Vallis Alps – Sold Out at Schubas Tavern [Review]
David Ansari and Parissa Tosif of Australia started making music in 2015. They create smooth electronic dance music that holds a hint of pop and just enough bass to make one dance. They call themselves Vallis Alps and they are currently touring Australia and the United States, hitting many U.S. cities for the first time. The duo has only an EP and new single out at the moment, yet 90% of their tour is already sold out. They stopped at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern last week for another sold out show and gathered, even more, fans as they hit the Windy City for the first time.
Supporting Vallis Alps was a one-man show by the name of Matt Maeson. He had a singer-songwriter air to him as he simply played guitar and sang his heart out to the crowd. In between songs he told a couple stories about each track as well as funny anecdotes, such as drinking whiskey on a Wendy’s roof and passing out before waking up sunburnt. Just a guy and his guitar, the set was very low-key and heartfelt. Some couples in the crowd even had a slow dance or two as he sang his songs. Maeson’s music seemed as though it would be perfect over coffee and a cigarette in the morning, preferably on a rainy day. His last tracked picked up a bit as he had the crowd belt out parts of the chorus with him, ending his set on a more upbeat note.
Schubas Tavern was filled with the likes of stylish hipster ladies and their boyfriends/girlfriends. The crowd remained tame throughout the evening, aside from those at the main bar watching the Blackhawks play hockey. Following Maeson’s set, the Vallis Alps fans filled the Tavern and it was suddenly easy to tell that the show was very sold out.
When the lights went dark and Vallis Alps took the stage, the crowd suddenly came alive. Parissa donned a beautiful black and white floral kimono-style dress and an updo, while David wore an oversized white sweatshirt. From the beginning, the push and pull of their style filled the room. Each song went from soft to hard, then back again. Parissa started each track with her beautiful crisp voice echoing through the room, resonating from her heart through to the crowd. Then David came in with his bass-filled production.Their influences clearly jump around, with each breakdown echoing softer versions of dubstep, trap, and house. They worked together at times to help create the full, deep sound the crowd came to see. Parissa on the drum machine and David playing with his MIDI board opposite of his female counterpart. They played the entirety of their Vallis Alps EP, but played several new tracks. “Young” got the largest reaction from the packed audience, especially when Parissa changed up the lyrics to say “those nights back in [Chicago].” They ended the set with their latest single “Fading,” and the crowd couldn’t resist cheering for more.
The stage setup for Vallis Alps was extremely modest. The stage remained darkly lit and the backdrop only held ambient tie-dye colorations on the projection screen behind the duo. It allowed the audience to truly delve into the music itself, focusing only on the beat and Parissa’s flawless singing voice. Yet, the stage almost seemed too modest. The production coming from David remained larger than life in between the soulful lyrics of each track. The two could easily have huge LED walls and high-energy visuals if they so desired. It’s possible that Vallis Alps decides to boldly remain less bold than the rest of the electronic artists out there. No frills, no gimmicks, just raw talent. Regardless of what was on stage, the music coming from it held high esteem.
Vallis Alps is currently continuing their tour, but very few shows still have tickets available (for very good reason). Check out their famous EP at the top of the page, and see if they are coming to a city near you on their website.