Air Traffic Controller lands at Schubas in Chicago, IL

Air Traffic Controller

August 20, 2014

Schubas- Chicago, IL

        Boston based band Air Traffic Controller visited Chicago Wednesday night on their first full US tour. This tour had them co-headlining with The Tragic Thrills, a band the crowd seemed to know better. Air Traffic Controller (ATC) played at Schuba’s, a venue that has been long known as a breeding ground for musical talent. ATC consists of Dave Munro (lead vocals/ guitar), Casey Sullivan (lead vocals/ bass), Steve Scott (keys/ guitars), Dave’s brother Richie Munro (drums) & Jeremy Van Cleave (violin).

Watching ATC on stage, you get the feeling this is what it would look and feel like if you were invited to the band’s living room during a jam session. Smiling and comfortable with one another, the audience is brought into the feel good vibes you see the band experiencing. Crowded together on Schuba’s intimate stage, it was hard to keep your eyes on a certain band member as each brought something that together, complimented their lyrics about love, following your dreams and believing in one another. I found myself most drawn to Sullivan. Her voice, at times deep and smoky and reminiscent of Adele, also has a range that lends itself almost to the ethereal, and as much as I would like to avoid saying it reminds me of Enya, it had the same earthy yet lofty sound.

While the crowd was definitely thinner by the time ATC took the stage, there were those in the audience that clung to each word and even more that sang along, hands in the air, clamoring by the front of the stage in hopes that Munro would notice them and acknowledge their love for his music and lyrics. A happiness exudes from ATC’s music, even when they’re singing about unrequited love, the breakup of their favorite band or alluding to heartfelt endings of relationships.

The crowd at Schuba’s was treated to a few songs the band “is playing for the first time on this tour.” My favorite, the first single off their newest album, The House, is a catchy tune that I imagine we will soon be hearing in many commercials across the nation. Before I even left the venue, I had already gone to iTunes to purchase The House, and have been listening to it addictively ever since. With sing-a-long lyrics that remind me of the best parts of my childhood, The House is “about the house I grew up in,” lead singer Dave Munro told the crowd. “Think back to your childhood – we had that house everyone came to.” Before purchasing it, you can listen to the song here. Warrior is another new song debuting this summer, written by Sulivan and containing a message of hope, almost urging you to go out and make yourself a better version of yourself.

Ending with a promise that “anytime we do a tour now, we got to get to Chicago,” ATC left the stage and went into the crowd, graciously meeting both newfound fans and fans that one would think (and WILL) follow them to each show.

Review by: Lucy Kaplan