An Evening with
Belly - 2018 DOVE Tour
3145 North Sheffield
Chicago, IL, 60657
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
The dream-rockband Belly blazed a bright trail in the '90s, releasing two albums full of taut, yet wondrous music that was memorable for its rumbling bass lines and insistent drumming asit was for its glittering riffs and airy vocals. Their new album Dove, which was recorded with friend of the band Paul Q. Kolderie, places Belly back on that trail, bridging the gaps between reverbed-out bliss and spaghetti-western drone and muscular, hook-forward pop.Belly came together in1991, when vocalist-guitarist Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, The Breeders) began playing with brothers (and fellow Rhode Islanders) Tom (guitar) and Chris (drums) Gorman, as well as bassist Fred Abong. He left before the band's 1993debutStarcame out, and Gail Greenwood, then playing around Providence, joined.Star was a hit with critics and listeners alike, spawning the alt-radio and MTV staple "Feed the Tree." The bandtoured extensively behind the gold-certified album, touring with the likes ofRadiohead, the Cranberries, and Pavementand playing a show at the Hippodrome in Paris where they opened for U2 and the Velvet Underground. Belly opened 1994 with two Grammy nominations, scoring nods for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist at that year's edition of the awards. That summer, the band began work onKing, their harder-edged second album. Belly toured behind that 1995 release extensively, opening for R.E.M. in Europe and bringing along Catherine Wheel andSuperchunk for the American tour; their last gig was in November 1995, and the bandofficially dissolved in 1996. Since then, Belly's members kept busy, with Donelly releasing a stringof hailed solo albums and touring with Throwing Muses, Greenwood performing with brash rockers L7 and revved-up punker Bif Naked, and Tom Gorman performing with fellow New England alt-rockers Buffalo Tom and Donelly's Throwing Muses partner Kristin Hersh before launching a photography business in New York with his brother. They had occasionally broached the topic of getting back together in individual settings; Greenwood and Tom Gorman separately collaborated with Donelly on her Swan Song Series omnibus. The idea of a Belly reunion, though, gained serious traction a few years ago. "We had just gotten to the point where we were just missing each other, and missing the music," says Donelly. "The music I've been doing in the past several years hasbeen very collaborative, which made me kind of homesick for Belly; I missed that sense of having a band." Early rehearsals showed that Belly was still very much a unit, the years falling away as the quartet went to work on older material. "We immediately fell back into our original relationship and musical dynamics," says Donelly. "Just a lot of laughing—it felt like a real reunion in the best and truest sense from the first practice on. Wehad a bit of trepidation: 'Is this going towork?' But the first practice really set all our anxiety to rest." Eventually, though, the band's members, who had collaborated sporadically in the interim, got
the itch to bring new songs into their set as a curveball for listeners—and for themselves, too. "You almost want toput yourselfin the deep end," says Chris Gorman. "That just seems tobethe inclination for creative people—you never just want to feel comfortable. You're always going, 'Well, what's the part of the night that's really going to make me really, really nervous and freaked out?' And that usually is, 'Let's try a new song.' When it works, that's the most the rewarding moment in the night." Belly previewed some of their new songs, including the prowling "Army of Clay" and the folk-tinged "Human Child," at their early reunion dates to effusive audiences. "The crowds have been amazing," says Donelly. "We've never really operated on a level before where live shows feel genuinely communal. Wegot such great feedback on the new stuff—people were just as enthusiastic about it," Donelly recalls. That handful of tracks blossomed into Dove, a dozen songs that nodto past glories while also showcasing the four members' growth assongwriters and musicians, adding dramatic flourishes like strings and vibed-out guitars to the group's already widescreen sound.Belly recorded most of the rhythm tracks for Dove at Stable Sound Studios in Portsmouth, RI, vocals at Greenwood's home studio, and guitars and overdubs in Tom's and Tanya's home studios.The songs spun out of a new songwriting system that was necessitated by the four members' far-flung hometowns. "It required a lot of trust," says Donelly, "because we were sending raw snippets to each other—anything from 30-second pieces to full songs. Tom andGail and I would send demos back and forth, and then Chris would add drums to whatever snippets he'd heard, and Tom would sew everything together. It would sometimes be a very circuitous route to a song, butit was really fun." "All three of the songwriters were locked in and working in a way that complemented the others' strengths," says Chris Gorman. "Gail's writing was in top form. Tanya is able to make anybody's song her own—she's got that gift. And Tom has really honed his arrangementandproduction style." The shimmering, expansive "Shiny One," which pairs dreamy vocal harmonies with urgent riffing and dramatic string flourishes, is one of the best examples of Belly's new process. "Ihave a lot of affection for that one," says Donelly. "It was the first completely collaborative song we've ever done—Gail wrote the riff and the chorus, Tom and I wrote the verse andbridge, Chris’s parts shaped the direction and vibe. When I hear it, I hear all four ofusequally."While Dove's flight was aided by previews of some new tracks during the band's reunion tour, the bandis excited to release the album in full, andto show it off to audiences around the world. "We're all looking forward to presenting these songs in a live setting, and having the opportunity to play together again," says Chris Gorman. "We should bein for a really exciting year."
$30.00 - $45.00
General admission, standing floor.
General admission, seated balcony (mezzanine).