March 10, 2014 / 12:30 pm

GEMS feat. For the Foxes at IMU

Live from Bloomington is a branch of the student Union Board that you may not be so familiar with. Founded in 1986, Live from Bloomington was created to support local music through an annually released record full of local artists. The proceeds from this album went to support the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The series of albums has lapsed since 2010, but the Live from Bloomington series has been revived and a new album is in the works. This new album will be a double release including a disc full of greatest hits from the past compilations. The Live from Bloomington crew is planning a CD release show of sorts and the album will be carried at vendors around Bloomington. And as it turns out, a $5 album packed with local tunes may also be a $5 ticket into the Little 5 concert. A small number of the albums will contain a golden ticket that will gain the owner entry into the Little 5 concert.

The most recent project of Live from Bloomington has been the running Gallery Evening Music Series, or GEMS, which are acoustic shows featuring local Bloomington musicians held in the IMU. This week’s GEMS session was a special event featuring the New Jersey band, For the Foxes.

Tessa Angermeier, a singer/songwriter, kicked off the evening, armed with a well-arranged setlist of covers. Highlights included a sultry folk version of “Toxic” by Britney Spears, peppered with Angerneier nailing airy high notes, an on point “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus cover and then transitioned into “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift, and finally a really well-adapted, sexy version of “Say Ah” by Big Sean. Following Angermeier was Reverend House and the Pulpit Bullies, who added a Western blues vibe to the night. To be honest, I was too distracted by the surprising amount of soul coming from the singer’s voice to catch the name of all of the songs the duo played, but there were some Rolling Stones covers along with a Son House song. The talented guitarist matched the singer’s sound perfectly with his bluesy offshoots and slide, and they made for a potent combo.

The main event, For the Foxes, has a sound that lends itself really well to an acoustic performance, and they seemed perfectly comfortable in the coffeeshop/acoustic setting. It’s not often you can see a band like For the Foxes in such an intimate, casual way, and there was a sense of specialness to it. Having a bit more experience, not to mention equipment, than the other acts, For the Foxes had a streamlined, smooth set that included “The Revolution,” “Moonlight Ride,” “Son of a Gun (We Have Fun),” and “Running Back to You.” The guys kept up a great positive energy, which was appreciated considering they may be used to playing to a little larger crowd/venue. This show was treated as a performance and For the Foxes didn’t cheat anyone on talent or showmanship. They threw in a spotless cover of Bastille’s  popular “Pompeii” even garnering, to my surprise, some actual crowd participation, and treated the audience to a self-admittedly less practiced version of “Story of My Life” by One Direction that still seemed super-polished, not to mention super fun. Check out the links for a couple of songs by For the Foxes, and if you dig it, check out the other link which will take you to a free download of some songs the band recorded on their iPhones that are shockingly good quality.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Live from Bloomington or want to suggest a band (or musical friend) to be on the local compilation album, shoot an email to Check out the next GEMS show this Wednesday, March 12 at the Starbucks in the IMU.