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Event Recap: Minor Moon’s Album Release Show Brings the Music All Back Home

The room was packed at Schuba’s as people waited for Minor Moon to take the stage. For many, myself included, this was the first show they’d been to since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the music industry in March of 2020. Minor Moon’s Sam Cantor released his latest album, Tethers, on March 26, 2021 after recording in bursts both at home and across a couple different studios in Chicago. Although this was not the first time playing these songs live, the show was advertised as an album release.


“This is the first time we’ve sold out a venue this big so it feels like a pretty major accomplishment,” Cantor said. “This is a really concrete way of getting some response to the record.”


The show kicked off with a performance from Sarah Weddle. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a tight backing band, her soothing vocals and evocative songwriting wooed the crowd. She teased the audience with songs from a forthcoming EP that she said would be out “when it’s ready.”


After Weddle left the stage, and Cantor and his band started setting up, it was hard not to feel a sense of community in the room. Cantor noted before the show that he was excited for the amount of people he knew who were going to be there and it was obvious that he was about to play to a room full of friends. His parents could even be seen beaming up at him from the front row.


Because this was an album release show, Tethers was played in full. Seeing a band play one of their albums back to front is always special because the audience really gets a feeling for how it’s supposed to sound. Standout tracks such as lead single “No Lightening Fix”, “Was There Anything Else” and “Under and Ocean of Holes” —which enlisted V.V. Lightbody on vocals and flute— have pretty obvious country influences that had the audience dancing in no time.


Tethers is the third studio album from Minor Moon and really showcases Cantor at his songwriting peak. Because of the pandemic, the sense of urgency to finish the record “just went away completely.”


“I ended up taking four or five months to finish the stuff that I had originally given myself a month to do,” he remarked. Cantor added that one of the biggest impacts COVID had on the making of Tethers was that he really changed the way he sang.


“I started listening to a lot of music really deeply. I was really enjoying how soft a lot of the vocals that I liked were. After I started singing like that, it worked a lot better,” he said.


He noted Bob Dylan’s iconic album Blood On the Tracks as a huge influence for him while making Tethers. Dylan’s style of storytelling really pushed Cantor to experiment more with his songwriting.


“It was really like a lightbulb moment,” he exclaimed. “His vocal delivery is so keyed in.”

Probably the most notable moment from the show was when Cantor brought out Weddle to sing a cover of The Byrds “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” They’re combined vocals along with added harmonies from Lightbody meshed perfectly to do the classic song the justice it deserves.


As the night came to a close and people started to filter out of the venue, it was hard not to feel a sense of peace. Although so much has happened over the past year and a half, seeing a room full of eager faces all ready to see their friends perform was a gentle reminder of the power of live music. Something that Chicago never gave up on.


 

Event photos

By Erin Dickson



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