Category Archives: Concerts

Ágætis byrjun

Jónsi, Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL, April 28, 2010

Jónsi's Icelandic spectacle

It has been about a year since music publications began posting their “best-of” lists of the previous decade. Most of these lists included Sigur Rós. Their second LP Ágætis byrjun, released worldwide in 2000, is appropriately titled: Icelandic for “A Good Beginning”, it was the first of four well-received albums in eight years. Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

Passion Pit: Round 4

My opinions on Passion Pit are pretty well known among the handful of you who might read this, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

Congress Theater: I have a love hate relationship with Congress Theater. The space is huge (capacity 4000) and every show I’ve seen there was sold out and either pure dance or highly danceable rock, so it is a constant 120 degrees inside. I guess they can’t avoid that and maybe for dance that’s ok. ($5 bottles of water is not ok, but alas…) On a positive note, this was the most prompt show I’ve seen there. Their usual M.O. is one headliner, two openers and four to six local DJs, with a 1+ hour wait in the will call line. (I wish this was hyperbole.) This time, we got first opener at 8:00, second at 8:45 and headliner at 10:10. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

Puscifer: Not Your Dad’s Band

Puscifer

Without a doubt, this was the strangest concert I’ve ever attended. There were moments of wicked musicianship where I wished I had been able to convince someone to come with me and there were other moments when the show was so crass and in-the-gutter that I would have blushed and apologized to my unsuspecting guest. (“Did I say I love these guys? I meant I’d heard a few things. But I never would have brought you if I knew they were going to say/do/sing that!) Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

Blues Harp Night at SPACE

Eric Noden and Joe Filisko

Eric Noden (left) and Joe Filisko

Did you know that serious harmonica players call their instrument a harp? I did not, but for some reason I find that incredibly cool. This sweet naming scheme leads to events like “Blues Harp Night” which my housemate and I attended last night at SPACE (Society for the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Evanston). The double bill included the duo Joe Filisko and Eric Noden opening for the (what I’m told is legendary) Jim Liban Trio. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

From Athens to Chicago: Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine

2009 was a busy concert year for me. I saw 19 concerts and two 3-day festivals for a total of over 70 different artists (a half dozen of which I saw a second or third time before the year’s end). By contrast, I saw one concert in 2008 and a scant few my entire life before that.  It is perhaps fitting then that my inaugural 2010 rock outing was to see the first proper rock band I ever saw, the Athens, Ohio indie/folk outlet Southeast Engine which I grew to love during my years at Ohio University. The group led a night of Americana rock at Schubas Tavern with support from Peoria native Jared Bartman and Chicago band Chaperone. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

Uppers and Downers

the xx (top) and Friendly Fires (bottom)

the xx (top) and Friendly Fires (bottom)

I forget the actual wording, but as we waited for the bus my friend explained that if the concert we were off to see were drugs, it would be the equivalent of a downer followed by an upper. I don’t agree completely, but that is one of the more colorful ways of describing how odd it is to combine the xx and Friendly Fires. Both bands are relative newbies (one album apiece) from Britain, but the former tends toward darker dream pop while the later is decidedly dancey. Just look at the photo! I love both albums though, so I didn’t care.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music

A Taste of Scotland via Philadelphia

A Sunny Day in Glasgow

A friend and I went to see A Sunny Day in Glasgow at the Bottom Lounge a couple of nights ago. The Philadelphia noise/dream-pop band is touring in support of their second album, Ashes Grammar. On an unrelated note, there were two representatives from Glenfiddich distributing much-appreciated free samples of 15-year old whisky the same night.

My first introduction to the shoegaze/dream-pop genres (which also originated in Scotland) was through My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless, which I listened to almost nonstop during a month-long exam period in undergrad. I found the combination of textures, melody, rhythm, and noise fascinating, and a year ago I was fortunate to be able to see it recreated live.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Concerts, Music