My Bloody Valentine
November 3rd, 2013
Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
Walking through the doors of Aragon Ballroom for Sunday’s My Bloody Valentine show, I knew I was in for a one-of-a-kind show. That’s because for the first time ever, I was actually handed earplugs by the staff at the door and was asked twice by security double-checking that I got my set of earplugs. The reason for this is My Bloody Valentine’s notoriously deafening shows, with the Irish shoegaze band building a sound so large it’s jarring every time it kicks in. The band released its third album earlier this year and its first in 22 years (a smash success by our estimation), and the band delivered cuts off all three albums with equal levels of success.
Who: Pearl Jam
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago IL
When: July 19th (and 20th), 2013
It was a Friday evening, and despite not having tickets to the grossly over-priced (in terms of resale, anyways) Pearl Jam concert, I was still making my way over to Wrigley Field to meet up with some friends in an attempt to score a deal, when I noticed on my Yahoo weather app that Chicago could be in for some nasty storms that night. I didn’t really think anything of it, other than it could only better our chances at getting a cheaper ticket. Having seen Pearl Jam twice live previously, and the fact that it was 2013 and not 1998, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to pay the ticket broker the requested amount of $400 minimum for a ticket. Nonetheless, my brother and friends were already in the show, and a lifelong friend/total Pearl Jam junkie Jason was in town for Pitchfork Festival. So, why not see if the stars aligned and a ticket just happened to fall in our laps, right? Luckily, that is exactly what happened.
Half Way Home
It’s usually pretty unlikely that video of a live show catches my eye online, as most video footage fails to capture the fullness of the live experience. But Angel Olsen has proved one of the exceptions, the St. Louis born but Chicago-based singer/songwriter has a voice and the songwriting chops to knock you out, even through the doldrums of Youtube. Not only that, but being associated with folk troubadour Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) and sounding a bit like Joanna Newsom, Olsen sounds like she was pretty much made to make fellow LxLer Austin cry tears of joy. I went back this weekend to check out her 2012 sophomore album Half Way Home, and find it, and her, to be a clear, simple beautiful voice amidst a sea of gimmicks and irony that fill the current music scene.
Million Dollar Quartet
June 20th, 2013
Apollo Theatre, Chicago, IL
I have always had a fascination with musical talent scouts like Ahmet Ertegun, Berry Gordy, and Sam Phillips, who discovered and were able to identify talent when they saw it and capitalize on it time and time again. So I was excited to see the musical Million Dollar Quartet, not just for the reliving of a legendary night in rock ‘n’ roll history, but also to see a little bit more into the character of Sam Phillips, who for all intents and purposes is the main protagonist in the musical, even if the picture is a shallow and glamourized portrait of the famous musical producer. I found the musical to really highlight the charisma of Phillips and be a thrilling live musical performance from start to finish.
The Rolling Stones
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Todd and I went through a flurry of emotions this past Tuesday night when we headed down to the United Center for the 50th Anniversary tour of the Rolling Stones: excitement, anger, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, and then joy and ecstasy. So let’s start from the beginning.