see the Chicago band Whitney. I had never been to the Botttleneck before, but I enjoyed the venue. There was enough open space for everyone to stand, but also plenty of stadium-style seats for people to sit down. The whole place was covered in stickers, and my friend and I turned it into a game, looking for bands that had come in to do a Classroom Series.

The opener was LA band Golden Daze (which if you know Whitney, it’s funny because they have a song called “Golden Days”). They are one of the best openers I’ve seen, and they complimented Whitney’s sound perfectly. It was their last day on tour, and they definitely made the most of it because they sounded amazing.

After a short break Whitney came on, and I immediately noticed two things. One: I didn’t realize how big the band was, but that could be the fact that they were all cramped on one small stage. Two: I thought the singer was a girl. Definitely not a girl. The crowd went more wild than I would expect for a band that only has one full album, but it was amazing. I could be a bit biased because of the last few concerts I’ve been to, but it’s always nice to see the audience and band interacting. After the first few songs, Golden Daze came on and gave everyone in the band alcohol as a thank you for letting them go on tour. It was obvious that both bands were good friends, and that was nice to see.

Julien Elrich, the singer for the band, then asked the audience if anyone was recently married, to which two people cheered. “Well this song is about what happens after that love dies,” Elrich said, and started playing “Golden Days”. They did this for a few other songs as well, giving a one or two sentence explanation of the song before playing it. Since they only have one full ablum at the moment, Whitney played a few covers and also a new song they had been working on. Elrich said that the band had been touring for so long that they would tell a venue if they didn’t like playing there, but he said everyone really enjoyed playing in Lawrence, and that was blatantly obvious.

They ended the night with my favorite song of theirs, “No Woman.” Each time it got to the chorus they would pause for thirty seconds or so to thank everyone for coming out, and they hit the chorus harder with the horns and drums than they do in the recording, which was really cool to hear. After the song they took some time to shake the audiences’ hands and give high fives, which I’ve never seen a band do before besides at house shows.

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