The Felix Culpa’s Final Show at The Metro 12/9

The Felix Culpa Final Show Poster at the Metro

Felix Culpa Final Show
When: Friday, December 9th, 2011 (5pm – 10pm)
Where: The Metro – Chicago, IL
Tickets: All Ages / $11 Purchase via The Metro here
Doors: 5:00 PM  Start Time: 5:45PM

The Felix Culpa announced that after 8 years they would be breaking up the band.  Before doing so they are hitting The Metro in Chicago one last time on December 9th, 2011.    Their set will be 2 hours and feature album favorites from the early years to the present. Also on the bill to help celebrate the band’s final so are El Oso, Sainthood Reps, and Monday’s Hero.

The Felix Culpa’s official statement:  “Eight years ago we decided to be a band. Tonight we decided to stop. Whether you have been with us since the Divine Cup days in Rockford, IL or you heard us for the first time tonight, thank you. With every ounce of our four hearts, thank you. You have been the reason we were The Felix Culpa and each one of you were with us all along. For those of us in this band, it has been a life changing experience that profoundly shaped who we are as people, but seasons change and songs end. Now, we humbly ask you to be with us one last time as we celebrate the music, friendship and memories that were made along the way in a final performance in Chicago… Until then, chin up. No tears. Only from endings can new beginnings be born.”

The Felix Culpa’s new “Sever Your Roots / Bury The Axe” LP+EP is out now on No Sleep Records.
www.thefelixculpa.com
www.myspace.com/thefelixculpa
www.nosleeprecs.com

Foals! Showing Chicago Who’s in Charge

Foals
Metro – Chicago, IL
4/26/2011

Foals is:
Yannis Phillppakis (Vocals, Guitar, Live Drums)
Jack Bevan (Drums)
Jimmy Smith (Guitar)
Edwin Congreave (Keyboard, Backing Vocals)
Walter Gervers (Bass, Backing Vocals)

The night started out early for the younger crowd as they filled out the Metro by 6pm on a Wednesday evening. As people were trickling in, the Naked and Famous had already begun to play. It was a night of firsts for the band as they announced that it was the first time they were playing in Chicago, and the first time they were performing so early. By the time they finished their set the venue still seemed only half full.

Next up Freelance Whales took the stage. I was ecstatic, knowing that they played an eclectic range of instruments from the electric guitar, to the harmonium, banjo, mandolin, and glockenspiel; they were able to impressively incorporate them all onstage. Their songs are very serene and melodic; therefore the crowd seemed calm. It was only after halfway into their set, 6 songs to be exact, that the crowd began to get restless. It seems a bit ridiculous for a band that has only released one album, containing 13 songs, to play a 12 song set. After they finished their last song, the crowd was more than ready and thrilled for Foals.

The change in energy was drastic. The crowd went ballistic the moment that lead singer Yannis stepped on stage. They opened up with “Blue Blood” a single from their latest album Total Life Forever. They rocked on playing their hits “Miami” and “Spanish Sahara.” They also kept going back and forth into playing songs like “Olympic Airways” and “Balloons” from their debut album, Antidotes.

Yannis is definitely a force to see as he fully utilized the stage jumping, head-banging and stomping all around. He even whipped his hair back in forth so well that willow Smith would be proud. The energy that the crowd had pent up during the first two acts was definitely felt all through Foals’ set. Luckily they are the main act; otherwise they’d be a tough act to follow.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

METRO * SMART BAR * DOUBLE DOOR

JUST ANNOUNCED – ON SALE NOW IN METRO:
Saturday, March 12: MIDDLE BROTHER (featuring members of Dawes, Deer Tick & Delta Spirit) * DAWES * DEER TICK

ON SALE THIS SATURDAY 1/22 @ NOON IN METRO:
Tuesday, April 26: (JAM) FOALS * FREELANCE WHALES * THE NAKED AND FAMOUS

ON SALE THIS SATURDAY 1/22 @ NOON IN SMART BAR:
Sunday, February 13: MICHAEL SERAFINI * KID COLOR * ADULTURE

Wednesday, February 16: FARLEY JACKMASTER FUNK * GENE HUNT * CRAIG ALEXANDER * DJ BOXX * CZBOOGIE (Czarina 5 Magazine)

Sunday, February 20: TIM ZAWADA * MICHAEL SERAFINI * KID COLOR * ADULTURE

Sunday, February 27: THOMAS ROLAND * MICHAEL SERAFINI * KID COLOR * ADULTURE [Read more…]

METRO: THE OFFICIAL BOOTLEG SERIES VOLUME 1 TO BE RELEASED ON METRO’S ANNIVERSARY JULY 22

METRO: THE OFFICIAL BOOTLEG SERIES VOLUME 1 TO BE RELEASED ON METRO’S ANNIVERSARY JULY 22

In honor of Metro’s 28th anniversary this month, the venue will release its very first CD project, “Metro: The Official Bootleg Series, Volume 1” on July 22, 2010. An album many years in the making, the album features ten tracks recorded live at Metro including contributions from The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, Sleater-Kinney, The Decemberists, Indigo Girls, Alejandro Escovedo, The Sea and Cake, Tortoise, Alkaline Trio, Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and Kurt Elling. All artists have generously donated the use of the tracks, and all profits from sales of the CD will be donated to Rock For Kids, a local charity which provides music lessons for underprivileged youth in Chicago.

[Read more…]

Holy Cow! It’s Holy Ghost!

Holy Ghost!
The Metro – Chicago, IL
5/26/2010

While Holy Ghost! may not be exactly the religious experience you were hoping for, these dance rockers are mid-explosion on the indie scene. Their first single, “Hold On,” is still pushing its way through the blogosphere, catching short glimpses of their future success in previous hits. Shoving the chillwave movement aside, these rockers are steadily forging their way into your most essential summer playlists.

[Read more…]

Sleigh Bells Slay Chicago Scene

Sleigh Bells
The Metro – Chicago, IL
04/29/2010

Once M.I.A. got her hands on Brooklyn-based team called Sleigh Bells, their unofficial fame has skyrocketed. For a band that has only released a few (insane) tracks, the blogosphere is all about this two piece band. In theory, the band seems extremely inaccessible: combining heavy dub beats with hardcore electric guitars and one previous pop princess? Sounds like a recipe for loud, ear-splitting noise. Yet, in its bizarre execution, I cannot get enough. [Read more…]

Dr. Dog Dominate the Metro

Dr. Dog
The Metro – Chicago, IL
4/16/2010

Dr. Dog Metro

The Dr. Dog quintet took the stage – after some delay – and then proceeded to unleash 22 songs spread across 90+ minutes of gapless throwback gems.  The band seemed to genuinely enjoy Sean Bones, as did I.  I had heard a five song promo that previewed the LP Rings prior to the show and had thoroughly enjoyed the fun and bouncy “Easy Street.”  Indie in spirit, though nothing like the other Brooklyn bands, Sean Bones moved from a quote “sad fuckin’ song,” to “Easy Street,” to a “smoky kind of song,” all within the realm of upbeat Babyshambles-esque (especially the song “I Wish”) catchiness.  In addition to taking advantage of a sold-out Dr. Dog tour in support of their new “Shame, Shame” disc, Sean Bones had a new single to boast , “Rumba Beat,” which came near the end of the set, and earned one of three stars in my show notebook.  Sean Bones’ other star came on the closer, “Sugar In My Spoon.”

[Read more…]

Miike Snow Knows Pop, Ignores Pop

Miike Snow
The Metro – Chicago, IL
04/04/2010

Within months of the release of their debut self-titled album, Miike Snow has collected fans from all over the US and UK. I am 99% certain that anyone reading this article is familiar with their previous work. Most notably, their work co-writing and producing (as Bloodshy & Avant) the track “Toxic,” made famous by Britney Spears. Coincidentally, the single was Britney Spears’ one and only Grammy award win.

Yet, I am surprised at how far the Swedes from Miike Snow have come.

[Read more…]

Alkaline Armageddon in Chicago!

Alkaline Trio
Metro – Chicago, IL
2/28/2010

Alkaline trio 11

There’s nothing like seeing a band on their home turf. The energy in the room is unparalleled. This was not my first time seeing Chicago’s hometown heroes, Alkaline Trio, but this was an especially awesome show. If you’re an Alk3 fan that remembers and misses the early days this tour is made for you.

[Read more…]

In Photos: The Academy Is… @ The Metro Chicago

The Academy Is…
The Metro – Chicago, IL
2/6/2010

The Academy Is... The Metro - Chicago, IL 2/6/2010

The Academy Is… hit the Metro in Chicago for their 5th Anniversary show, and they played to a sold-out crowd.  Here are some photos that captured the spirit of The Academy Is…and their fans.

Photos of the Academy Is… at the Metro in Chicago:

Peaches: WTF?

Peaches
The Metro – Chicago, IL
11/20/2009

Peaches The MetroPeaches… What to say about Peaches? Well According to her website “Peaches has always trafficked in subversion. Having held the attention of international audiences for a decade, now she reveals new dimensions of her artistry. A revolutionary figure in 21st century electronic music, Peaches can also reference the innovations of like-minded icons who preceded her with cool assurance. Peaches is still Peaches. “I have a strong image and a strong character,” she admits.”

Peaches The MetroI didn’t know much about Peaches, I heard a couple of her songs before, and I thought they had cool beats and everything, but I knew I could never listen to her music at work. Because she sooo explicit! Although she has some songs that aren’t so bad, the songs that are raunchy… ARE very raunchy!! She does not hold back or censor herself. An example is her song “Fuck the Pain Away” wow! You can imagine what the song is like if you don’t already know how hardcore that song is. She can create vivid images in your head with her lyrics alone.

As far as her performance at the Metro November 20 here in Chicago goes, to me it was the craziest, scariest, and weirdest concert experience I have EVER had! I couldn’t even stay for the whole thing. I was scared and confused. It was like a female Kiss Concert or something. Her hair and makeup was mad crazy along with her wardrobe. She opened standing on top of the stage with an enormously large black (I think) hair-piece and crazy make up. The audience seemed to love her and they all seemed to be possessed or something.

The lighting was really cool, and some of the beats, even though I was weirded out by the performance, I couldn’t help but too rock in my chair . My favorite part of the show was when she literally walked across the hands of the audience- From the stage to the sound board and back.

Other than that, I thought the show was wayyy far from my cup of tea. So I give the show 1 star.

I simply didn’t like it. So, I’d be happy to listen to Peaches from a distance moving forward. If you were there I’d love to hear your comments.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

Amanda Blank Dry Humps Chicago

Amanda Blank
The Metro – Chicago, IL
11/20/2009

Amanda Black The MetroAmanda Blank is awesome! Many are familiar with Amanda as the fiery vixen appearing alongside crowd and critical darlings Spankrock, and as part of the Philly-based pop group Sweatheart. Enlisting the help of uber-produers Diplo, Switch and XXXChange, Amanda Blank has made a record that is light years ahead of what anyone could’ve expected based on her guest appearances thus far. Balancing a razor-sharp wit & vocal dexterity with an unmatched stage presence, this is a woman to watch. Her record includes other such as Spank Rock, Santigold, Lykke Li and the Cool Kids.

Amanda Black The MetroAmanda came to Chicago Friday night (November 20) and had everyone at the Metro rocking out to her live and eccentric sounds. I love her style, her dancing and her energy. The girl is just plain awesome! She is out of the ordinary and extremely talented.

Many people have good albums but can’t deliver a good show, yet hands down Amanda Blank delivered! She is so exhilarating live, she dances and gets the audience hyped up and even shows some skin. She can sing, rap, and write and did I mention she can dance? She humps quite a lot, but that’s cool we all seemed to enjoy it, well, I did.

I didn’t catch all the songs she preformed from her set, but she did play “Gimmie What You Got”, “A Love Song”, “DJ”, “Might like You Better” and “Make it Take it” She didn’t give a full show because she was opening for Peaches, thus, it was a really short set. We only had a taste of her on Friday night and I think she definitely made the entire audience crave more of her.
If you don’t know who Amanda Blank is… I suggest you look her up. You are missing out on life! I give the show 4 stars, only complaint being it was too short.

http://www.myspace.com/amandablank

Tour Dates:

Nov 20 2009   8:00P     Metro w/ Peaches Chicago, Illinois
Nov 20 2009   8:00P     Metro – Amanda Blank Chicago, Illinois
Nov 21 2009   8:00P     Turner Hall Ballroom w/ Peaches Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 21 2009   8:00P     Turner Hall Ballroom – Amanda Blank Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 24 2009   8:00P     Showbox Sodo w/ Peaches Seattle, Washington
Nov 24 2009   8:00P    The Showbox – Showbox Sodo Seattle, Washington
Nov 25 2009   8:00P    Commodore Ballroom w/ Peaches Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 25 2009   8:00P     Commodore Ballroom – Amanda Black Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 26 2009   8:00P     Wonder Ballroom w/ Peaches Portland, Oregon
Nov 26 2009   8:00P     Wonder Ballroom – Amanda Blank Portland, Oregon
Nov 27 2009   8:00P     The Grand Ballroom @ The Regency Center w/ Peaches San Francisco, California
Nov 27 2009   8:00P     The Grand Ballroom @ Regency San Francisco, California
Nov 28 2009   8:00P     Wiltern w/ Peaches Los Angeles, California
Nov 28 2009   8:00P     Wiltern Theatre – Amanda Blank Los Angeles, California
Dec 30 2009   8:00P      Falls Festival Lorene
Jan 1 2010   8:00P         Field Day Festival Sydney
Jan 7 2010    8:00P        Corner Hotel W/ Major Lazer Melbourne
Jan 9 2010   8:00P        Southbound Festival Perth
Jan 11 2010    8:00P      Sydney Festival Sydney

Click on Thumbnails to enlarge images:

Murder By Death Plays Chicago’s Metro

Murder By Death
Metro – Chicago, IL
11/20/2008

Murder By Death Metro - Chicago, IL 11/20/2008Imagine walking through the backwoods of Indiana and stumbling upon an old farmhouse left untouched for decades. Enter Murder By Death and their dusty rock sound.

Before their show at Chicago’s Metro, I got to sit down with the band’s lead singer, Adam Turla. I will post the full interview within the next week and add a link here.

I became a fan of Murder after the hearing the single “Brother,” from the record In Bocca Al Lupo, a concept about sin and sinners. I caught them on tour with Clutch last spring and again this summer at Bash on Wabash. This month’s show makes for three seasons of MBD and I cannot wait for the fourth sometime in February.

J Roddy Walston and the Business, a rock quartet out of Baltimore, MD, managed to catch the crowd off guard with their in-your-face straight rock sound. After J Roddy’s energetic set, William Elliot Whitmore got intimate with the crowd; just a guitar (or banjo,) his soulful voice, and some whiskey donated by various crowd members. Turla was right, definitely a drinking crowd.

Unfortunately for me, I took Turla’s statement a little too serious and by the time Murder took the stage…well, we will just say I was having a good time. I was having such a good time that I don’t remember much of the show. Much to my surprise, I ended up with some stellar photos and even snapped a shot of the set list. Even though I didn’t snap a photo of him, Vincent Edwards, the former keyboardist was back for this show. And, there are plays to have him back full time; look for an official announcement on their web site soon.

According to Turla, their biggest crowds are right here in Chicago. That is exactly why they are coming back for three small venue shows this February. I will make sure to post once I find out the dates.

Photos of Murder By Death:

Straight From The Bayou – Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes
Metro – Chicago, IL
10/11/2008

Fleet Foxes at the Metro Chicago, ILOf all the shows I’ve been to since moving to Chicago, I’ve never felt as young as I did at the Fleet Foxes show. At shows back home in Des Moines or Omaha, I’ve always felt like I was one of the older kids at shows, and it’s weird how the music scene is so much older out here; not at all what I was expecting. This was a Sunday night show which seems to draw an older crowd to begin with, but I don’t think there were more than a handful of people in the crowd younger than 21. I find that weird because Fleet has been all over Rolling Stone and Spin ever since the Sun Giant EP came out in February.

I originally grabbed the Sun Giant EP after reading a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. After listening through the first time, there wasn’t a single track I liked. So, I ‘shelved’ it or at least as close as you can get with mp3’s. I didn’t give them a second chance until their full-length album, Fleet Foxes, came out. Make note, guys and gals, all bands deserve a second chance…unless they’re Fall Out Boy. I was slapped in the face by “He Doesn’t Know Why” and “White Winter Hymnal.” Then I re-listened to Sun Giant and found the wonderful gem, “Mykonos.” How could I have overlooked these guys?! Everyone’s allowed at least one mistake, right?

After walking on stage, the Fleet took a good 3 to 4 minutes to get situated before starting to play. The lead singer, Robin Pecknold, broke the silence with some banter before engulfing the room with luscious guitars and sweeping harmonies. Words can’t even describe the sound that filled the Metro that night. All I could do was smile. How often does a live show make you sit back and smile?

The bottom line, I’m kind of mad I listened to these guys on CD before seeing them live. It’s kind of like watching scrambled porn and then finally getting to see it in full quality…minus all the nudity. I say this, intending it to be a huge compliment. I don’t know if it’s even possible to capture such an epic sound in the recording studio. I vote the next album gets recorded live, but that’s just my two cents.

I wish I could have snagged a set-list from these guys so I could explain in more detail but the only place I found room to stand and still be able to take photos was in the balcony, so no dice.

Deerhoof @ The Metro – Chicago, October 17, 2008. New Album “Offend Maggie”

Deerhoof
The Metro – Chicago, IL
10/17/2008

Deerhoof

By 10:00 Friday, the nearly sold-out, extremely satisfied Deerhoof crowd had already dispersed from outside the Metro and was on their way. Rocking along side the far better (at least live), Experimental Dental School and Flying, Deerhoof shared songs from their quality new disc, Offend Maggie, in a set filled with all the Deerhoof “hits.”

The songs formed a collective whole, while highlights like “The Perfect Me” stood out, the incredibly tight instrumentation – aided by new guitarist Ed Rodriguez – shared by no one brilliant rock voice of Satomi Matsuzaki were the main attraction. For most of America, there’s still time to catch the band on this massive tour; definitely worth your while/money. Breakdown of the Offend Maggie essentials:

Deerhoof

Their most recent effort demonstrates the band’s staying power that has yet to deviate from quality. “Tears and Music Of Love” launches Maggie with an insanely catchy clangy guitar riff in a song that hits full force at the two-minute mark packed with drum fills, call-and response melodies of various tones and a beautiful chorus of inaudible lyrics (as often the case). The songs ends in an enchanting breakdown. “Chandelier Searchlight” follows the multi-track structure, with the almost-folky chorus and harmoization of la la las and guitar. “Don’t Get Born” is my favorite, however, weighing in at just under 50 seconds. The song works as a poem and sounds like a Japanese Nico.

Two key tracks from their best, The Runners Four:

Two of the more pop songs, though far removed from any radio airplay are: 1) “Vivid Love Cheek Song.” These bizarre lyrics are proff that Matsuzaki can pull off anything; for example, the song opens with “Baby baby hi five/Baby baby say hi” moves into Kites are flying by/Winter turns summer/Sense will be hi-fi, and somewhat justifies the “Vivd Love Cheek Song,” songtitle, I’ll paint your cheek colorfully/Will you like it to be blue, red or green? The pace of the song is what makes this song amazing, moving back and forth from reflective verses to distorion-filled anthemic chorus. 2) “Spy On You.” A creepy title proportionally creepy with Matsuzaki’s voice. The instrumentation takes on an espionage feel, while the lyrics involve an investigation in a manner that warns the song’s subject in a short of whisper.

PS I lost my pictures! The band passed out various breads (as they’ve been known to do). “Eskimo” served as the encore song. Also, there is a song about Basketball on their newest disc, if you’re still not convinced that it rocks.

Deerhoof

Be sure to check the 12-year veterans out in their remainder of their tour:

DEERHOOF
October 2008
18 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
21 – New York, NY @ Spiegeltent
22 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
23 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
24 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Starlight Ballroom – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
26 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
28 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
29 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
30 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
31 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
November 2008
1 – Orlando, FL @ The Social – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
2 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
5 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
6 – Houston, TX @ Numbers – w/ Experimental Dental School, Flying
7 – Dallas, TX @ Granada – w/ Experimental Dental School, Hawnay Troof
8 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest –
10 – El Paso, TX @ Club 101 – w/ Experimental Dental School, KIT
12 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress – w/ Experimental Dental School, KIT
13 – Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse – w/ Experimental Dental School, KIT
14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex – w/ Experimental Dental School, KIT
15 – San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine – w/ Experimental Dental School, KIT
December 2008
2 – London, UK @ ULU (University of London Union)
3 – Berlin, Germany @ Lido
5 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
6 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ Melkweg
8 – Le Havre, France @ Cabaret Electrique
9 – Rennes, France @ Antipode
10 – Lyon, France @ Ground Zero
11 – Paris, France @ Sonic Festival at Trabendo
12 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound Winter Edition
13 – Madrid, Spain @ Primavera Sound Winter Edition

Phantom Planet at Metro

Phantom Planet
Metro – Chicago, IL
9/25/2008

Phantom Planet Metro - Chicago, IL 9/25/2008

How many of you have heard of Phantom Planet before? You know, the group that helped foster Jason Schwartzman’s Coconut Records.

Now, how many of you know them outside the song “California,” the O.C. theme song? I’m willing to bet it’s not very many of you and that’s unfortunate.

“California” is a good song; in fact, it’s one of those songs your kids are going to be listening to 20 years from now. But, Phantom Planet is so much more. I was fortunate enough to see them on their current tour opening up for The Rocket Summer. Let’s just say Phantom Planet deserved to headline that show.

I got to the venue a little bit late thanks to the wonderful CTA. Anyways, I walked in on the middle of “Always On My Mind” just before lead singer Alex Greenwald launched himself into the crowd. Just another night at a PP show…

Alex is like a 10-year old all “hyped up on Mountain Dew,” he runs around the stage, jumps into the crowd, and when he has the chance, he scales the speaker stacks like he did at this year’s Lollapalooza festival. Mark Roson brought out the entire band for the cover of Radiohead’s “Just.” And afterwards, allowed the band to play their hit single “California” that appears as a bonus track on Ronson’s album Version.

Phantom Planet Metro - Chicago, IL 9/25/2008

I haven’t had a chance to meet these guys in person but I do know someone who has. He told me that Alex doesn’t slow down when he gets off stage and he couldn’t wait to “get back on the tour bus” if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. For those who aren’t, he’s a fan of women. If you watch during the show, he seems to pick someone out of the crowd and sing to them. Lucky girls.

Throughout the show, the band kept teasing the crowd knowing that most of them only knew one song. Finally, Alex announced to the crowd, “I guess we’ll play it” just before diving into “California.” Before leaving the stage, they played one last song off their sophomore album, The Guest, “All Over Again.”

Whether the fans knew about Phantom Planet before the show, or this was their first time hearing the band, they showed a lot of appreciation which was nice see.

They have a few shows left on their way out to the West Coast so if you have a chance, go see these guys and make sure The Rocket Summer knows you were there to see Phantom Planet, not them.

Hot Chip…Where’s the Salsa?

Hot Chip
Metro – Chicago, IL
09/28/2008

Hot Chip

Around 8:30 Sunday night, the synth-heavy electro-pop Hot Chip kicked off a two-night stint at the Metro. The visual duo, Growing, opened for them. Visual really isn’t my thing, I suppose if I were on acid it would be ‘wow’ but 100% sober, I just can’t get into it. Call me lame but I had the same reaction when I saw Yeasayer open for Man Man (coming to Bottom Lounge 10/18) earlier this year. -Actually, listening to them now it’s more intriguing…maybe I’ll give them another shot.

Sorry to deviate, there’s more about the actual show after the jump…

[Read more…]

Walkmen @ The Metro, September 12, 2008

Walkmen
Metro – Chicago, IL
9/12/2008

walkmen

The Walkmen took stage around 11:15 and started with the slow and reflective “New Country,” a song that uses one guitar for the sole instrumentation. The Walkmen drew mostly from the quality new album, You &Me. Before “Thinking Of A Dream I Had,” the Walkmen showcased four of their new ones – the best being by far “Canadian Girl,” which they kept beautifully accurate to the studio version.

Golem, the unusual opening band selection, boasted bouncy amusing Yiddish songs to warm the crowd up for the mostly straightforward indie-rock staple The Walkmen. Comparing Gogol Bordello to Golem is a pretty big stretch, however the sextet’s Eastern influence and accordion-led jams certainly make both acts unique within the indie-rock context. The crowd took to these fellow New Yorkers.

The Walkmen took stage around 11:15 and started with the slow and reflective “New Country,” a song that uses one guitar for the sole instrumentation. The Walkmen drew mostly from the quality new album, You &Me. Before “Thinking Of A Dream I Had,” the Walkmen showcased four of their new ones – the best being by far “Canadian Girl,” which they kept beautifully accurate to the studio version.

Hamilton Leithauser seemed genuine in his frequent mentions of how happy he was to be in Chicago playing at the Metro. The band too seemed pleased with the way the set went and proud of their new material, and stage banter was kept to a minimum. I’ve never seen Hamilton not go all out on every lyric, something that definitely held up last night. The Walkmen started to get to more familiar turf with “Wake Up,” “All Hands On The Cook,” sandwiching the very cool live You & Me track “Long Time Ahead Of Us.”

“The Rat” has seemed to overtake “We’ve Been Had” for the Walkmen’s core number (“We’ve Been Had” did not make this set). Of the 10 new ones, “Red Moon” rivaled “Canadian Girl” for the best live; “What’s In It For Me?” “The Rat” and “Louisiana” were the strong tracks that all came before the encore.

There was nothing out of the ordinary at this show, no interesting covers, but certainly no let downs whatsoever. Fans expressed their appreciation for their work, new and old, and for the encore were treated to “The Blue Route,” (which also rocked) and “Little House of Savages.”

All in all, the new songs fit in nicely with the set, and the performance went as expected: really well.

GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY @ The Metro 5/02

Ghostland Observatory
The Metro – Chicago, IL
5/2/2008

Ghostland Obervatory photo

Ghostland Observatory are an electronic duo from Austin, TX consisting of frontman Aaron Behrens and drummer/producer Thomas Turner.

Ghostland Observatory’s music is hard to describe. I’d say it’s electronic beats mashed up with old 70’s rock vocals. They describe their sound as ” a robot making love to a tree” – whatever that means………….

The last time I saw GLO was at last years Lollapalooza. They were the first band to perform on the AT&T stage – on the first day of the festival – at 12pm. I point that out because considering the time slot they were given, their performance was one of the most memorable for me out of the entire festival. Also, during the day time for an electronic group that’s made of two people – how much of a show can you give without all the fancy screens and lighting effects? – GLO definitely worked it out. Aaron Behrens is like a one man show all by himself. This man has dance moves for days and its great!

My favorite thing about Ghostland Observatory is that they aren’t signed to any major label. They operate on their own Trashy Moped Recordings and continue to gain exposure and success by themselves.

Musically this group can go either way – really great or horrible. They’ve pumped out three albums since 2005 so they stay busy but in the end it’s apparent on the albums. I’m pretty sure touring is the reason they exist. Even with that however, I hope to see them go far in their genre because I think once the kinks are worked out, they’ll provide an awesome combination of great music and amazing live shows.

Fridays performance was everything that I had been waiting for. I was a little surprised to see it was sold out. They had a lot of home state support with a good number of Texans in the audience. The crowd was a good mix of people which was another example of how hard their music is to categorize. All around a good vibe.

Behrens strolled out in his wonderful white 70’s cut suit- totally Johnny Depp in “Blow” – I loved it! and Mr. Turner performed in his magnificent cape as usual. There was POUNDING bass and a light show that seemed to flow to Behrens every move. Smoke machines, strobe lights and lots of dancing – all the essentials for a good electronic show. Just as a thought I would – I had a good time.

The Bravery Live at the Metro!

The Bravery
The Metro – Chicago, IL
4/19/2008

The Bravery The Metro - Chicago, IL

The Bravery have played in Chicago plenty of times since they jumped into the music scene back in 05′. For whatever reason, I had never been to any of those shows and on Saturday at the Metro, I finally got to see them live . I had gone into this show expecting a great vibe and a lot of dancing.

Now, I am a fan of The Bravery, their debut album (self-titled) I would consider one of the best albums released in the last five years. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same about their second release ‘The Sun and the Moon’. It was A LOT slower and just didn’t have the same energy as the one before.

The Bravery The Metro - Chicago, IL

The show had not sold out so the Metro wasn’t crowded ( I can always appreciate that) and the two openers were Your Vegas and Fiction Plane.

The Bravery opened with a great song called ”Fearless” a track from their debut. The lights went out and the sound of the organs from ‘Fearless’ began. The band takes what seems to be thier places and when the lights return, lead singer Sam Endicott is singing from the left of the stage. He eventually ends up in the center where he remained for the rest of the show.

The greater portion of the show was dedicated to ” The Sun and the Moon” with a couple of tracks here and there from the first album. They closed the show with ”Unconditional” which was a great song to end with. The actual performance was good and the interaction with the crowd was cool. I can say that I’ve been to worse shows but I did walk out a little disappointed. I think the selection for the set list was a bit off because I was waiting a through a lot of bad songs before I could get to the good ones, which doesn’t make for a fun time at a concert. It was apparent the crowd felt the same way. As I looked around, I had to laugh because it was almost as if the people were statues until any track from the fist album was played. This shouldn’t happen at a BRAVERY SHOW! but it did…

all in all I kind of wished I had seen them when they just had one album out…….oh Bravery, hopefully your third album will get me excited again…..

About Me – Jennifer Boyer – Chicago

Hi Everybody!

My name is Jennifer Boyer. I live in Chicago and work in the music industry. I am on the street team for Island Def Jam Records. I intern with the street route and promotions dept at Metro. I cover shows at Metro and Double Door. Every summer I work for C3 Presents and Lollapalooza. I also volunteer at The Hideout’s Annual Block Party and the Pitchfork Music Festival. I go to concerts almost every night of the week. I am trying to get a job at the House of Blues so I can go to shows there for free too. I have friends who work at all the major record labels and concert venues and I always go to shows with them or in their place because I would rather be at a concert or music festival than anywhere else in the world. Live music entertainment is my life. I play the piano and am a senior at Columbia College Chicago. I am majoring in Performing Arts Media Management with a concentration in Music. I may just minor in Music Business too. I also sing classical opera. I LOVE going to Broadway musicals. I have seen shows in London, New York City and here in Chicago. I love taking photographs at shows and would love to be in the photo pit one day. My top favorite bands are: Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Coldplay. My favorite singers are: Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. I have worked at WEA (Warne Music Group) before, as well as interned there and at Rockit Ranch Productions. I am a member of GRAMMY University and participate in Chicago events for The Recording Academy. I hope to vote for the Grammy Awards and attend the awards show someday!!!!!!!!