words & photos by John Yingling
"Ted Leo was swell. Enough to make the peeps I know buy stuff. Which was great. But you frickin Aderall kids need t'learn to dance, bejeebus." - Linus Lee
"My dog is going to be pissed. Fuck him. It's Ted Leo." - Michael Gibson
"Ted Leo at the Fireside Bowl tonight. #1997?" - Mike Kinsella
"It's good to be back at the Pritzker Pavilion", Ted Leo joked at the sold out show at the iconic Fireside Bowl. "Compared to the bathrooms of old, it really is like the Pritzker Pavillion". The Eternals warmed up the crowd, and were exceedingly better than the last time I saw them. Proggy, fuzzy, screamy, they blended a gamut of sounds that won everyone over, especially Ted Leo. He thanked them for "leaving a splinter of a stage for us to play on" (and later tweeted "EEEEEYYAAAAAAAAH I wanna move to Chicago and just be in the Eternals!! #SoGood")
Unlike the previous day's Pritzker Pavillion where they played Tyranny of Distance in full, the set consisted of a wide array of cuts from the band's history. The crowd threw jokes about his cut-off jean shorts, and Ted said his knee felt better. Even with a strained knee, he hopped around with all the normal energy. I was unfamiliar with a chunk of the set, but came away a bigger Ted Leo and the Pharmacists fan. Those who weren't dancing had huge smiles plastered across their faces, likely happy to just witness Ted in one of his old stomping grounds. A great intimate performance, by a true front-man.
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Ted Leo & the Pharmacists