Glittermouse Concert Review

Playing The Orphanage on November 2, 2008, Illinois’ own Glittermouse took command of the stage for an energetic, albeit short, set.

Sharing a bill with The Get-Rites and Rumi, Glittermouse played a “themed set” of songs they “never play.” This included old and new material -  playing re-workings of some older numbers and requests from the audience.

As mentioned, Glittermouse, consisting of Michael Koester (Vocals/Guitar), Jeremey Mumenthaler (Bass), David Bock (Drums), Emily Sorlie (Vocals), Shauna Eng (Vocals), Rob Vignisson (Guitar), and Jon Radtke (Effected Bass), played their set with a vigor that filled the room with excitement as audience members cheered and even danced to songs such as “Bouquet” and “Wake Up and Dream.”

Performing that night as a cohesive unit, Glittermouse burned through their set with a precise fury, jumping, stomping, and dancing as they poured their hearts into their music. This was most evident during the song, “Touched,” wherein lead singer Michael Koester seemed to almost feel the words he was singing, cringing and smiling at specific lines in the song as it built itself up to its cacophonous finish.

Members of Glittermouse relax before the show.

The performance of the Band was top notch, with little in the way of poor form from any of the members. However, as is from time to time at live shows, the sound mixing was somewhat off, giving too much emphasis to the guitars, and at times completely drowning out the two backup singers as well as the lead singer himself. But, despite that niggling issue, the set was a success. It showed that Glittermouse really has the chops to take their music beyond where most bands sputter and stall on their road to fame; becoming a band that’s respected as artists and not just an also-ran.

Now, generally, a review of a concert would not include much of anything about the venue itself aside from a brief mention. In the case of The Orphanage, however, it would be a disservice not to write about it.

Founded about five years ago, The Orphanage has become what is arguably the most unique concert venue in the city of Chicago. Located in a converted auditorium at First Trinity Community Center, The Orphanage plays host to a variety of bands and performance artists every Sunday night (and occasionally on Saturdays).

The space itself has a warm “coffee house” kind of feel to it with tables, couches, and chairs placed facing the main stage and concert floor. Around the space are numerous works of art and decorations from a variety of artists that make the venue seem to come alive in a lush forest of color and vibrant imagery. Trees made from drum stands rise from the tops of tables with ribbons and such attached to their branches, making the eclectic collection of tables themselves works of art; blending them with the scenery.  

One of the many aspects of The Orphanage that sets it apart from every other concert venue in the city is the food. Included in suggested donation for admittance, The Orphanage serves up a rotating menu of hand-made food and desserts, as well as coffee and tea. Prepared fresh by Spoon (also known as Mark), the food is arguably better than what one could buy at the store.    

A sample of the design of The Orphanage.

The Orphanage was built up by a collective, including Mark, the venue’s founder, booking agent, and cook. According to Mark, the idea for the venue came when -as his own band grew out of the “bar scene”- a desire for a different kind of performance space developed. Renting the room at the community center, Mark and others built the space up with “second-hand” materials creating, little by little, a comfortable, inviting, all-ages concert venue/performing arts space that is certainly one of the best the city has to offer.

For a list of upcoming Glittermouse live shows and to sample some of their music, please visit

The Orphanage is located at 643 W. 31st St., in Chicago, ILTo learn more about The Orphanage, including a schedule of upcoming shows, please visit

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