February 26, 2019
House of Blues – Chicago, IL
At 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night, a time when some people would still be driving home from work, Georgia based Lullwater played House of Blues in Chicago as part of the sold out Sevendust and Tremonti tour stop. Second on a five band bill, there were many in attendance who planned accordingly and arrived early enough to witness their set.
Making the most of their 30-minute time slot, Lullwater wasted no time and started the night with Dark Divided from their brand new album, Voodoo. They continued with Burning Both Ends from 2015’s Revival, and those in the room got a real sense of urgency in John Stickland’s deep, raspy vocals.
Next was Empty Chamber, the first single from Voodoo, which kept their momentum on the upswing and matched the energy of Ray Beatty’s bass playing perfectly. They followed that with a second new song. Full of varying tempo changes, but not the crazy kind, Godlike took you on a journey. It was a song that brought you along for the ride. Strickland’s guitar playing matched perfectly with guitarist, Daniel Binnie’s playing style and the notes they traded off with each other flowed effortlessly.
The Chicago crowd were treated to two back-to-back songs from the band’s 2013 self-titled album. The first was the heavy, but upbeat Albatross. This playful sounding song had the consistent underlying driving beat which can be heard in so many of their songs. Tug of War was the slowest of all the songs during their set, but the energy in their performance was all the same. Not to mention, the incredible power of hearing Strickland, Wilson and Beatty singing verses in unison.
For the last song of the night, A Forgotten Name, all eyes were initially on drummer Joseph Wilson as his playing was prominent at the very start. However, as with a lot of Lullwater songs, there was a gradual build up that took place over the course of the song and Stickland’s guitar playing towards the end was mesmerizing. Watching his hand as he strummed, it eventually became a blur as his playing got faster and faster. This gradual surge combined with intense sounding vocals caused such an eruption, it was exactly the right way to end an opening set.
While thirty minutes may not seem like a lot of time to get your point across, Lullwater’s set definitely packed a punch. The hard driving power behind their songs was evident to anyone taking the time to listen and appreciate what the band had to offer. In fact, based on crowd reaction, Lullwater left a lasting impression.