Chicago’s emerging soul, hip-hop and rock duo, Iris Temple, performed its first headlining show at Schubas Tavern (3159 N. Southport Ave.) April 16. The group brought its signature good vibes and infectious energy while blending a variety of genres to create its unique, diverse style.
Despite the intimate crowd at Schubas, the duo — formed by high school friends Quinn Barlow, 21, and Quinn Cochran, 22 — made the small concert venue feel like an amphitheater with the help of its live band.
Iris Temple often creates intricate and smooth soundscapes for the studio cuts of its songs, and the result is much more produced and hip-hop oriented. During its live shows, however, the group leans harder toward a soulful, rock sound, giving any fan of its studio work a reason to travel to see Barlow and Cochran perform live.
The show opened with “Parade,” one of Iris Temple’s best songs to hear with a full band. Off the extended-play (EP) “Vistas,” the song fluctuates between R&B, rap and classic rock, featuring a guitar-shredding solo from Cochran which set the energy for the rest of the show.
“Ferns,” the typically minimalist song of the group’s EP “Duality,” was given new life onstage with a fleshed out sound, complete with a powerful drum beat and even stronger harmonies. With more than 600,000 plays on Spotify, “Ferns” stands as Iris Temple’s most listened-to song on the streaming platform.
In addition to performing richer, more energized versions of its own songs, Iris Temple invited guests on stage throughout the night — the biggest being R&B artist Xavier Omär. The duo opened for Omär on his debut “Pink Lightning Tour,” which remains its biggest tour to date. Together, Omär and Iris Temple performed Omär’s hit, “Blind Man,” to an enthusiastic crowd.
Iris Temple ended its short set with “Lemonade,” a rousing fan favorite which had hands waving along in the air to the optimistic, care-free lyrics. Cochran invited two friends on stage, a trumpeter and a saxophonist, both of whom took solos for the extended performance of the song. “Lemonade” showed Iris Temple’s potential of dabbling with live group jams accompanied by diverse instruments and adding texture to the duo’s already unique sound.
Iris Temple’s music is available to stream and purchase on Spotify and Apple Music, respectively.