Dreaming with Zilched at Empty Bottle

Zilched photographed by Josie Stahler

Written by Josie Stahler

It’s Wednesday night at Empty Bottle. Record hot temperatures fill the air outside, but that doesn’t stop fans from gathering at the beloved venue to see Zilched play Chicago. Fresh off the release of her album, Earthly Delights, Chloe Drallos set off for a two week tour across the United States featuring various musical guests. The Chicago stop included performances by Old Coke and Zastava. Despite the deep heat fogging the minds of Chicagoans everywhere, Zilched and co. set out to deliver a set to snap them out of their state. 

Empty Bottle is one of those cozy venues you could find yourself becoming an instant regular at. The low-lighting bar is complemented by their resident cat, Peg who walks around selecting only the coolest customers to sit by. A single disco ball hangs in front of the stage patiently waiting to shine onto the bands who take the stage. It’s an exciting spot to celebrate new releases and discover bands.

Old Coke photographed by Josie Stahler

The first band to take the stage was Old Coke. Their music can be described as a mix between shoegaze and thrash metal, with mysterious rhythms that move you on a journey. The crowd was found nodding their heads and soaking up the tunes. Frontman Chris Ruiz explained to me while wearing a worn-in Metallica t-shirt that he grew up on a healthy diet of metal which impacted his music later on. Their set was a welcome surprise to contrast yet complement the acts to follow. 

Zastava followed with moody guitar rock tunes that cast a veil of atmosphere over the audience. They played a handful of their own tunes along with a Replacements cover. They mentioned how grateful they were to be playing the space with Zilched and Old Coke and it showed. Their performance got the crowd excited for the remainder of the evening. 

Zastava photographed by Josie Stahler

Before long Zilched walked on stage with her ethereal presence. She wore this whimsical pink skirt that swooshed around when she sang. Self-described as “DOOMPOP” in her Instagram bio, Drallos delivers vivid imagery tied to dreamy melodies. It’s music you could get lost in, dreaming. Her track, “Loveless” especially stuck out to me for its moody start and build into powerful energy. By the end the crowd was thoroughly obsessed and hoping for more. 

Zilched will be on tour with Zastava through Sept. 4th across various states in the U.S. Her album Earthly Delights is available on streaming if you want to get lost in the doompop of it all. 

Check out Zilched on Instagram and on Spotify Below!

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