The first thing you’ll see when you open Pacifico’s website (https://www.pacificorock.com/), aside from the anticipated ad for their new album, is the phrase “Pacifico is not a band. It’s an idea“. Actually, this is more than just a phrase for the band, it’s the motto, the whole motivation behind its music and performances.

Pacifico is a solo project of singer, guitarist and song-writer Matthew Schwartz. Matthew has put together several albums, such as Without Heroes (2013) and Everest (2017) while working with various musician friends. ‘Everest’  crystallizes Pacifico’s growth since its beginnings in 1999, with a much more established indie style. Nevertheless, we can still appreciate the different artists’ touch, providing the listener with a collage of musical experiences.

Since October 12th, Matthew and his wife Eva Schwartz (who performs with him) have been on tour around the United States to promote Pacifico’s Everest album release. Fortunately, one of their stops was the Elbo Room in Chicago last Saturday, and we were able to attend the show and write about it.

The Elbo Room is an intimate bar with a live music venue, a great atmosphere and decent acoustic. To quote Michelle B. on Yelp: “it’s a different atmosphere, kind of like going to someone’s super cool basement that has a bar and a good sound guy”. The walls and tables are covered in flyers and stickers of various bands and past concerts, giving off a strong rock feel. The slightly underground yet somewhat glamorous mood of this locale could not have been better for a band such as Pacifico- two performers, the instruments and the speakers filling up the stage.

For the one hour duration of the show, Matthew played guitar and sang along to some of their best songs, while Eva played the synthesizer and controlled some of the playback accompaniments, such as drums and bass. Overall, they both synced very harmoniously, engaged the audience a lot and put on a fantastic show; which felt like watching a world-class band in the intimacy of their house. Some of the highlights were “Need To Dismantle” and “If Love Is Love (Then Let Us Try)”, huge anthems of their indie yet eclectic sound. Definitely a band to follow from now on, and an experience I would totally repeat!

-Javier Sorribes