August 27, 2015

by Arielle Gordon

Photo via @TheSecondCity
Second City Fire

Yesterday a grease fire at Abodo Grill in Old Town set Second City Theatre ablaze; the fire took two hours and two injured firefighters to successfully put out. Luckily, no one in the theatre sustained injuries, and it appears that the main stage, located in a building next door, remains entirely intact. Unfortunately, many of Second City's administrative offices, as well as the surrounding area in Piper's Alley Mall, weremostly destroyed by the fire. As of now, all Second City shows and classes are cancelled and they are taking it day-by-day:

Luckily, the Second City staff was not alone in their suffering in a town renowned for its comedy community. iO, formerly Improv Olympic, pitched in, allowing Second City workers to use their box office to call ticketholders about show cancellations.

While the theatre survived, the historic 19th century building wasn't as fortunate:

The roof of the 19th century building collapsed, but the stone walls were still sound, Langford said. The Department of Buildings was evaluating the structure Thursday for safety issues, a department representative said.

Langford said the Second City lobby suffered water and smoke damage and that runoff water from firefighting operations had posed a serious threat to the theater itself.

"We had thousands and thousands of gallons of water running out, going into the street and pooling above the theater," Langford said. "We had to redirect it down so it wouldn't collapse (the ceiling) into the theater."

"We could be up and running tomorrow, or it could be as long as a week," Second City's Tyler Alexander told the Chicago Tribune.

In case you haven't boned up on your improv knowledge in a while, most of SNL's original cast, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Dan Akroyd, as well as modern favorites like Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert and relative newcomers like Cecily Strong have all called Second City home. Needless to say, if the Chicago fire department hadn't acted quickly at the historic site, the fire could have torn another huge part of Chicago history with it.

August 21, 2015

John Oliver

Tickets went on sale today for 12/30 and 12/31 John Oliver shows at Chicago Theatre. They're selling really well, so a third show was just added! It also happens on 12/30, but at 10pm. Tickets for all three are at Ticketmaster.

August 17, 2015

John Oliver

The man behind one of our favorite shows on television right now has a big live show announcement!

Live Nation and Madison Square Garden Entertainment announced today that Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning writer John Oliver will return to stand-up comedy at The Chicago Theatre on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 7:00PM. Tickets will go on sale Friday, August 21, at 10:00AM.
Tickets range from $55.00 to $75.00.

UPDATE: A second show was added~ The new date is New Year's Eve and tickets also go on sale this Friday at 10am.

UPDATE 2: Third show added.

Last night on Last Week Tonight , John took on televangelists. Watch below....

Continue reading "John Oliver takes on televangelists, playing Chicago Theatre.... TWICE (update: 2nd show added)"

August 6, 2015

July 30, 2015

Toyota Tent

Lollaplooza is this weekend, and like previous years, the Toyota tent is hosting some bonus performances, some of them curated by BrooklynVegan. More info at BrooklynVegan. Map and written-out schedule below...

Continue reading "Lollapalooza Toyota Tent 2015 Schedule (Twin Peaks, Glass Animals, Gogol Bordello, Twin Peaks, Albert Hammond, more)"

July 21, 2015

Donovan Wolfington

As we mentioned on BV Austin, New Orleans indie-punks Donovan Wolfington are releasing a new album and touring this year. The tour hits Chicago on August 12 at Subtearranean (downstairs) with their labelmates Ratboys. Also on that bill is Mimisiku and Flesh Seeds. Tickets are on sale now.

Full tour schedule and more info here. Listen to their new single below...

Continue reading "Donovan Wolfington playing Chicago with Ratboys on tour"

July 20, 2015

photos by Cory Dewald

Chance the Rapper / Caribou / Waxahatchee / Viet Cong
Pitchfork Festival 2015
Pitchfork Festival 2015
Pitchfork Festival 2015
Pitchfork Festival 2015
Pitchfork Festival 2015

Chance the Rapper called it a "historic night for me," and delivered a multi-faceted show to make good on his claim. The South Side rapper struck a tone that was by turns defiant, demanding and wistful, saying that the set represented a capstone to an era for him in many ways, and that "I want to grow up." He handed the spotlight to his trumpeter, Nico Segal, a k a Donnie Trumpet, in a white tux, then took everyone to church when he brought out gospel composer Kirk Franklin and a white-robed choir. - [Chicago Tribune]
The 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival wrapped up on Sunday (7/19) with sets from Chance the Rapper, Courtney Barnett, Run the Jewels, Jamie xx, Caribou, Waxahatchee, The Julie Ruin and more. We published a set of pictures on BrooklynVegan already and a second set are in this post.

Complete coverage of Pitchfork Fest is here. More pictures from this set of Day 3, below...

Continue reading "more Pitchfork Fest day 3 pics: Chance the Rapper, Courtney Barnett, Caribou, Waxahatchee, Viet Cong, Julie Ruin & more"

photos by Cory Dewald

Ex Hex / Sleater-Kenney / Future Islands / New Pornographers
Pitchfork Festival 2015 - Saturday
Pitchfork Festival 2015 - Saturday
Pitchfork Festival 2015 - Saturday
Pitchfork Festival 2015 - Saturday
Pitchfork Festival 2015 - Saturday

This is my eighth Pitchfork Festival, and Sleater-Kinney's headlining Saturday night set was easily the greatest Pitchfork performance I've ever seen. As ever, they're a seething, emotional, spectacular force. Corin Tucker used to take a few songs to get her feral howl warmed up; here, she launched right in, 0-100 real quick. And by the time she hit a huge final note on a devastating version of "Sympathy," I was a sobbing wreck. Her and Janet Weiss throwing their arms over each other's shoulders and waving as they left the stage was a life-affirming sight. New touring multi-instrumentalist Katie Harkin was a fun addition, filling out the songs with whatever extra sounds they needed. Still, whenever she left the stage, I'd get excited because it would mean that they were about to get into some old shit. (The new No Cities To Love songs sounded great, but only "A New Wave" brought the instant endorphin-rush joy-tingle that the best S-K songs have always given me.) -[Stereogum]
Here's another set of pictures of Saturday (7/18) at Pitchfork Fest which featured sets by Sleater Kinney, New Pornographers, Ex Hex, Kurt Vile, Future Islands... and just a little rain. Even more Pitchfork coverage is here, and more of this set below...

Continue reading "more Pitchfork Fest day 2 pics: Sleater-Kinney, Ex Hex, Future Islands, Ariel Pink, A$AP Ferg, New Pornographers & more"

July 19, 2015

photos by James Richards IV

Wilco @ Day 1 / Sleater-Kinney @ Day 2
Wilco @ PItchfork 2015
Sleater-Kinney @ Pitchfork 2015
Pitchfork 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival is underway in Union Park and we've got pictures over at BrooklynVegan from Day 1 (Wilco, Panda Bear, Mac DeMarco & more) here and here, and Day 2 (Sleater-Kinney, New Pornographers, Shamir & more) here.

The fest wraps up today (7/19) with sets from Chance the Rapper, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Run the Jewels, The Julie Ruin, Viet Cong, Courtney Barnett, Perfume Genius, and more. You can watch it live from your air conditioned home, too, as it's streaming live.

July 17, 2015

photos by James Richards IV

Raekwon & Ghostface Killah

The curtains were opened, revealing a larger-than-life sized backdrop of the album cover as the introductory track, "Striving for Perfection" played in its entirety. Fans eagerly began to put their hands together to form the Wu-Tang symbol and soon thereafter Raekwon would emerge. Wearing a two-piece black and neon green outfit, the emcee went into "Knuckleheadz" and "Knowledge God" before "Criminology," which paved the way for a New York Yankees jacket-sporting Ghostface Killah to take to the stage.

The immensely popular "Ice Cream" and "Glaciers of Ice" followed, with patrons reciting the lyrics line for line as if they'd written the songs themselves. Tunes like "Ice Water" and "Guillotine" weren't as familiar to some, but the die-hard fans didn't seem to miss a beat. Raekwon requested for the lights to be all blue for the Blue Raspberry-assisted "Rainy Dayz" and Ghostface quipped that the two emcees will still be performing 20 years from now with dentures in their mouths in addition to giving a shoutout to the Cavaliers and asking if they'll be back in The Finals next season.

Other songs from OB4CL included "Wisdom Body," "Verbal Intercourse," "Can It Be All So Simple (Remix)" and "Incarcerated Scarfaces" among others. The Wu-Tang canon of material is exceptionally deep and as is such, songs like "Protect Ya Neck," "Wu-Tang Ain't Nothin' to F*ck Wit," "C.R.E.A.M." and "Da Mystery of Chessboxin" all found a way into the show. [Clevescene.com]

Raekwon and Ghostface Killah brought their tour supporting the 20th anniversary of Rae's classic album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to Chicago on Tuesday (7/14) for a show at House of Blues. The above review is of the Cleveland show they played two days later.

More pictures, including shots of opener Dillon Cooper, below...

Continue reading "Raekwon & Ghostface Killah celebrated 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' at Chicago's House of Blues (pics)"

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