Lindstrøm at the Empty Bottle: Live review and photo gallery
Photo: Nina Pagano
Sunday night, the Empty Bottle was charged and convicted of impersonating a dance club—a function which it often fulfills better than it has any right to (soul nights, in particular) with its multi-layered slightly uneven dancefloor and non-surround sound PA set-up. That's because it's dark, as comfortable as your parent's neglected basement and for the most part sounds pretty good—and often, that's all you need, 'cept beers of course. Joakim Haugland's set was canceled. So after
a DJ set from Joakim Haugland and a live set from Chicago's own promising but still slightly shaky Golden Birthday, Norway's Hans-Peter Lindstrøm (a TOC fave since 2006) took to the stage. The crowd and representatives from the media and music biz were fighting against their winter nesting instincts and the 11:30 set time, but Lindstrøm obliged us with a peppy, perky, colorful set of live mixing via an MPC-type keyboard and controller. Favorites of mine such as "The Contemporary Fix" and the untouchable "I Feel Space" were columns of familiarity in the sonic temple the former rock musician constructed. Tracks from his more recent collection with the vocalist Cristabelle were woven in, too, but seamlessly, even though as an album the Cristabelle collabs tend to show a funkier, more ’80s type sparkle that his more laidback space disco tracks don't naturally mingle with. There were moments of gypsy boogie and galactic electro as Lindstrøm showed us a slightly different, more ethnographic side of himself amid the jogger's pace live electronic set. After just an hour and five, he tied things up with a remix of "Lovesick" featuring his own live vocals on the snake-mounted microphone. It was a spectacular, more streetwise version of what Lindstrøm does, a little peek at where he could go next, and, as usual, a stellar way to spend an hour at a rock club doing the jogger's dance.