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Englert hosts Real Estate, Shovels and Rope, Father John Misty

BY ISAAC HAMLET | APRIL 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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Amid the films and speakers, the books and buzzing crowds, stands the Englert at the center of downtown. The theater, 221 E. Washington St., will host an event for every day of this year’s Mission Creek Festival.

Along with famed Radiolab host Jad Abumrad, these shows will include three indie-rock bands: Real Estate, Shovels & Rope, and Father John Misty.

“All [three groups] are really different musically,” said Andre Perry, the Englert’s executive director. “Though the thing that they all really have in common is that they really sell the live-show format.” 

Tonight will mark the arrival of Real Estate. In the six years since the début of its first, self-titled album, the East Coast band has seen mounting critical acclaim.

“The reason Real Estate has made a bigger impact than other rock bands of its ilk is that its music speaks to so many different kinds of music fans,” said Jon Groffman, the band’s manager. “Being normal guys with normal lives and normal problems, they connect with everyone.”

The band’s third and most recent album, Atlas, was released in 2014. With the recording of the record came changes. Two new member were introduced, making Jackson Pollis the band’s drummer and putting Matt Kallman on the keyboard.

A day after Real Estate has its show, Shovels & Rope will claim the stage. 

“For Shovels & Rope, we wanted to get it in for a long time,” Perry said. “We’ve been watching its trajectory over the last few years from relatively unknown to more widely talked about because of its live shows.”

The duo and married couple Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, draw from their careers as solo artists to fuel their fast-paced acoustic songs.

On April 5, performing not only the final show of the Englert’s musical lineup but the denouement of this year’s Mission Creek Festival, will be Father John Misty, also known as Josh Tillman.

Despite time in indie-rock bands, the singer/songwriter — who will play at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago in July — now veers toward American folk.

“Shovels & Rope really is pure energy,” Perry said. “Real Estate inhabits a different space, it has great energy, too, but it’s less ecstatic, more controlled. Father John Misty does his own thing entirely.”

In addition to these three musical acts, the Englert will also feature musician and radio personality Jad Abumrad at 8 p.m. Saturday. He is best known for creating and hosting the public radio program “Radiolab” — broadcast on 524 stations nationwide and downloaded more than 9 million times as a podcast — and he is also a film-score composer and MacArthur Fellowship recipient. He will lecture on the art of storytelling and what it means to “innovate.”


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