Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Van Halen Visits Chicago

I’ll just put it to you this way. It was very exciting to some when they heard about the Police reunion tour, especially when it was announced that the concert would take place at Wrigley Field. Still others were excited when they found out that Pearl Jam would be headlining Lollapalooza 2007.

Now with the news of a Van Halen reunion (David Lee Roth is back, bassist Michael Anthony has been given the boot in favor of Wolfgang Van Halen), where does this fit in with the big rock shows of the year?

So far the two shows are October 16 at the Allstate Arena and October 18 at the United Center.

Not So Free After All

I’m not a heavy metal fan but was certainly intrigued when I heard about this year’s Ozzfest and the decision to make it a free event. Between the $20 parking fee (it’s usually free), poor stage setups and amplification, and lack of star power, it seems this falls into the “you get what you pay for” category.

So, did anyone go Ozzfest this year?

Lollapalooza Wrap-up

Here are the capsules for my three days at this year’s Lollapalooza. Friday, Saturday and Sunday all provided interesting sets with my favorites of the weekend being Muse, Daft Punk and TV On The Radio.

I also checked out Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and G. Love on Thursday at Subterranean, a DJ set at the Hideout with Ted Leo and Britt Daniel (Spoon), and capped it off Sunday with Peter, Bjorn & John and Los Campesinos at Double Door. Whew! See ya in 362 days!

Gabriel Kahane

If you’re going to the Hilary Hahn/Josh Ritter concert at Rivinia on Friday night, for an extra Hamilton* you can stay and attend the new “Club Ravinia” in the Dining Pavilion private dining rooms. Friday will feature Gabriel Kahane who will be performing his oddly charming piano numbers, including the Craigslistlieder — art piano pieces based on Craigslist personals. You can hear some of his songs on his MySpace page.

* $10, that is. And that includes a drink.

Decemberists Rain On Millennium Park

So, do you think the Pritzker Pavilion or the City of Chicago was ready for the crowd that bombarded Millennium Park last night? My friend that I went with has been to a few shows and has never seen a third of the folks that were there. On the pavement, lining the sides, all the way into the garden areas far away from any view of the stage. Crowded yet orderly, so it wasn’t as bad as it might sound.

The set was beautiful and pleasant as some 80? members of the Grant Park Orchestra added a touch of classical, great depth, and cymbals!, all heard crystal clear on the most unbelievable surround sound system. The real fun started when the orchestra left the stage along with band.

Upon the band’s return Colin invited those in the back to come on down and fill in some of the unoccupied seats and aisles. I can only imagine the jaw-dropping of the organizers and peace officers after his comments. Hell this was supposed to be a classical music show! Two minutes later his wish was granted as several hundred folks ran past a few security guards, one of which seemed to be taking the whole thing personally like we were crashing his backyard party.

Once down with the well-dressed Colin added a few lines of The Smiths’ “Ask” as his crew started up “16 Military Wives”. There was plenty of singing, jumping, clapping, all being carried out with a team effort. Even those in opera glasses joined once they understood the younger folks were just there to have fun, and not rape their daughters or steal purses. The last song wound down with those on stage falling to the ground and the audience screaming as they were being consumed by a whale.

Pitchfork Wrap-up

I’ll take a guess and say that very few MetroBlogging readers attended the Pitchfork Music Festival (prove me wrong and leave a comment). I had plenty of yard work and house fixing to do but blew all of that off for some sun, beer and music, music, music! The festival has been well-covered in the papers and on the blogs and I’ll echo that it did seem more crowded than last year, at times the food and washroom lines were very long, sound problems existed during many of the sets and the Balance Stage was far too cramped for the popular performers.


Stephen Malkmus

That being said the weekend was a blast with non-stop artists from the very quiet to the very loud. There were plenty of great sets and a few stinkers too. Of course there were choices to be made and I couldn’t see everyone. My favorites included Sonic Youth and their incredible “Daydream Nation” set, The Twilight Sad, Voxtrot, Girl Talk, Menomena, Of Montreal and New Pornographers. Others that turned in exceptional slots were Grizzly Bear, Fujiya & Miyagi, The Ponys, Junior Boys, Jamie Lidell, Stephen Malkmus and De La Soul. Whew, that was a lot to cover in nearly twenty hours at Union Park. See you next year!

The Twilight Sad

Of Montreal

Pitchfork Picks

Don’t just take my word for it. Time Out Chicago has gathered up some local bloggers (including yours truly) to give you their takes on this year’s Pitchfork Festival.

Read on for the can’t-miss sets, must-miss snoozers and more. Are you going? What sets will you be seeing from the front row and which will you be listening to from the port-o-potty?

Great Performers Of Illinois

Great Performers Of Illinois returns to Millennium Park August 10-12 and has a little something for everyone. It includes rock, jazz, folk, country AND western, hip hop, blues and classical artists. Yes it’s another FREE event (yeah!) and artists include Mavis Staples, The Shoes and others to be announced.

I don’t think I made it to any of the shows last year. Did you?

Got Extras?

If you have extra tickets for one of the Police shows at Wrigley Field, you might have a hard time unloading them. Seems Cubs’ season ticket holders bought up a whole bunch thinking they’d be able to sell them at a profit, and guess what, they can’t! Ticket brokers also got in on the action of buying up what they could, so now everyone has a problem.

Of course, if you are looking, you may be in luck!

Punk Planet folds

Chicago’s Punk Planet magazine has been hit by distributor bankruptcy woes and is ceasing publication with issue 80 (the website and book imprint will continue). Tom Breihan at the Village Voice remembers what Punk Planet meant to him:

I don’t know if I can in good conscience call Punk Planet a consistently great magazine. Their reviews section was always butt-ass terrible, an overlong string of three-sentence snippets on self-released seven-inches that nobody would ever really need to hear. PP usually had some really long and ranty political articles, which I’d usually not read and then feel vaguely guilty for not reading, like I wasn’t doing my punk duty or whatever. It also had a sex-advice columnist who usually made sex sound like the most tedious thing on the face of the earth. Still, I’m not sure I can adequately describe how important a magazine Punk Planet was for me.

(Chicago-related publisher McSweeney’s is also struggling from a different distributor’s bankruptcy and is having a big sale in response. You can pick the new book Comedy by the Numbers, co-written by the Annoyance Theater‘s Gary Rudoren, for a cool $10. And Gary will be reading from the book at Quimby’s (1854 W North) with Mr. Show’s Bob Odenkirk on Sunday, June 24.)
(via Bookslut and Gapers Block)

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