I can't explain how excited I was to see SBTRKT live. I spent my winter looking forward to the show in April at the House of Blues Chicago. His self-titled debut album has been on my iTunes "Top Played" list ever since its June 2011 release. The day of the concert finally arrived, and I'm pleased to report that SBTRKT did not disappoint - at all. In fact, I'd see him live again in a heartbeat. He was accompanied by Sampha, who does the majority of the vocals for SBTRKT, and he sounded just as good live as he does on the album. Near the end of their set, they surprised the audience by bringing out local rapper, Rockie Fresh, for a song. Chicago's own Willis Earl Beal opened the show. He put on a powerful, minimalist show - just his voice, some backup recordings, and his odd stage antics. Boy does he have a voice - but the young, drunken crowd was ready to dance so unfortunately I don't think they appreciated Beal's unique, soulful performance as much as I did.
Willis Earl Beal