Matthew E. White Show Review

Matthew E. White

April 2nd, 2015

Schubas, Chicago, IL


One of the best books I’ve read the last few years was David Byrne’s biography/how-to hybrid How Music Works. In it, Byrne talks about how much space, economics, and touring inform music and recording, which is something many listeners (at least this listener) don’t often think about. For example, a band might decide not to include a trumpet in a song because it would be hard to recreate live since you don’t want to pay a trumpeter to tour with you just for one song. Also, a band might decide to keep an album spare or minimal so it’s easier and cheaper to recreate live.
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TV On The Radio Show Review

TV On The Radio

The Metro, Chicago, IL

March 23rd, 2015

TV on the Radio Live Chicago

It’s no secret we love TV On The Radio. Whether it’s on record or on stage, the noisy Brooklyn indie rockers deliver time and time again. However, until late last year, there was a long period of time (nearly four years) we didn’t hear from TV On The Radio , partially due to other projects like production efforts for David Sitek but primarily the break was related to the loss of their bassist Gerard Smith, who died of lung cancer shortly after the release of Nine Types of Light in early 2011. I saw the band that summer in support of the album, and they understandably lacked the drive and energy I had seen from them in the past. Fast forward to now, it seems the hiatus has done the band well, as not only do they sound revitalized on their solid new record Seeds, but they seemed alive again on stage at the Metro in Chicago, a venue way too small for a band of their stature but one they are fond of and played at frequently in their early days.
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The Who’s Tommy: Musical Review

The Who’s Tommy


Paramount Theater, Aurora, IL


Adaptations of things we love can change our relationship with the source material. The best adaptations add new dimensions and new understandings of the source material (see NBC’s Hannibal or Johnny Cash’s cover of NIN’s “Hurt”), helping you to understand how rich it is or a different side of it. The worst adaptations make you question the source material and why you ever liked it in the first place. Unfortunately, the latter is the case with the Who’s Tommy. The album that birthed the rock opera, Tommy helped me grow an appreciation for the concept record and the Who themselves. In college I saw the movie which features the likes of Tina Turner and Elton John, which is absolutely terrible, but I just counted that as Hollywood screwing it up.
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Black Lips and King Khan Show Review

Black Lips with King Khan and the BBQ Show

September 19th, 2014

Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, IL

Black Lips Show Review

Punk shows are timelessly great. You usually get at least three acts, each playing tons of songs (thanks to their 2-3 minute run times), and non-stop energy from the crowd for very little money. We caught the Southern garage punks Black Lips, King Khan in punk rock duo form with the BBQ Show, and a solid opener in Heavy Times for just $18 at the perfect venue for a punk show, Logan Square Auditorium. The venue is primarily a ballet studio, but it feels like half-high school gymnasium half-ballroom, thus making a very conducive spot for a punk show. All three bands showed their stripes in what turned into a killer Friday night.
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Zac Brown Band Show Review: How Ticketmaster, LiveNation, and Verizon Ruin Music

Zac Brown Band

Maryland Heights, MO

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

September 12, 2014

zac brown band


Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, MO is the seventh level of hell.
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Pinestock Festival 2014 Recap

Pinestock Music Festival

September 6th, 2014

Churubusco, IN

 pinestock music festival 2014 recap

Churubusco, Indiana isn’t known for much beyond turtles (it’s high school mascot) and this creepy burger restaurant with clown dolls, but Pinestock Music Festival in the last four years has given Churubusco a new name. And that’s home of one of the best fests in the Midwest.
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Arcade Fire Show Review Royale

Arcade Fire, Dan Deacon, and Devo

August 30th, 2014

United Center, Chicago, IL

LxL_ReviewRoyale_01Arcade Fire Show Review

Wes’s Thoughts:

Groupon is best known in the concert world for getting you discounted tickets on bad 90’s acts like Scott Stapp or 80’s hair bands like Poison, but for once, it paid off in the world of indie rock. Arcade Fire, the overly-ambitious suckers they are, put on two nights at United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play which seats over 20,000, and since the band isn’t quite on that level, we landed Groupon tickets (and pretty good seats at that) for just $22. We’ve made our lack of love for Arcade Fire known over the years, but for $22, you get to at least see Funeral songs and Dan Deacon and Devo (who we love), so you can’t miss.
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