Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
April 30, 2010
One night, one venue, three distinct shows by three individual artists. Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom hosted radio one hit wonder Owl City, new wave synthpop indie chick LIGHTS, and epic blow-you-away soon-to-be-opening-for Muse alt rock band Paper Route for an evening deserving of the title “Battle of the Bands.” All featured artists on the bill flaunted their raw talent and songwriting skills, venturing to upstage one another, which only helped to create a night of continual musical and emotional escalation. Indulging in a beer seemed sacrilegious at a show overpopulated with underage kids sitting atop their parent’s shoulders. America’s Millennial Generation Z has traded in their pop star sensationalism (ahem, Miley Cyrus) for the synthesized beats of Owl City, shocking the slightly older Generation Ys (AKA me) in the crowd with their trendy taste in music.
More photos of Paper Route and the set list after the jump…
Set List / Chicago
Enemy Among Us
You Kill Me
Dance On Our Graves
The entire country knows that Nashville breeds country music stars. However, as artists such as Kings Of Leon have begun emerging from the Music City, we should take notice of what the Volunteer State has to offer. A prime example is Nashville’s Paper Route. The Tennessee quintet was the first band to take the stage, presenting the perfect model of an up-and-coming alternative rock band rough around the edges, yet emphatically talented.
While Kings Of Lean rely heavily on inimitable vocals emanating from frontman Caleb Followill, the boys in Paper Route depend on their ample instrumental capabilities and natural finesse for originating a distinct and unparalleled sound. Go ahead and try to name another band whose sound you would compare to Paper Route. Difficult? Thought so…
Fresh off their tour with Paramore last fall, Paper Route is currently promoting Absence, their first full-length album release on a major record label (Universal). Though touring with Muse might be a more appropriate fit for Paper Route, the guys flawlessly set a precedent for LIGHTS and Owl City to follow. Paper Route put on a such a spectacle that if you flinched for even a moment, you were bound to miss something. Case in point: Paper Route’s backstage crew rushing to the stage during the band’s final song, banging on drums perfectly in sync with McDonald, then sprinting out of view, awaiting the end of the set.
Paper Route is slated as a band to watch in 2010. After last Friday night’s performance it is abundantly clear why music fans around the world need to see and hear the group: an eclectic sound, undefinable genre, true musicianship, and bona fide talent. A Paper Route concert is not an event where you find yourself absent. It is in your best interest to be present the next time they play Chicago.
Chad Howat (bass, piano, programming)
Andy Smith (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Gavin McDonald (drums)
J.T. Daly (vocals, keyboards, percussion)
Written by: Kate Jacobsen
Photographed by: Jennifer Boyer