The Districts Log Performance of The Year At The Empty Bottle 12/10/17

The Districts Log Performance of The Year At The Empty Bottle 12/10/17

”A few years back I caught The Districts touring behind A Flourish and a Spoil, at Metro, and I was impressed. I wrote about it here:

“The Districts Bring Energetic Live Act To Chicago’s Metro”

Fast forward to the Winter of 2017, when I saw them playing behind their latest record Popular Manipulations, and I was in awe of their performance. On this tour, they have caught lightening in a bottle.

The Districts’ sound at The Empty Bottle rivals some of the best bands I’ve seen. Jane’s Addiction, the Smashing Pumpkins, or Pearl Jam. Whoever you remember seeing perform live, at the top of their game, it was that caliber of a performance.


A polished battery who have hit a stride behind lead guitar player Pat Cassidy, whose fuzzy, distorted tone has become synonymous with The Districts sound.

Singer Rob Grote’s unique vocal stylings and heartfelt lyrics have been present for years, along with Connor Jacobus’ chugging bass lines, and the finesse of Braden Lawrence’s drum beats. Now with Cassidy’s catchy guitar melodies, Grote has the right catapult for his feelings. 

On “If Before I Wake” they come together to create one of the greatest opening tracks I’ve heard on a rock record. A melange of distortion builds and gives way to Grote’s biggest fear? “Am I all alone?”


With the ringing of guitars and the entrance of drums, we are sent off our feet shouting,

“No, I’m just a narcissist.”  The Empty Bottle feels electric.

These are moments you wait for as a fan. A fan of the band who’s record you haven’t stopped playing for months. Throughout the show, these moments kept happening. “Capable,” “Fat Kiddo,” “Ordinary Sunset,” “Salt,” and “Violet.”

“Violet” truly has it all. That lead guitar, fuzzy bass, and galloping drum beat. All present before taking a back seat to Grote’s vocal. Again, we all sang along…

“What doesn’t last will get remembered/What doesn’t last is good to miss
What doesn’t last is stuck in your throat/What doesn’t last gets swallowed whole.”

“Violet” is the epitome of what The Districts have become, and just one example of what they do so well, live.

My other favorite song of the night was “Point.” It’s moving and emotional, and there isn’t a better written song on or off the airwaves. Pure rock and roll.

Many bands can make a good record, but few make a statement like they did at the ‘Bottle. Bringing that declaration to life onstage exudes greatness.

The Districts have created a sound. The band is no longer following a genre but leading the charge to uncharted territory.

Go. See. Them. Live.

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