Counterparts - Chicago, IL

With the rain pouring down, cars bumper to bumper, and doors being at 6 P.M. It was another day of getting through the almighty Chicago traffic to attend The Private Room Tour at Bottom Lounge. With a diverse line up of Varials, Have Mercy, Being As An Ocean, and Counterparts it was nearly a guarantee to leave the show with either tears or a smile.

Varials started the show with a lot of energy despite a majority of the crowd still trying to reach the venue. Regardless, that did not let Varials slow down one bit as they continued to jump around the stage, share the mic with fans up front, and encouraging as much movement as possible for their set. For being the opening act, they did not disappoint in the slightest. The band did a lot of small talk in between songs with the crowd, making for good laughs, and a lot of positive energy in the room.

Next up was Have Mercy. Being the slower and more emotional band on this bill, Have Mercy still had a lot of fans come out and stand up front to show their support. The set ranged from a handful of more upbeat tracks, slower songs including the whole band, as well as one song performed solely by Have Mercy’s vocalist and guitarist, Brian Swindle. The acoustic song Brian performed definitely stood out throughout the night. He even commented on the song after he was done, mentioning how beautiful that was, and also acknowledging the crowd for being quiet as he performed. It’s not uncommon to hear an echo of talking when a slower and quieter song is performed, but not that night.

Being As An Ocean came out shortly after bringing a feeling to the stage that resembled Have Mercy, but still unique to their sound. While many songs are on the slower side of the spectrum, Being As An Ocean’s performance did not resemble the sense of sadness one might feel listening to their studio recordings alone. The room was full of smiles while many of the lyrics did not portray the idea of being happy. The band’s vocalist, Joel Quartuccio, spent a good portion of their set in the crowd singing along with fans. One quick instance involved someone getting the mic and quickly handing it back to Joel because they did not know the words. Was not only a pure moment but also made Joel and many other members of the crowd laugh for a second. Being As An Ocean played not only a unique set, but they really brought an energy to the room that not many bands can replicate.

Final band up for the night was Counterparts. The anticipation was real, the heat in the venue was beyond real, and the excitement throughout fans was more than real. Not just because they were the headliner, but because people were beyond excited to finally hear songs from the new Private Room EP. As soon as Counterparts came on stage people were going nuts. They only had a sample from The Wedding Singer playing while they approached the stage, but that did not stop the energy in the slightest. Once the first song actually started, the number of drinks in the air, and crowd surfers being thrown up for the first song was unbelievable. This energy was flowing throughout the venue till Counterparts actually walked off stage. People were actually still moshing a few seconds after their last song because people simply just could not have enough. With a performance like that, it’s completely understandable.

Photos & Words by Tony Truty