Looking Ahead • Netherfriends at Bottom Lounge
For anyone who's paid a passing glimpse at Chicago's loaded summertime lineups the last few years the name Netherfriends is likely familiar. The singer/songwriter better described as a one-man-band has been a fixture on the local circuit when the sun is shining in the city, escaping across the country on his 'endless tour' during the months between. This time around he's been visiting from afar, having set up shop in Austin, but arrives back in town this week to play a gig at the Bottom Lounge with Tree, Brian Fresco, Jon James, Femdot, A.M. Early Morning and DJ Damnage.
Billed as an 'Unofficial Pitchfork Aftershow', things kick off at 10 PM, just in time to escape the adjacent Union Park and head over to catch even more local talent at the stage nearby. For Netherfriends, who in his time crisscrossing the country has played just about every crowd and venue imaginable, the set Saturday will serve as yet another opportunity to show off a plethora of new music. "People typically go to a show to see a performer they already know so when I go on tour I am playing to mostly strangers," said Netherfriends. "Tour is great practice to see what it takes to entertain strangers."
He'll have plenty to dig into, having just released his latest collection, The New Frank Ocean Album, which continued on a string of releases that leaned heavily on clever shtick-based marketing including performing his live productions in front of green screens he projected celebrities onto. A true character in his own right, Netherfriends never ceases to impress in a live setting, prepared to dive into the unexpected at a moment's notice and not above chastising a stale crowd. The latest project serves as just the most recent edition in an ongoing, incessant release schedule that he says will only continue. "I'm releasing a new album every month. This month I'm dropping a reggaeton album called Don't Tweak on July 30th," said Netherfriends. While he didn't go into specifics on whether or not any of that music will be on the setlist for Saturday, there's no telling with his deep library.
Aside from the headliner, the show boasts a healthy lineup including a rare onstage appearance from SoulTrap originator MC Tree. As well, Brian Fresco who this past weekend held his album release show for Casanova at Portage Theater joins an impressive group of openers including Femdot and newcomer Jon James. It definitely should be one for the books with an array of sounds from throughout the city represented.
Whereas in past years Netherfriends made a point to set up shop within Cook County lines, he will be traveling in from afar, having moved for the time being to Austin, Texas. "It's been wonderful, I live in a house in Austin and I don't do shit. I've been flying up to Chicago for shows."
Check out our events page for more info on the show.