Loma, Jess Williamson take over Schubas


    Jess Williamson opened the show for alternative trio Loma at Schubas Tavern on Friday, May 11.

    Loma — with opening act Jess Williamson — truly saved the best for last for their U.S. tour with their gig at Schubas on May 11.

    Formed in 2016, Loma is an alternative trio comprised of Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski and Jonathan Meiberg. Their debut self-titled album was released on February 16, and they have now embarked on a 20-date tour that eventually led them to Schubas — one of Chicago’s hidden gem concert venues.

    Along for the ride was Jess Williamson, an Austin-based indie musician. Together, the two performers put on a show that will not soon be forgotten.

    As indie rock softly played while the crowd waited in anticipation, the venue quickly filled with individuals of all ages — many clasping drinks in their hands and talking amongst themselves.

    Celebrating the release of “Cosmic Wink” — her third album released the day of the show — Williamson took the stage with her band to deliver a memorable opening performance. Sounding as ethereal as Lana Del Rey, Williamson’s vocals did not waiver throughout the entirety of her set,  and she gave an especially strong performance during the songs “I See The White” and “Dreamstate.”

    Comparing the last leg of the tour to the last day of a childhood summer camp, Williamson’s gratefulness was evident as she thanked those around her, giving a special shoutout to Duszynski for helping her record her album. In a comedic exchange between her and the crowd, she misidentified members of Duszynski’s family after seeing how happy two middle-aged women were at the mention of his name.

    What truly stole the show was the last song of her set, “Mama Proud.” Red lights illuminated the venue to reflect the intensity of the song,  matching the power of Williamson’s vocals.

    The transition between the two acts was impressive, as Loma took the stage almost immediately following Williamson’s performance.

    Clad entirely in a bright yellow outfit with the rest of the band dressed in darker colors, Cross was almost trancelike as she delivered angelic vocals to open the group’s set with “Who Is Speaking?”

    Next up, the group performed a heart-wrenching performance of “I Don’t Want Children.” Her face was almost obscured entirely by the dark lighting — a theme consistent with the more emotional ballads — as she poured her heart and soul into the vocals.

    Cross’s soft stage presence was exemplified through a short anecdote she shared about working at the venue when she was younger, as well as when she put in two multi-colored earbuds to perform “Shadow Relief.”

    In what was definitely a first-time experience at any show, Cross pulled a black marker from her drum and pranced to the far-right side of the stage while the band strummed on. There, she began doodling on a pad of paper. What started as a simple arch transformed into what can best be described as an emo rainbow situated upon a half-shaded ground.

    The drawing was revisited later on while the band played instrumentals. This time, the picture became a depleted looking home with messy shrubs surrounding the hovel. This artistic display by Cross added a unique dimension to Loma’s performance that made the entire experience all the more powerful and entertaining.

    “Relay Runner” truly was the showstopper — and it honestly should’ve closed the set. The intensity that built in the song could be felt in concertgoers’ chests as the connection between them and the band crescendoed to an all-time high. As the music swelled, Cross’s hair fell out of her delicate bun while jumped around stage, truly feeling the music.

    The sheer talent displayed by these acts — along with their eccentrically soft stage presences — easily classify them as two undiscovered artists wholly deserving of becoming mainstream. It won’t be shocking when they sell out arenas one day.