Entries tagged with: Chicago
photos by James Richards IV
Neil Diamond @ United Center -- 4/14/2015
"I grew up in this fair borough," the star said, before playing the song. "It was a great place to grow up."Brooklyn's Neil Diamond played his 2nd Brooklyn show ever, and 2nd in less than a year at Barclays Center on March 26. It was announced along with the rest of his current tour dates on the night of his first Brooklyn show which was a much shorter show at one of his old schools in September.
As home movies of his youth unspooled on screens behind, Diamond navigated what rates as one of the few, relatively subtle numbers of his career.
"Brooklyn Roads" relies on small lyrical details, a tender melody and a hushed vocal - qualities that stand in stark contrast to much of the rest of Thursday's set. Backed by a ten piece band, and two added singers, Diamond barreled through pieces that nearly always go for grandeur. They're full of horns (four here) and strings (provided by synthesized programming live) mirroring vocals that veer between the righteous and the sentimental. The result often ended up both gripping and cheesy at once. As with ABBA, it's impossible to separate what's overblown, and what's brilliant, about Diamond's songs. They're pretentious and irresistible in nearly equal measure. [Daily News]
More pictures from Chicago, along with the setlist from Brooklyn, below...
New Orleans Jazz Fest, which has much more than just jazz, returns this year for two weeks, April 24-26 and April 30-May 3. The lineup includes Elton John, The Who, Jimmy Buffett, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Pitbull (??), T.I., Chicago, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ryan Adams, Wilco, The Meters, Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy, Allen Toussaint, The O'Jays, Dr. John (interpreting Louis Armstrong), Third World, Taj Mahal Trio, Juvenile & Mannie Fresh, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Big Freedia, Galactic ft. Macy Gray, Anders Osborne, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sturgill Simpson, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, and more. Tickets go on sale at 10 AM on Tuesday (1/13).
Full lineup below...
Brooklyn punks Cerebral Ballzy and veteran Queens hip hop duo Black Sheep are teaming up for a show together on February 9 at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets for that show go on sale today at 10 AM.
Smokey Robinson is playing Beacon Theatre on June 6. Tickets for that show go on sale today at noon.
The Semi-Colons? (The Mysterians of Question Mark & The Mysterians) are playing Mercury Lounge on February 22 with The Ar-Kaics and DJs Billy Miller and Miriam Linna (of Norton Records). Tickets for that show go on sale today at noon.
Chicago and REO Speedwagon are playing PNC Bank Arts Center on August 16 and Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 17. Tickets for those shows go on sale today at 10 AM
I Am The Avalanche, The Swellers, Turnover and Bellwether are playing the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on March 28. Tickets for this punk show go on sale today at 10 AM.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
by Lukas Hodge
Cold Cave in Winslow / dancers in Pittsburgh / Cat Power in Barstow
Just after you walk through the front doors of the historic La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona, a news clipping hanging from a bulletin board reads "Another City too Strong to Die". An interesting statement when you think about it due to the fact that it suggests that in all likelihood, this is not a place that's supposed to still exist. It almost advocates feelings that this is a city stuck swimming upstream. The question is raised, what here is worth preserving? If you ask a local, or even just walk a single block through the small downtown area, you'll understand quickly that the hope of this town rests on a song written by Jackson Browne in 1972. Everywhere you go there are signs advertising the town crux: a street corner two blocks from the train station named "Standin' On The Corner" park. Dedicated to one line in a single song, it's surrounded by murals, shops, and even a bronze statue which may or may not be in Jackson Browne's likeness. The song, is of course, "Take It Easy" as performed by The Eagles. And while no other part of this tour really comes close to the level of polarization created by an arena-filling rock band, the story of Winslow works as an effective allegory to sum up the meaning of why myself or anyone rode a customized train disguised as a moving piece of art, complete with recording studio, post-production office, dining hall, and one of Frank Sinatra's private rail cars, from New York to California.
The answer comes from multi-media artist, Doug Aitken, who's devoted his life to the pursuit of collaboration and performance. The "Happenings", as Aitken branded them, were never overwhelming. The numbers were intentionally kept low at each date allowing every participant a feeling of intimacy with each piece of art they encountered, whether it be a stark and awkward Cat Power set in the backyard of a railroad inn, or a UFO high above the California deserts and a Beck set featuring a full choir. This was most noticeable at the Barstow date, a little over one thousand people showed up to the happening within the walls of at least a 4,000 capacity drive-in theater. It's obvious that Aitken's focus was not on attendance and not on outsiders but on bringing together different artistic communities that would almost never normally interact. And hey, a thousand witnesses can't be a bad thing.
Levi's ®, who made the public art project known as Station to Station possible, had their own tents that resembled nomadic sculptures, known as Yurts set up at each date where independent artists and designers could create their own denim products out of locally sourced goods under the "Makers" brand. To quote Maker Laura Sato via an interview with Vice:
The Makers yurt was Levi's® artistic contribution to Station to Station. Levi's® Makers is a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods under the label of Levi's® Makers.The yurts which were also traveling with the train and acted as evolving installation pieces. The Nomadic Sculptures range from Carsten Höller's yurt pierced with holes that visitors can throw a Frisbee through, to Liz Glynn's creation of the universe that develops at each stop. At some stops, filmmaker Kenneth Anger screened a film in his Yurt.
For the majority of the trip, we had four other Makers along with the Levi's® Tailor Shop who had their stations set up in the yurt. Forestbound (one of a kind tote bags made of salvaged materials), Folk Fibers (hand-stitched, natural dyed quilts), Junkyard Jeans (customized chain-stitch embroidery), and Tangleblue Weavers. We also had a few guests along the way for a couple stops; Cobra Rock Boot Co.(handmade boots), Chimayo Weavers, and Teranishi (leather goods).
The yurt really gave us a platform to create and collaborate while allowing the public to observe our process and ask us questions. I've worked for the Levi's® Tailor Shop making handmade goods for almost three years, but when I met my fellow Makers on this trip it really hit me what a special thing I'm a part of. I got to work and become close with some of the most inspiring and talented people, all of us tied together with the common thread of loving to create and work with our hands. There was definitely a special energy inside the yurt.
Every stop on the trip included a combination of visual arts, installations, and live music, all in a very unforgettable fashion. Some of the Happenings take place inside actual train stations (Chicago, Pittsburgh), while others exist within hubs at the creative centers of communities (Brooklyn, Barstow). How the tour arrives at each stop is the truly unforgettable part. Within each of the nine train cars, each serving a distinct purpose, it was almost impossible to find someone without their face glued to the windows admiring the little seen landscape from up on the rails or with their hands on one of the many interactive tools ("for the modern frontier") made possible by Levi's ®. Included in these was an original 1901 Underwood No. 5 typewriter linked directly to Twitter, a 1939 web-enabled Graflex Speed Graphic still cam for taking Instagram pictures, . and a 1960's Gibson hollow body plugged straight into Soundcloud.
Aitken has repeatedly begrudged the term "tour" and endorses the idea that the project is an entity which "constantly changes". All posturing aside, whatever you want to call it, it's impressive and ambitious. Each station had a very distinct feel and was drastically different from the happening prior. In Brooklyn, it kicked off in a dark noise-filled soundstage on the river with sets from electronic pioneers Suicide, tour staple No Age, and psychedelic locals Ariel Pink (who performed at multiple dates), as well as a youth marching band from Kansas City. By the time it reached Chicago, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore had joined for his set with drummer John Moloney as Caught On Tape. The Legendary gospel diva Mavis Staples also performed.
As the train rolled on, it finally made its way to the southwest and, in my opinion, its defining showcases. When the train, decorated in highly visible, flashing, LED lights, pulled up on the beautifully restored grounds of the almost century old La Posada hotel (which was the original Winslow train stop) the traveling event arguably achieved its most characterized evening. Between the location of the stage being only a few feet from the train, and the recently restored Inn doubling as a local art museum, this seemed to be the exact platform from which Levi's ® and Station to Station creator Doug Aitken wished to "make their mark". Jackson Browne tossed out a few classics before finally playing "Take It Easy, which resulted in a fevered reaction from every middle aged resident sitting in their lawn chairs. Another tour favorite was Cold Cave, who in Winslow, played atop an elevated platform overlooking a haystack maze full of puzzled onlookers.
One of the main themes being pushed was that the most important part was not the "happening", but what comes after it. For someone like Doug Aitken who's constantly looking forward to the next collaboration or project, it makes sense that the aim of the entire undertaking was to push imagination into the future while taking educated hints from the past. What better place exists than being in a shuttle riding the exact tracks that helped shape the land moving beneath it?
You already saw pictures and heard more about the NYC and Pittsburgh stops and saw a set of pictures from Chicago. More pictures and some videos from the train along with the Chicago, IL, Winslow, AZ, and Barstow, CA stops, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Beach House / Baroness / fans
We recently posted day 3 pictures of Lollapalooza 2013, and just posted a set of Grizzly Bear, and now we've got shots of some of the other artists we missed last time, like Beach House, Dog Blood (aka Skrillex and Boys Noize), Wavves, Baroness, Wild Nothing, Palma VIolets, and more.
photos by Cory Dewald, words by Andrew Sacher
The Thermals / Aye Nako @ Chicago's Ultra Lounge - 8/2/13
While we were in Chicago over the weekend for Lollapalooza 2013, in addition to taking part in all the Lolla festivities and hosting a portion of the Soundwave Tent during the fest each day, we also threw three afterparties, two of which were totally free (as was the beer, thanks to Sapporo). The second of those afterparties took place at Chicago's Ultra Lounge on Friday night (8/2) with sets from The Thermals, Heliotropes, and Aye Nako. We already posted one set of pictures from the show on BV Chicago, and we've got another in this post.
The show was an insanely fun night with three bands that complimented each other beautifully. The capacity crowd was into the openers and went nuts for the Thermals. DJ Cool Hand Luke spun the tunes before, between and after sets.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn's Aye Nako, who walked away with many new fans that night, have a number of upcoming hometown-area shows too. They'll play The Living Gallery on August 23 with DC post-punks Priests (who also play Death by Audio on 8/28), Tomboy and Bad Behavior; a New Brunswick show on September 5 with Northampton indie rockers Speedy Ortiz; their previously discussed Glasslands (9/7) show with Radical Dads (who also play the Sound Bites Series on 8/18) (tickets); and finally (for now), they were added to the Bowery Ballroom (9/16) stop on the Waxahatchee, Screaming Females, and Tenement tour. Tickets for that Bowery Ballroom show, which is now an even greater lineup that it already was, are still available.
If you haven't heard Aye Nako's debut album, Unleash Yourself yet, it's one of the best pop punk albums of the year, and a strong recommendation. Stream it, along with a list of all Aye Nako dates, and more pictures from that Lolla afterparty, below...
photos by James Richards IV
Vampire Weekend / Cat Power / The Cure
Even Goth-rockers love singalongs. After the opening synth chords, the Cure's Robert Smith begins to belt out "Just Like Heaven" and is instantly joined by a Grant Park choir numbering in the tens of thousands. Smith and his bandmates sprinkle Cure classics such as "Pictures of You" and "Friday I'm in Love" through a set that continues the weekend's '80s nostalgia theme, begun by New Order and Nine Inch Nails. Smith is in fine voice, and he even pulls off a few interpretive dance moves -- a rare bout of friskiness from a singer who still sports frazzled hair, eye shadow and lipstick. It's become his trademark, and it's turned Smith somewhat timeless -- an ageless figure still singing about a type of loss, heartache and yearning that never dissipates. [Chicago Tribune]Lollapalooza 2013 wrapped up yesterday (8/4) with sets from Cat Power, Phoenix, The Cure, Vampire Weekend, Alt-J, Angel Haze, DIIV, Bear Mountain and more. Pictures of those (and other) artists are in this post, and we've got a second set of Sunday pics HERE
We at BrooklynVegan were also there on Sunday from 1-3 PM in the Soundwave Tent with School of Rock, Bear Mountain, and The Orwells.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
The National / guy in a unicorn mask
We recently posted day 2 pictures of Lollapalooza 2013, and now we've got shots of some of the other artists from that day, including The National, Matt and Kim, The Lumineers and more, along with more of The Postal Service, Charles Bradley, Reignwolf, and others. Not any of Death Grips though.
More of day 2, below...
photos by James Richards IV
Kendrick Lamar / The Postal Service / fans
When last seen, at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park last year, Kendrick Lamar was still a relative unknown except to hip-hop connoisseurs. His set came off as hazy and introspective, with a curious Lady Gaga hanging on every word from the wings. But now he emerges with newfound swagger -- even without Gaga in the house -- smoke machines at his feet and a full band at his back. His 2012 album, "good kid, m.A.A.d. city," puts a new and brilliantly introspective take on West Coast gangsta rap, a look at its tropes and pressures from the inside out. So even as he leads the crowd in some explicit choruses, he throws out questions and lays out his conflicts in the verses. "This will be on the Internet," he announces. Ya think? The audience cheers him like a rock star, even when he stands on stage with arms folded. But he doesn't just bask in the glow. He tries to put it in context, much in the way his rhymes try to make sense of hip-hop and the culture that birthed it. "You can't classify what we got going on," he says to the fans. "This is life." [Chicago Tribune]Lollapalooza 2013 continued yesterday (8/3) in Chicago's Grant Park, with nicer weather than day 1, and sets from eight stages worth of artists, including The Postal Service, Kendrick Lamar, Haim, Foals, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Local Natives and more. Pictures of those (and other) artists are in this post, and we've got a second set of Saturday pics HERE
We at BrooklynVegan are also at the festival, hosting a portion of the Soundwave Tent.
The festival wraps up today (8/4) (check out our Sunday preview) with sets from Cat Power, Phoenix, The Cure, Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Alt-J, Baroness, Angel Haze, and more. If you're not at the festival, you can stream it live at Lollapalooza.com.
More from day 2, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Queens of the Stone Age / Crystal Castles / Ghost
Alice Glass [of Crystal Castles] and co. appeared on stage right on schedule. Just like last time, Glass brought along a bottle of booze which she took a sip of before starting the show, but she didn't share it with the audience this time around. The band played "Baptism" during their their set with strobe lights blaring and blue lights shooting beams through the smoke. Glass even crowd surfed a bit and got up close and personal with a few fans. Unfortunately her mic seemed to get tangled up and her vocals didn't come through for the last bit of the song. This however didn't stop her from screaming the lyrics to those around her. [BV Chicago]Lollapalooza 2013 is currently underway, having kicked off this past Friday (8/2). We already posted pictures of about half the artists we caught that day, and there's more shots of other bands -- including Queens of the Stone Age, Crystal Castles, Ghost BC, Deap Vally, and more -- in this post. We've also got some shots from the BrooklynVegan-hosted portion of the Soundwave Tent.
If you're not at the festival, you can stream it live from home.
More day 1 pictures below...
Lollapalooza (more by James Richards IV)
As you may know, Chicago, which has been killin' it with festivals lately (like the recent Pitchfork Festival), will continue to do so this weekend (8/2-4) with Lollapalooza. If you're going, you probably already have tickets (it's sold out), but if not, you could always try StubHub or enter our contest to win two 3-day passes. And if you're sitting this one out, you can always watch the live webcast on Lollapalooza.com. Check out the webcast schedule below.
We at BrooklynVegan will also be there in more ways than one. During the festival, we'll be set up each day inside the Soundwave Tent from 1-3 PM (we start at 12:40 on Saturday). We'll have performances and/or interviews with Ghost BC, Frightened Rabbit, Jessie Ware, Deap Vally, Local Natives, Bear Mountain, The Orwells and more. Check out the full Soundwave Tent schedule here.
We'll also be hanging around for three BrooklynVegan-presented Lollapalooza afterparties. The parties are headlined by Weedeater on Thursday, The Thermals on Friday, and Russian Circles on Saturday. The admission AND the drinks are free for the latter two. More details at BV Chicago and the flyer is reposted below.
A ton of artists are playing, which of course means you can't see everyone you may have wanted to (check out the set times), so if you haven't 100% decided on who you're going to see, check out the list of sets we most don't want to miss and our day-by-day previews for some suggestions. Check out our Friday preview (New Order vs Queens of the Stone Age?!?!), Saturday preview, and Sunday Preview.
Ghost BC @ MHOW last week (more by Vladislav Grach)
Kendrick Lamar @ Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
New Order at Williamsburg Park last week (more by PSquared Photography)
Lollapalooza 2013 happens this weekend (August 2 - 4) in Chicago's Grant Park (and some of it will stream online). We'll be there watching bands on all the stages and hosting them in the Soundwave Tent every day from 1 PM - 3 PM (and from 12:40 on Saturday).
The Lolla line-up is pretty great this year, full of big names with a lot of choices (and the occasional tough decision to be made between competing stages). Here are thirteen bands (plus a few more) we don't want to miss....
As promised, we've been busy planning a surprise for Chicago this upcoming Lollapalooza weekend and it includes nine bands, two free shows, one not-free show and a lot of free beer. Join us at Ultra Lounge this Thursday, Friday and Saturday for headlining sets by Weedeater, The Thermals and Russian Circles. More details in the flyer above, and below....
Thursday's show, part of a BrooklynVegan/Invisible Oranges-sponsored tour, will set you back $15 and you're on your own for beverages, but Friday and Saturday are both free (the ticket price and the Sapporo!). The free shows are first come, first served (and 21+). No RSVP necessary.
Joining us and BV Chicago on Friday with The Thermals will be two bands both flying in just for this show from NYC. You'll get some fuzzy indie rock courtesy of Heliotropes and get to experience the lo-fi/indie pop punk sounds of Aye Nako. Saturday we keep it completely local with opening sets by instrumental rock quartet An Aesthetic Anaesthetic and Chicago's own Carbon Tigers. DJ Cool Hand Luke will keep the tunes going until 3am on Friday and Saturday night. Hope to see you there.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Lil B / Foxygen / Yo La Tengo
After entering with a robed choir behind him, R. Kelly starts stringing together his hits, medley style. A verse, a chorus, and then on to the next. Songs about "getting freaky in the club," the kitchen, the car, wherever. Kelly was the subject of a years-long investigation over child-pornography charges, but was eventually acquitted in 2008. None of that appears to matter to anyone left in the park tonight, as one of the largest crowds in Pitchfork history flocks to check out the dominant R&B performer of the last two decades. The Union Park crowd reaction isn't quite as over-the-top as that of his typical audience, but the dancing continues to escalate until the set peaks with "When a Woman's Fed Up" and the stepping songs "Happy People" and "Step in the Name of Love," accompanied by white balloons. Kelly saves "I Believe I Can Fly" for the encore, and this time white-dove balloons fill the sky. [Chicago Tribune]Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 wrapped up on Sunday (7/21) with its most hip hop heavy day, including sets from rappers El-P, Killer Mike, Lil B, and Tree, plus rap producers TNGHT and Evian Christ (who both happen to be Kanye collaborators). And not exactly rap, but in that real there were also sets from MIA and obscure up-and-comer R. Kelly. It wasn't all hip hop though. Sunday also gave us sets from Foxygen (whose singer, Sam France, continued his streak of climbing at festivals), Yo La Tengo, Waxahatchee, Autre Ne Veut, Glass Candy, and more. Pictures of the final day of the festival are in this post.
If you haven't been keeping up with our coverage of Pitchfork festival, day 1 pictures and review are HERE, and more pictures are HERE and HERE. Day 2 pictures and review are HERE and more pictures are HERE. Day 3 pictures continue below...
Pixies, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Suicidal Tendencies, Andrew W.K., Hatebreed, T.S.O.L., Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, Nativ, Hostage Calm, The Interrupters, New Beat Fund, and Pet Symmetry will all be joining us this September to round out this rock and roll carnival!Bummer about the cancellations (feel better Lemmy!), but nice additions, Kim Deal-less Pixies included. Get your tickets, stay cool, and check out the just-released map of Lollapalooza this year.
Regrettably, a few bands have had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Motörhead, Bad Brains, and Attack Attack! will not be able to make it this year.
Keep an eye out for the daily schedules and individual day passes for all of this year's Riot Fests Wednesday, July 24.
Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick @ 'Sound City' NYC (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
The annual Seaside Summer Concert Series that Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz does in Coney Island (West 21st Street & Surf Avenue) is back this year with free weekly concerts from July 12 to August 21. The shows are all on Thursdays at 7:30, except the opening night, which is a Friday (7/12), and the closing night, which is a Wednesday (8/21).
Artists playing this year include Cheap Trick (7/12), Smokey Robinson (7/25), The Go-Go's with Tom Tom Club (8/1), Huey Lewis and the News' - "Sports" 30th Anniversary Tour (8/15), and more.
Marty Markowitz also presents the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series with free shows at Wingate Field.
Full Seaside Summer Concert Series lineup below..
Beach Fossils will play Brooklyn Bowl on March 20. It's a free show but you do need to RSVP.
Chicago is playing Capitol Theatre on June 22. Tickets for that show go on sale today at noon.
Ronnie Spector is playing City Winery on May 6 and 7. Tickets for both shows are on sale now.
Fountains of Wayne have a few shows coming up this month, including a super-intimate show in NYC on March 19 at Bowery Electric. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All of their upcoming dates are listed below.
Pitchfork Fest 2012 (more by James Richards)
Pitchfork, who just posted their top albums of 2012, have announced that their music festival will return to Chicago for its eighth year in 2013 from July 19 - 21 in Union Park. 3-Day passes go on a holiday sale starting at $95 today (12/21) at noon CST (1 PM EST). Once sold out, 3-day passes will be $120. Single day tickets (same ticket link) are $50.
photos by Matt Ziegler
Sufjan Stevens at Metro in Chicago - 12/15/12
As mentioned, Sufjan Stevens is on his The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice tour with Sheila Saputo which hits NYC on Friday (12/21) and Saturday (12/22) at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for those shows go on sale today (12/19) at noon.
Sufjan's tour just hit Chicago last week (12/15) at the Metro and pictures from that show are in this post. That show, like the others on the tour, featured a full set of mostly Christmas songs and than an encore of Sufjan favorites. You can check out more pics below, along with the setlist from that show and a few other shows on the tour, and streams of his Christmas rap mixtape and his Christmas box set.
photos by Chase Turner
Grimes & friends @ Metro in Chicago - 10/23/2012
To quote our photographer Chase Turner, "Grimes played a very sold out show at Metro with openers Myths and Elite Gymnastics. Grimes decorated the stage with children's dolls (Pikachu, Teletubbie, Totoro) and had dancers with green/blue hair with dark face paint crawling around the stage bizarrely." Pictures from that show, which happened Tuesday night in Chicago, are in this post.
Grimes is now in NYC for four sold out shows in a row starting tonight (10/25). Each show has different openers, and they look like this:
THURSDAY: Myths, Mykki BlancoThe middle two shows are at Bowery Ballroom. The first and last are at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
FRIDAY: secret guest, Elite Gymnastics
SATURDAY: Myths, Blue Hawaii
SUNDAY: Elite Gymnastics, Majical Cloudz
I wonder who the unannounced Grimes opener is. More pictures from Chicago below...
words by Kelly Pratt, new photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt @ Pop Montreal (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, on to NY
On this tour, we are exceptionally lucky to be playing some of North America's most beautiful theaters. The Chicago Theatre is perhaps my favorite. Built in the early 1920's, it was initially used primarily as a movie theater. In 1986, it was massively restored and repurposed as a music venue. I find myself thinking of a memorable collection of photographs that document a number of abandoned theaters across the US. Many of these are beautiful rooms, but because of a variety of reasons (including urban population shifts and the rise of home video in the 1980's) they were deserted and are in various states of decay today. The shows in Chicago and Toronto go very well. We are at a point now where we can perform the show without having to concentrate on every little detail, thereby allowing us to focus more on the overall musical and visual impact (and the beautiful venues we are playing in).
We arrive in Montreal the morning after Toronto to play the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste as part of the Pop Montreal festival. The church is majestically cavernous: there are huge chandeliers and two imposing organs. I head over to the Arcade Fire studio where David has just finished rehearsing some covers for the halftime show of the their yearly charity basketball game POP vs. Jock. As I walk in Regine is practicing some jock jams on organ for the in-game entertainment.
Halftime show (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
During our sound check DB suggests that Daniel use one of the organs for the St. Vincent encore, "The Party," and also that, during that song, we put all the horns in the crowd. Luckily we have front-of-house engineer Pete Keppler on tour. He manages to make us sound great no matter what venue we are in, or what new ideas we throw into the mix. In Montreal we get what might be our best audience response yet, setting the bar very high for the rest of the tour.
The next day we all head to Boston for a day off. Most of us end up getting tickets to see Grizzly Bear at the Orpheum where we are playing the following night. [Like at Radio City] Their set draws heavily from their new album, which takes them further into psychedelic territory. The visuals are particularly breathtaking, accentuated by 12 or so hanging lanterns that rise and sink throughout the show. A few late games of pool later we head back to the hotel to rest.
Beacon Theater tonight is their first of three NYC shows on the tour. Tickets are available for tonight and tomorrow at Beacon Theater, and for the Saturday show at Williamsburg Park.
The photos you see above are from other recent BrooklynVegan posts. An original set that accompanies this post, by Bryan Murray, can be seen below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is currently on tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne, acting as co-musical director as well as one of their many band members. Since last week he's been chronocling that tour right here on BrooklynVegan. Welcome to the second installment, written last night...
End of rehearsals, Minneapolis, Milwaukee.
We finish our rehearsals at the beautiful Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Two full days of running the set as many times as possible takes a toll on the brass players' lips, but tightens up the choreography and transitions between songs considerably. Annie-B Parson is the choreographer for the show with Lizzie Dement assisting. She's worked with David in the past, and her next next project is with Baryshnikov--needless to say, she has some brilliant ideas that really expand the kind of performance we are used to. This is also the first time we have played the show with lighting design, which adds another level of difficulty.
The following morning the band heads to JFK for a flight to Minneapolis where we will have a much-needed day of rest. We travel on Sun Country Air. Ever heard of it? Me neither. The trip gets interesting when Ira Glass takes the seat next to me. He is on the way to Minneapolis to do a Q&A for the premiere of his and Mike Birbiglia's new film "Sleepwalk With Me". Always the workaholic, he interviews the guy sitting next to him who (after some deduction skills and Googling) I determine to be the inventor of the KneeDefender. He invites Jon and me to the premiere of his film that evening. The movie is great and we discover that Ira is as good at talking in person as he is on the air. The theater serves bourbon, a novelty for us (in the theater, not on its own).
The first show of the tour goes better than expected. It may sound obvious, but performing in front of a live audience adds an extra level of energy and intensity. It's like we finally realize the show, in its full potential, for the first time. Afterwards, a few of us go across the street to a bar where we meet some folks from Dero, the company that manufactures the bicycle racks David designs. One of the best aspects of this tour so far has been the focus on cycling. Nearly everyone in the band bought a folding Tern bicycle before we left. There are even a couple extras for the crew. This is the first time that I have toured with a bicycle and I will never leave home without one again. It's so nice to slip away from the tour for an hour or two for a long ride. It has also allowed me to see more of the city than the few blocks near the venue. Both Minneapolis and Milwaukee are great cities for cycling with long bike paths and beautiful views.
Next we go to Chicago for a day off. It's Carter's birthday, so we may have to get him a white wine spritzer or two.
To bed, for we rise at 9:30 for 10(ish),
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Kelly Pratt & band play the Chicago Theater tonight (9/18) before continuing on their tour which includes three NYC shows. Check out some more photos from their rehearsals in NJ, a video from Minneapolis, and all tour dates, below...
Lil JoJo RIP
To quote The Smoking Section:
A little over a month ago, we saw Lupe Fiasco overcome with emotion as he watched video of friends whose young lives were snuffed out by violence. A week ago, the Chicagoan stated that the culture Chief Keef represented scared him. Today, we see more hard evidence as to why Lupe fears for the direction of his hometown, and the young people who populate it.17 year old Chief Keef's recent accomplishments include playing both Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, making the cover of FADER, and signing to Interscope Records who at least one writer suggests should drop Keef who he calls "garbage wrapped in human skin."
[An 18]-year-old rapper named Joseph Coleman, otherwise known as Lil JoJo, died from gunshot wounds late last night. Coleman had been embroiled in a rivalry withChief Keef associate and fellow rapper Lil Reese, even having an angry exchange with him in a video was posted on YouTube only a few days ago. In the clip, someone yells the words "I'mma kill you."
In a seemingly related set of tweets following Coleman's death last night, Keef seemed to be laughing at the tragedy that befell his teenaged rival.
1000s evacuating Lollapalooza (via BVChicago Instagram)
evacuation from above (photo by knnyfrsh)
Due to an approaching storm and warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS), Lollapalooza organizers have suspended the festival until further notice. Festival-goers are being evacuated from Grant Park and are being directed by staff and the Chicago Police Department to pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue.This announcement definitely came as a surprise to the tens of thousands of people in Grant Park, who are evacuating as we speak. Meanwhile, C3 are "working w/ our team & city officials to survey the park after the storm to determine if it is safe for festival goers to return today." Stay tuned.
The three emergency evacuation shelters are the Grant Park North, Grant Park South and East Monroe Street Garages. All can be entered through vehicle entrances on Michigan Avenue.
Lollapalooza officials are continuing to coordinate with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to monitor weather conditions and determine when the park is safe for festival-goers to return.
"Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists," said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza. "We regret having to suspend any show, but safety always comes first."
UPDATE: At 5:43 (Chicago time), Chicago journalist Greg Kot says "Possible reopen at 6 ish is latest word but still raining. A remote entrance gate open, apparently was never closed #lolla"
UPDATE: Lollapalooza reopens gates at 6pm (Chicago time)
Check out our pictures from yesterday, the first day of Lolla, HERE.
Check out video people took from above, below...