Category Archives: Concerts

Califone at Empty Bottle

As I listened to Califone play, I thought to myself that this band’s music seems composed entirely of grace notes. Sure, there are melodies, lyrics and all the traditional trappings of standard pop, but what makes it so enjoyable is everything else. Twittering rhythms and layered sounds are accentuated by subtle and ever-changing percussion. There are bells and rattling beads and wind chimes and stings and grungy, dirty, grinding bass guitar licks all floating below Tim Rutili’s ghostly voice. To say the music is just grace notes isn’t fair, but it characterizes how different this group’s sound is. It’s post-rock and experimental, but with a folk heart and loveable DIY aesthetic.

Califone

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How much live music can you get for the price of a laptop? (Part 2)

NOTE: Because this review is so long, I’ve split it into two posts. This is Part 2. Part 1 is available here.

Where was I? Oh yeah, lots of memorable concerts this year…

Rogue Wave – August 6 @ Hard Rock Café, Chicago

Rogue Wave

“Hi. We’re Rogue Wave and this is the strangest show we’ve ever done.” Continue reading

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How much live music can you get for the price of a laptop? (Part 1)

NOTE: Because this review is so long, I’ve split it into two posts. This is Part 1. Part 2 is available here.

After my interest in live music blew up last year, I began keeping track of all the acts I was seeing. Dates, venues and ticket prices all dutifully went into my files. Now as 2010 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to sit down and look a little closer at the numbers; now I have quantitative proof that this was a great year for music! Thankfully, when I counted it all up, I didn’t actually spend as much money on concerts in 2010 as I thought I did. In total, it was only about as much as a new laptop, and looking back, I think it was money well spent. Continue reading

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A Rehearsal among Friends: Two Nights of A Perfect Circle Live in Las Vegas

A Perfect Circle

View from the third row, night one

I realize that I’m prone to hyperbole and am always speaking of “my favorite drink” or “the greatest song ever” or that one time that was “the best,” but believe me (if you can) when I claim that A Perfect Circle is among my absolute favorite bands of all time. Ever. And if you are looking for me to back up yet another audacious claim, take the fact that I flew to Las Vegas to see them as proof. Continue reading

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Dark and Heavy: Massive Attack Pound it Out

Massive Attack

The boys from Bristol did not disappoint. After a long, long wait, I managed to cross one of my dream bands off the list of “must sees” when I caught Massive Attack this past Friday at The Riviera here in Chicago. For a band that on album tends toward “chill,” the set ran decidedly heavy, but really that’s what you want out of a live act. There were the obvious hits, but I also really dug that they reached into the back depths to pull out some lesser known, but still excellent tracks. And the visuals were simple, but wildly effective. Continue reading

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Caribou in the Park

Caribou

"Handsome Dick" Manitoba is an ass.

When the schedule for New Music Mondays, a free concert series at Millennium Park, was released a couple of months ago, I made a note to see Caribou in the second week of July. Due to the clutter of things to-do that have occupied my mind as of late (hence, the once-a-month blog posts), the concert nearly slipped my mind. Although I had other nagging tasks, I looked over to Cloud Gate during the trip north on the 6 bus to a temporary home, and impulsively jumped off the bus.

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But I hate when I feel like this and I never hated you

Frightened Rabbit

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (picture via "rokbun - Scotland's Live Music")

I had chills this morning, and they weren’t because of Chicago’s unseasonable frost warning. They came, instead, from listening to “Poke” off the 2008 album Midnight Organ Fight from Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit. The album is a colossal breakup album with songs that swing funny, angsty, defiant and, in the case of “Poke,” downright movingly sad. Continue reading

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