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
The Metro, Chicago, IL
March 23rd, 2015
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
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 with King Khan and the BBQ Show
September 19th, 2014
Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, IL
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
Maryland Heights, MO
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
September 12, 2014
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, MO is the seventh level of hell.
Continue reading “Zac Brown Band Show Review: How Ticketmaster, LiveNation, and Verizon Ruin Music”
Pinestock Music Festival
September 6th, 2014
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, Dan Deacon, and Devo
August 30th, 2014
United Center, Chicago, IL
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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