Wilerado and Mt. Joy shred at The Salt Shed

One of Chicago’s newest music venues puts on a show.


Anna Swenson

Mt. Joy bass player, Sam Cooper, performs solo at The Salt Shed.

Anna Swenson, Assistant Editor

On Aug. 21, Wilderado, a Tulsa, Oklahoma band, opened for the larger Philadelphia band Mt. Joy at one of Chicago’s newest venues; The Salt Shedd. This new venue, while still under construction, has two stages: one indoor and one outdoor.

Performing first, Wilderado is a five-piece band led by singer and guitarist Max Rainer. With additional members including Tyler Wimpee (guitarist), Justin Kila (drums), David Arthur Simpson (bass) and Jack Malonis (multi-instrumental) this band is currently signed with Bright Antenna Records. The band is an indie-rock band known for combining rock with a little bit of country to create some of their most popular songs like “Rubble To Rubble” and “Surefire”.  Their set mainly focused on their newest album “Wilderado” with additions of songs from their 2017 album “Latigo EP”. 

Although lacking in lights and theatrics, the band had great stage presence and a great connection with the crowd. You could tell that the band truly enjoyed performing and loved every second of their set. Because of the smaller popularity of the band, the crowd was all fans of the band and knew lyrics to create a lively energy. Fan favorites included “Mr.Major” and “Head Right” which brought the biggest reactions from the crowd. This band was a perfect opener for their more popular counterpart.

Mt. Joy is also a five-piece band led by lead singer Matt Quinn and accompanying members Jackie Maclau (piano), Sam Cooper (guitar), Sotiris Eliopoulous (drums) and Michael Byrnes (bass). The band had amazing musicality with great solos specifically coming from Maclau and Cooper. Named after a mountain in Valley Forge the band combines indie-rock music and folk music to create a unique heartfelt blend. 

They’re on tour for their 2022 album, “Orange Blood” with some songs from their 2020 album, “Rearrange us”. Their performance included top-notch lighting courtesy of The Salt Shed and lasted over an hour which is a great run time for a smaller band. Their performance was a magical and captivating experience that is a great experience for anybody interested in exploring new bands. 

Both bands are great performers and musicians. From the versatility of the instrumentals to the quality of theatrics I highly recommend listening to both bands and giving The Salt Shed a visit.