Murder By Death play the Bottom Lounge in Chicago

Murder By Death
The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL

All photos by Stacy Young

Murder By Death The Bottom Lounge

It’s a hot and humid night in Chicago, what better place to be than a show?!” That’s what always goes through my mind when people say they are bored and there is nothing to do. On this particularly humid Tuesday night at the Bottom Lounge, Murder By Death (MBD) played an amazing set with Buried Beds opening and mewithoutYou headlining. This was my first time seeing all three bands and wow is all I can say. Although the others put on a good show, Murder By Death stole the spotlight. From the second they stepped on stage you could feel the crowd buzzing with excitement.

Murder By Death The Bottom LoungeMurder By Death is a four piece from Bloomington, Indiana. They include Adam Turla on vocals and guitar, Sarah Balliet on cello and piano, Dagan Thogerson on drums, Matt Armstrong on bass, and for this tour Scott Brackett on trumpet, accordion, and piano. Right from the start MBD came out strong with minimal stage banter, it was straight to the music. They played a good mixture of new songs off of their recently released Good Morning, Magpie and some old crowd favorites including “Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue”. One of my personal favorites from the new album, “White Noise”, was played towards the beginning of the set. Once the band got going, lead singer Adam started playing with the crowd a little throwing out jokes and nostalgic moments making the packed floor of the Bottom Lounge seem a little more intimate. After that it was like the band and crowd were in sync. They fed off of each other’s enthusiasm, each with a greater response trying to top the previous display. MBD played harder and the crowd sang louder swaying back and forth in unison to the flow of Sarah’s cello.

Murder By Death The Bottom LoungeThe only negative thing I have to say about the entire show has more to do with the Bottom Lounge than the band itself. I felt as though, especially with the heavier songs, the speakers distorted the sound more than it should have been. Usually I am all for distortions, but for me it was a little much for some songs. Even that slight hiccup couldn’t take anything away from Murder By Death’s set. The crowd doesn’t lie, it’s impossible. When that many people are pumping their fists and completely focused on the five people in front of them pouring their hearts out through their music, it’s a beautiful thing and Tuesday’s show was a perfect display of that.

Check out our inteview with Adam Turla from the night’s show!

Murder By Death The Bottom Lounge

Murder By Death The Bottom Lounge

Murder By Death Interview: Never Judge a Band By Their Name

Murder By Death Interview with Adam Turla
Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL

Murder By Death Adam Turla Interview

Photo by Stacy Young

Looking at their cover art and hearing their name you wouldn’t put Murder By Death in the Indie Rock category, but this four-piece from Bloomington, Indiana breaks that mold. They incorporate a mixture of different sounds including the accordion, cello, and trumpet to create this interesting Johnny Cash meets a toned down Misfits sound. In keeping with their unconventional sound, Murder By Death also draws from a different pool for their inspiration as well, referencing the Old West, zombies, and the Devil. I got the chance to chat with lead singer Adam Turla before their show at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago on August 3rd. Speaking with Adam was more like having an in depth conversation with a friend rather than interviewing a stranger about their band. It made for a really great discussion.
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Murder By Death Plays Chicago’s Metro

Murder By Death
Metro – Chicago, IL

Murder By Death Metro - Chicago, IL 11/20/2008Imagine walking through the backwoods of Indiana and stumbling upon an old farmhouse left untouched for decades. Enter Murder By Death and their dusty rock sound.

Before their show at Chicago’s Metro, I got to sit down with the band’s lead singer, Adam Turla. I will post the full interview within the next week and add a link here.

I became a fan of Murder after the hearing the single “Brother,” from the record In Bocca Al Lupo, a concept about sin and sinners. I caught them on tour with Clutch last spring and again this summer at Bash on Wabash. This month’s show makes for three seasons of MBD and I cannot wait for the fourth sometime in February.

J Roddy Walston and the Business, a rock quartet out of Baltimore, MD, managed to catch the crowd off guard with their in-your-face straight rock sound. After J Roddy’s energetic set, William Elliot Whitmore got intimate with the crowd; just a guitar (or banjo,) his soulful voice, and some whiskey donated by various crowd members. Turla was right, definitely a drinking crowd.

Unfortunately for me, I took Turla’s statement a little too serious and by the time Murder took the stage…well, we will just say I was having a good time. I was having such a good time that I don’t remember much of the show. Much to my surprise, I ended up with some stellar photos and even snapped a shot of the set list. Even though I didn’t snap a photo of him, Vincent Edwards, the former keyboardist was back for this show. And, there are plays to have him back full time; look for an official announcement on their web site soon.

According to Turla, their biggest crowds are right here in Chicago. That is exactly why they are coming back for three small venue shows this February. I will make sure to post once I find out the dates.

Photos of Murder By Death: