It was a lovely Saturday night in Chicago. The weather was perfect and the city was alive and aching for good music. On a night where so many good shows were happening, Midwest Action threw its hat into the ring and hosted an evening of acoustic and folk acts at the Tonic Room.

Mitch McLaughlin popped on stage and surprised everyone with a powerful solo performance. He touched on tunes from his February release, Mitch McLaughlin is My Best Friend, and even played a few from his upcoming follow-up. The room quieted for Mitch’s performance, and we soaked in every second of the songwriter’s acoustic melodies.

Mitch McLaughlin

Doubling the amount of musicians on stage was Chicago-based duo Bittersweet Drive. Despite a sneak attack by an ant (seriously though – how did it get there?), they played an amazing set filled with some original tunes, some covers, and a bunch of great banter. Having only listened to them online prior to their performance, their live show and harmonies were everything the recording promised they would be. We were happy to have them return to the Tonic Room and play such a textured set.

Wild Hands took the stage last, winning hearts with their upright bass and folky tunes about Minot, North Dakota (and, I guess, Colorado, too). The group made an excellent introduction to fans they most likely hadn’t yet met, and played one hell of a show. All the comfort and talent I’ve felt for the past few months while enjoying their bandcamp translated perfectly into their live performance. From start to finish, I was wrapped up in their set, and may have even been inspired to dance – whether or not the whiskey and beer special influenced that is up to you.


Again, thank you to all of the bands and musicians for playing – you made this an awesome event. And thank you to the Tonic Room for hosting and to everyone who joined us for another great, music-filled night. As always, we’re looking forward to many more good times.

Wild Hands Official | Bittersweet Drive Official | Mitch McLaughlin Official
Photos by Dan Jarvis.