Despite the fact that Avery only released his debut solo album Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams this past March, he has quite the following. Avery tours/has toured with Tame Impala, The Growl, Pond, and The Last Shadow Puppets among others. I remember seeing The Growl open for Tame Impala back in 2013 (before Avery started touring with them) and was blown away by their sound. Avery’s smooth yet somehow raspy voice combined with their mix of rock and blues created a unique sound that not many were going for at the time. A large portion of those at Schubas on Wednesday night must have also been fans of Avery’s project because new renditions of old songs were well-welcomed.
Avery’s solo material picks up where The Growl left off and goes more in the direction of soulful blues than psychedelic rock. When explaining the songs off his album, he described that that the songs are all hits…if you’re suicidal. While he was clearly joking, it is impossible to ignore the recurring themes of passion and heartbreak that run through the album. Avery sings candidly about failed relationships and infatuation in a way that makes you relive every relationship you’ve ever had.
Despite all the raw emotions taking place in the venue, the atmosphere between songs was light and playful. At one point in the show, Avery knocked over his mic in true rockstar fashion and it almost took out the girl in the front row. Fortunately she caught it before it smacked her in the face and saved the day. His opener and buddy from L.A., Omar Velasco, joined him on stage for one final song before their tour together ended. Additionally, being one of his favorite cities to play in, the crowd successfully convinced Avery to stray from the setlist at the end of the show and play 2 songs he usually doesn’t play live. The night was special–full of great music, laughs, and a familial atmosphere. Cam Avery and Chicago have a good thing going on…let’s keep this thing going, folks! For more on Cam Avery, click here.