Murder By Death
The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
All photos by Stacy Young
Murder 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.
The 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.