Real Friends Holiday Show - Chicago, IL

Real Friends put on another one of their famous hometown holiday shows. It was held on a snowy Saturday night at Subterranean in Wicker Park. Starting at 5 o’clock, there was already a line building down the sidewalk for the 7 o’clock show. Once doors opened around 6:30, the room started packing in. I was in the venue by about 6:45, and it was already a quarter of the way full.

Fredo Disco opened the night up with a majority of the crowd singing along to their indie pop and alternative tunes. Following their lively set, the crowd was ready for Hot Mulligan. They always put on a dynamic show, but I have never seen anything like this. The floor felt like it was going to cave in from all the movement. They played songs new and old, from their EP Honest & Cunning to their debut album Pilot.

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for, Real Friends stepped on stage. They opened their set up with “From the Outside,” off of their 2018 release Composure. The Chicago band kept the energy up the whole night by mixing in older songs like “‘Anchor Down” and “Floorboards.”

The band had various guest vocal spots, starting with “Late Nights in My Car” when Dan Lambton called a fan up to sing while he took a break to crowd surf. Later in the night, Jaclyn Heuser, member of Chicago bands City Mouth and Better Love, as well as a backup vocalist on Composure, voiced the bridge in “Ripcord," and Joe Taylor, the vocalist of Knuckle Puck, stepped in for part of “Loose Ends."

There wasn't a single person in the crowd that wasn’t singing and jumping along the whole night. This sold-out show was the perfect way to end 2018.

Photos and review by Allie Loven