Archive for June, 2009
United Center, Chicago Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Considering the nucleus of Blind Faith hadn’t toured together since 1969, it was particularly monumental when Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood performed a short set together at Bridgeview’s Toyota Park in 2007 as part of the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Given that evening’s rave reviews and the pair’s unfathomable […]
House Of Blues, Chicago Saturday, June 27, 2009 Most people you’d ask either love or hate Better Than Ezra, but the reason is probably the same: they’re full of hooks and they’re pretty good at fishing an audience with them. The band have never taken themselves too seriously, opting instead to show their fans […]
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park Wednesday, July 1, 2009 Nigeria might be notorious for constant political turmoil, but there’s another constant in Nigerian culture that everyone should experience at least once: participating in a raucous Nigerian party with non-stop music. If you don’t have any Nigerian friends, not to worry, Ravinia is throwing a blockbuster Nigerian […]
Charter One Pavilion, Chicago Sunday, June 14, 2009 Mother Nature made a lot of people happy Sunday night, as she gave Q101, 311, and a whole slew of music fans a perfect night of weather for Q101’s annual “Block Party.” The not-quite-sold-out crowd enjoyed a beautiful summer night of quality live music, and judging by […]
Riviera, Chicago Friday, June 12, 2009 PJ Harvey has never shied away from the dark spaces. In fact, they almost seem to define her work. So it wasn’t at all unusual to find her singing “When you call out my name in rapture/I commit my soul to murder” during the opening moments of Friday night’s […]
Empty Bottle, Chicago Sunday, June 14, 2009 On the surface, Passion Pit are seemingly doing everything right. A synth and keyboard-heavy outfit, the group invite instant comparisons to last year’s heatseekers MGMT. What’s more, blogs across the Internet are heaping wild praise upon the group, with remixes of songs from the band’s recentManners (Frenchkiss) record […]
Park West, Chicago Saturday, June 13, 2009 I admit to having hesitated seeing Phoenix in concert. Bringing their artful, yet precise studio pop to the performance stage seemed as wise as transporting a world-war-trending Risk board from the kitchen to the basement mid-match.
Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago Monday, June 22, 2009 As far as indie rock goes, 2009 is the year of vindication. Brand names and especially newer artists (M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, Justice, Fleet Foxes) have had a stranglehold lately, but this year is different. Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest is widely mooted as the band’s coming out, while Phoenix have […]
Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago Thursday, June 25, 2009 Slow and steady has won the race for Au Revoir Simone. The fragile-looking trio seemed to have signed their own death warrant by holding fast to low-rent synths, individual and group introversion, and waif-y heroin chic. But this spring’s Still Night, Still Light affirms their blueprint.
Double Door, Chicago June 12 – 13, 2009 The singer/songwriter game is rife with hurdles, not the least of which are inattentive audiences. Contrary to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” rarely is anyone in the mood for a melody and leave it to pitchers of watered-down lager to keep ’em feelin’ all right.
Empty Bottle, Chicago Sunday, June 14, 2009 You can’t win these days, so don’t even try. Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos’ career came about accidentally. Dumped by a girlfriend, he turned around and recorded an EP’s worth of songs for her. Deciding they were worth more than this witless dame, he packaged them as Chunk Of […]
Bottom Lounge, Chicago Monday, June 15th, 2009 The Plastiscines, a Paris-based quartet of female musicians barely out of high school, showed a surprising command of American-style garage rock on their 2008 debut, LP 1., this despite the fact much of the disc was sung in French.