photos by Chase Turner, words by Zach Pollack
The Magnetic Fields @ the Vic
Tuesday night (3/28), the Magnetic Fields polished off their two-night affair at the Vic with opener, Chicago songstress Kelly Hogan. Bachelorette opened on Monday (pictures and review from night one are HERE).
Kelly Hogan, backed by Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough, took the stage around 8PM and jumped straight into "Dusty Groove" off of her forthcoming LP, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, a song written by Catherine Erwin of Freakwater. Concertgoers unfamiliar with Hogan's vocal stylings were definitely in for a surprise treat as her powerful yet inviting voice wafted throughout the theatre. She went on to play most of her new record, including offerings from Andrew Bird ("We Can't Have Nice Things"), Robin Hitchcock ("I Like to Keep Myself in Pain"), and the late Vic Chesnutt ("Ways of This World"). Her highly skilled backing band also contributed to vocal duties, helping to create gorgeous three-part harmonies throughout the 45-minute set. Before exiting the stage, Hogan and co. pulled out a cover of the Magnetic Fields' "Papa Was A Rodeo" off of the seminal LP 69 Love Songs. I Like to Keep Myself in Pain hits stores on July 5 via Anti- Records.
After a brief intermission, Stephin Merritt's Magnetic Fields began their set with "I Die" from 2004's i. As Rachel mentioned, they definitely have a schtick, validated further by their next song, "A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off." Speaking of decapitated animals, while Monday night's stage banter focused a lot on dead things, as pianist Claudia Gonson pointed out from the stage, Tuesday was strictly centered around bunnies and unicorns (so she wouldn't have bad dreams). Of course, Stephin found a way to make this somewhat violent (unicorns impaling bunnies with their horns) and totally hilarious throughout their set.
The packed crowd seemed satisfied-though-subdued and didn't really express much enthusiasm until the band played "Reno Dakota." The group focused heavily on 69 Love Songs, opting to play tracks like "Come Back from San Francisco," "Roses," "Love Is Like Jazz," and "Grand Canyon" from the album while also featuring tracks from their most recently released album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. Before playing its lead single "Andrew in Drag", Stephin dryly said, "This is the soundtrack to our video." "Quick!" came next with the added anecdote, "This is the soundtrack to our next video."
Like the previous night, the Magnetic Fields finished off the show with the two song encore of "Tar-Heel Boy" and "Forever and a Day." Check out the full setlist below.
They continue to tour throughout North America until mid-April, hopping the pond to begin a European tour in the UK.
More pictures and the setlist from the 2nd of two Chicago shows, below...
The Magnetic Fields...
The Magnetic Fields Concert Setlist at Vic Theatre,
Chicago, IL, USA on March 27, 2012
A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off
Your Girlfriend's Face
Come Back From San Francisco (*Stephin Merritt lead vocals)
No One Will Ever Love You
I've Run Away to Join The Fairies
Plant White Roses
Drive on, Driver (*Stephin Merritt lead vocals)
My Husband's Pied-A-Terre
Time Enough for Rocking When We're Old
The Horrible Party
Smoke and Mirrors
Goin' Back to the Country
Andrew in Drag
Busby Berkeley Dreams
The Book of Love
Fear of Trains (*Shirley Simms lead vocals)
You Must Be Out of Your Mind
Swinging London (*Claudia Gonson lead vocals)
It's Only Time (*Shirley Simms lead vocals)
Smile! No One Cares How You Feel (The Gothic Archies cover)
Tar-Heel Boy (*Shirley Simms lead vocals)
Forever and a Day