Zero 7 Takes Chicago Out of this World

Zero 7
Metro – Chicago, IL
12/4/2009

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Reminiscent of the random synchronized sounds of Animal Collective, Grammy nominated Zero 7 took the stage at the Metro on 12/4. The stage was littered with instruments- plenty of drums, acoustic and electric guitars, synth and keyboards with enough extra equipment to please even the pickiest audiophile. Two extremely talented female vocalists crushed any concern that Sia was not on tour with the UK group. Zero 7 took the stage and proceeded to take the Chicago crowd through space and time over the next few hours.
The ups and downs of the Zero 7 show follow after the jump…
Zero 7 worked hard to please the audience with favorites from previous albums while also promoting their most recent Yeah Ghost album. Not only did they play every song from the new 2009 album, but also went as far back as their debut album Simple Things released in 2001. The sound of Zero 7 has evolved in a very different way since the start of the decade.

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The sheer talent Zero 7 has for taking their audiences on a journey is mystifying. Very reminiscent of the style of music in the 70’s when a song was not some catchy verse backed by auto-tune and generic drum beats. Zero 7 took the Metro on a ride through the Yeah Ghost album almost seamlessly transitioning from song to song. Nearly every performer on stage was featured in a solo. Of course the vocalists’ stood in the limelight, but there were a few heavy guitar or drum solos rocking throughout the night. There was also an intense light show with the singers’ silhouettes created by blinding stage lights pouring into the audience. The entire show seemed to feature an outer space theme what with the majority of the electronic music sounding almost martian in nature. However, the flow of songs seemed somewhat distracted switching set transitions from an upbeat “Ghost Symbol” followed by the the soulful “Destiny”. There were also a few technical problems that weren’t too noticeable. The crowd was thrown off a few times, yet ultimately it did not kill the chill vibe of Zero 7’s performance.

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After the long, raucous applause for an encore, the audience received another letdown with the first song of the encore set- an unplugged (read: lethargic) version of “In the Waiting Line.” They picked the tempo up for the rest of the encore finishing the show with “All of Us”, the last song on their 2009 album. However, by that time some of the crowd had already headed downstairs to Smart Bar. Zero 7 are spectacular artists, but for a few reasons the show didn’t seem focused. All in all, Zero 7 performed an above average show.

Zero 7’s album Yeah Ghost was released in September 2009 with mixed reviews.

Written by: Blake Russell

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