Get Off the Couch!

Air Date: 02-05-15

February's Get Off The Couch showcase will be headlined by a band that will transport you back to the 80's - not everything you hated about the 80's, but the GREAT sound that emerged from guitars, synths, and a lyrical awakening. We are very excited to have Friends of Italian Opera show you what we mean.

Joining 'FOIO' in the rounds will be GOTC alumni Michele McGuire, The Kelson Twins, and River Rising . As always, Sam Wahl will be the host with the most...

Dia De Los Tamales will again be selling Chicago's most delicious tamales, so show up hungry!

And of course there will be PRIZES!

Where: The Hideout Inn (1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago)
When: SUNDAY February 8th
Time: doors 6pm ... Show will start PROMPTLY at 7pm
Tickets: $10 - advanced ticket purchase HIGHLY recommended!

What happens at "Get Off The Couch"?

Sam Wahl hosts the 4 songwriters who are all literally on a couch (or as close as we can get) on the stage. One by one they are introduced and encouraged to "Get Off The Couch" by the audience. Each artist then plays two songs, stripped down to their acoustic bones, telling stories behind the songs etc. Once the round is complete, the same happens for a 2nd round, so each artist plays 4 songs... there may even be a collaboration or two!

After a short break, the second half of the show sees the featured artist return to the stage to do a FULL BAND headline set. After which we all mingle and drink beer.


Friends Of Italian Opera's long-awaited self-titled debut album was finally released at the end of 2014, and it did not disappoint. Transporting the listener back to the 80s can be a harrowing experience, but FOIO remind us that there were great sounds emanating from that new wave time period, and they have been reborn a few decades later with style and polish.

Sebastian Friedrich's vocals unmistakably hark back to the dramatic passion found in the likes of OMD, Big Country, Depeche Mode etc, and backed by guitars and synths, it's a wonderfully fresh sound, despite being drawn so heavily from the past.

One of the most exciting new bands to come out of Chicago, and definitely a live performance not to be missed.


Michele McGuire is a singer songwriter from Chicago. Her debut album "Mid-western" is McGuire's view of growing up on Chicago's southside as well as traveling the rest of the country. Her latest EP "Off the Wagon" is a collection of foot stompin' country tunes.


The Kelson Twins are a 17 year old singer-songwriter duo from Chicago. The sisters have been singing and playing together since they could speak. The two began playing around Chicago in 2013, and haven't stopped since! Their beautiful sibling harmonies and poetic lyrics have gotten the attention of people all over the country and the world.


River Rising comprises the musical talents of Megan Deiger and Tim Hazen, whose voices tightly weave country and folk music over a backbone of bluesy sensibility. Lyrically, they capture heartache, waywardness, and emotional strength with a soulful quality reminiscent of a spiritual. Simple orchestration of accompaniment is welcome, allowing words, melodies, and often ethereal harmonies to take the lead on each song.

River Rising has played in and around Chicago in such venues as The Beat Kitchen, Bottom Lounge, Subterranean, Uncommon Ground, and City Winery. The band has performed with fellow local bands as well as national touring artists. In addition to its strong presence in the Chicago music scene, River Rising is an active contributor to the local theater and storytelling communities. The band has performed sets at Chicago's Here's the Story, Real Talk Live, and Story Sessions, and recently composed and performed an original score for the storytelling show and WBEZ podcast PleasureTown.

The band just recently released their debut 4-song EP "When I Find You."

Download: Get Off the Couch!

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