Foreign Family Collective/Counter Records released Kasbo’s debut studio album, Places We Don’t Knowon March 23, which peaked at No. 11. The 22-year-old instrumentalist’s creation was deemed a “sonic bildungsroman” or “work of art,” one contributing factor to selling out 10 of his 11 North American tour dates.

Chop Shop & 1st Ward in Wicker Park is Chicago’s best-kept secret; from garden kale to Gothernburg’s Kasbo, this 6,000 square foot abode’s astounding acoustics, as well as two-story view, enriches the artist/audience relationship. The venue’s womb-like environment coupled with Kasbo’s tranquil sound made for a perfect arrangement.


Lush greenery framed an adapted Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows quotation: “Is this all real? Or is it just happening inside my head? Of course, it’s happening inside your head … why should that mean that it’s not real?” Carl Garsbo (Kasbo) strummed his sleek electric guitar in front of the backdrop, alternating between drum mallets, a midi pad and a Mac computer.

Kasbo’s “Never Be Like You” flip encouraged eye-closing, body-flowing dance moves to the aria’s aqueous swing. Applause ravished Carl after he thanked my city for its hospitality and walked off stage left. “Encore, encore,” shouted everyone and their mother. He reappeared. Soon, soaring hydrangeas garnished Garsbo’s future bass Fetty Wap remix. Truly, what is life?

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