Spires That in the Sunset | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Spires That in the Sunset


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Psychedelic folk is to acid rock what achieving altered consciousness through meditation is to getting there through hallucinogens; using acoustic instruments to create a trance state requires more focus and restraint than stomping on effects pedals. That's not to say that Hawkwind was somehow cheating, just that the four women who make up the local band Spires That in the Sunset Rise transcend what could just sound like let-it-all-hang-out feyness by taking a tightly disciplined approach. They've put together a solid resume in a few short years, playing psychedelic festivals and opening for soul mates like Faun Fables and the reunited Incredible String Band, and this show is the release party for their second album, Four Winds the Walker (Secret Eye). There's not a hint of wispy, wistful chick strumming on it: their music is clear without sounding domesticated, a percussive, ringing, and hypnotic exotica of the mind, with banshee wails and a huge battery of instruments from around the world coloring the lights and shadows around the fringes of their shamanistic chanteusing. You could say they suggest the Raincoats without the fragility, Kendra Smith if she were an extrovert, or Desertshore-era Nico if she sounded even a little bit happy. But the Spires are ultimately a singular, incomparable entity--and we're lucky to have them. For more on the band, see Bert Stabler's review in Section 1. Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice and Bird Show (see Sunday) open. Mechanique Soap Opera performs throughout the evening. Thu 6/9, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $8.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →