Quicksand has reunited after nearly 20 years of separation. On January 12, Quicksand performed at Metro as part of their month-long headline tour. The New York band, led by frontman Walter Schreifels, is famous for their '90s post-hardcore style.
Quicksand ‘s 1993 major-label debut, Slip, was re-released on vinyl in September. The band separated in 1995 after the release of their album Manic Compression. Quicksand has nine more performances left in their tour.—they've recently announced additional shows that they will be performing in New York, Colorado, and Pomona.
The trend of putting tickets on sale ahead of lineup announcements continues with the Spring Awakening festival, now the centerpiece of the local EDM scene's concert season, which returns to Soldier Field and expands to three days: June 14–16. Discounted early-bird tickets went quickly but a follow-up announcement is expected shortly. The International Festival of Life formally announced its annual July 4 weekend bash, which moves to Union Park this summer after nearly two decades on the South Side at Washington Park. Like Spring Awakening, featured artists have yet to be revealed. Non-fest news includes a night with Leonard Cohen at the Chicago Theatre March 13, plus a date with Low at the Metro March 22. The Shrine welcomes several high-caliber hip-hoppers in the coming months, including Fatlip and Slimkid3 of the Pharcyde in January, Wu-Tang partners Ghostface Killah and Raekwon in February, UGK vet Bun B in March with a DJ set from Talib Kweli, followed a couple weeks later by Kweli's Black Star partner Yasiin Bey, the former Mos Def. Find these and many other new calendar additions below or visit timeoutchicago.com/bookingahead for a more extensive list of upcoming shows.
Demonstrating that it's never too early to get a jump on these things, the people behind the Pitchfork Music Festival have not only announced dates for this summer's throwdown (July 19–21), but have already put tickets on sale. A discounted "holiday" pass sold out quickly, but three-day passes are currently going for $120 (with a layaway option available) and single-day tickets are $50. The lineup has yet to be revealed, but Pitchfork promises to begin revealing the roster later this month. Rap-rock agitators Death Grips are a shoo-in, and there are pretty good odds that U.K. breakouts AlunaGeorge and Jessie Ware will be there. I'm gonna go ahead and take a wild guess that the Breeders will headline, seeing as they're gearing up to celebrate a forthcoming deluxe reissue of their 1993 benchmark, Last Splash, which they'll perform in full at a Deerhunter-curated installment of All Tomorrow's Parties one month prior to the PMF. The new year also brings news of a local date from New York rapper Roc Marciano, touring behind last year's impressive Reloaded. Bobby Womack, who put out one of our favorite albums of 2012, plays to high-rollers in Hammond, Indiana, in March, while LCD Soundsystem vet James Murphy drops by the Mid later this month for a turn at the decks. Find these and many other newly announced concerts below or visit timeoutchicago.com/bookingahead for a more extensive list of upcoming shows.
Vegas rockers The Killers touched down at the UIC Pavilion December 21 with support from indie duo Tegan and Sara. The release of 2012's Battle Born—with its summer single "Runaways"—marks the end of a brief hiatus for frontman Brandon Flowers and company, whose previous full-length release was 2008's Day & Age. Check the slideshow for photos of The Killers' set.
At Lincoln Hall this New Year's Eve, one thing was certain: 2013 would be ushered in with funk and soul, thanks to the stylings of Charles Bradley. The "Screaming Eagle of Soul" was accompanied onstage by the Brooklyn-based Menahan Street Band. Bradley's debut effort No Time for Dreaming was released in 2011, and Bradley serves as the subject of the 2012 documentary Soul of America. Photos from throughout the NYE show are in the slideshow.
Whether or not your New Year's resolution was to attend more shows, we've put together a compendium of the best concerts going on in the city this weekend. 2013's first weekend includes a bevy of shows from Buddy Guy, who begins a month-long residency at his eponymous blues club Legends; a series of concerts for Revelation Records' 25th anniversary; as well as a whole slew of shows our critics have highlighted.
Thursday Jan 3
Tail Dragger + Flowpoetry & Friends + Hannah Frank Group + Jack Avery's Kin
8 pm, Beat Kitchen, $8
Famed cigar-wagging, hip-grinding, West Side blues genius Tail Dragger makes an appearance at Beat Kitchen to show the kids how it's done.
Buddy Guy + Mike Wheeler
9 pm, Buddy Guy’s Legends, $55
Living legend Buddy Guy kicks off his annual January residency with Mike Wheeler, who's perhaps best known as a former sideman for Willie Kent.
Friday Jan 4
6 pm, The Whistler, free
The former Karate frontman calls Chicago home now, and we can't think of a cozier place for his signature guitarwork than this Logan Square cocktail lounge.
There's nothing like a little alternative hip hop to kick off the holiday weekend, a fact that Metro took advantage of with a bill that paired the Minneapolis collective Doomtree and Canadian emcee Buck 65.
Year (Drag City)
After the spare and somber Disturbing the Air, it's refreshing to hear Azita Youssefi with a band again. Her autumnal chord choices are almost as unusual as her voice.
Josh Berman & His Gang
There Now (Delmark)
Cornetist and curator Josh Berman rounds up a terrific cast of local improvisers to build towering, sometimes teetering structures from old school source material.
Andrew Bird told the packed house at Fourth Presbyterian Church that his annual run of "Gezelligheid" holiday shows (that's a Dutch word loosely meaning cozy or quaint) are his favorite of the year. Given the awe-inspiring setting— Neo-Gothic arches! Stained glass! Natural acoustics!—relaxed form and unbridled audience enthusiasm, it's not difficult to understand why. It was his first performance in a three-night run consisting of two appearances at the Mag Mile church followed by a third at the Hideout.
Not only did he break in a new stage setup, complete with impeccable lighting and Ian Schneller's fantastic horn amplifiers, a pair of which whirled in time with the music, but also a new pair of shoes, whose thick soles proved to be an unexpected barrier between the ace whistler and his looping pedals. After a few false starts during the first half of the evening's showcase, which was essentially a solo affair with aid from singer-songwriter Alan Hampton on upright bass, Bird made nice with the new kicks and the rest of the evening went off without a hitch. Abstract takes on new and existing works, including "The Naming of Things" and "Hole in the Ocean Floor," reverberated through the sanctuary like some heavenly being, enveloping onlookers in an exquisite, at times sleepy, sonic sheath.
After a quick intermission, Bird invited singer-songwriter Nora O'Connor to the stage for a run of flawless two-part harmonies during covers—a peppy take on Townes Van Zandt's tearjerker "If I Needed You" and "The Sad Milkman" by the Handsome Family stood out—and originals from the twangy and indie-pop portions of his songbook including "Three White Horses" and a new song, "Pulaski at Night." He cut loose with cheerful anecdotes and the occasional comic flub, including an accidental guitar to the nose, which brought an informal, almost familial sense to the room as the set extended well past the two-hour mark. It was the perfect picker upper after the ambient first half, and proved that carols and candy canes aren't necessary ingredients when crafting good holiday cheer.
The nutty/dreamy indie-pop star brought his Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice to the Metro on December 15. He was touring in support of his latest release, Silver & Gold (read our review of Silver & Gold here), as well as in support of general Christmas silliness. We approve. Check out our photos from the show.
When Braid announced a string of reunion shows over the summer which completely skipped over the Midwest for both the east and west coasts, Chicago fans wondered what we had done to offend the late '90s emo originators. The recently reunited quartet was touring to revisit their 1998 album Frame & Canvas, a boyish emo/post-hardcore masterpiece that has held up surprisingly well over time.
Uptown's Riviera Theatre hosted night one of Icelandic folk five-piece Of Monsters and Men's two-night stint in Chicago. 2012 stands as a breakthrough year for the group, which this year has garnered a European Border Breaker Award, awarded to ten European groups who achieve international success with their first album. The quintet is concluding a tour of the United States in support of the North American release of its debut album, My Head Is an Animal. Of Monsters and Men plays again tonight, December 17th, also at the Riviera Theatre.
Photos from the December 16th show in the slideshow.
Sultry jazz singer Diana Krall gets the T-Bone Burnett treatment on her latest, Glad Rag Doll, an album of Prohibition era tunes. She sings behind the set at the Chicago Theatre April 27. Scottish indie-rockers Frightened Rabbit head to the big leagues with Pedestrian Verse, their first for Atlantic, which brings them to the Riviera Theatre March 23. Soulful British singer Lianne La Havas stops by Lincoln Hall April 1, while the Double Door welcomes Dipset rhymer Cam'ron February 8. NOLA sissy bounce diva Big Freedia returns to the Empty Bottle one week ahead of that to set asses shaking once again. Find these and other newly announced concerts below or visit timeoutchicago.com/bookingahead for a more extensive list of upcoming shows.
The past year has been kind to Vancouver drum-and-guitar duo Japandroids, which has found new levels of success off the back of its newest LP, Celebration Rock, the spirited follow-up to the gate-crashing debut Post-Nothing. In the midst of a months-long tour (which has already seen numerous Chicago club and festival appearances), the band returned for a sold-out night at the Metro to prove its larger-than-life take on anthemic meat-and-potatoes postpunk still has staying power.
Seattle hip-hoppers Blue Scholars played the Lincoln Hall stage the night of December 11. The duo, comprised of DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic, were supported onstage by fellow hip-hop acts The Physics and Brothers from Another, both hailing from Seattle. Check the slideshow for photos of the action.
Dallas-based The Polyphonic Spree played their "Holiday Extravaganza" show at the Logan Square Auditorium December 19th. Promoting the recent HolidayDream: Sounds of the Holidays Vol. One, the six-city Holiday Extravaganza tour stands as a family-friendly, all-ages yuletide affair, replete with, says TOC Kids's Judy Sutton Taylor, "confetti cannons, balloon drops, dancing reindeer and snowmen, and plenty of festive music."
Supporting The Polyphonic Spree were, among others, local march-rock ensemble Mucca Pazza, and Mia and Ratso from public access's Chic-a-go-go.
Says Sutton Taylor, "highlights included the band's cover of John Lennon's 'War is Over,' and 'Feliz Navidad'—a too-short tribute to Freddy Fender that had the crowd of grown and underaged hipsters dancing around the auditorium like happy little elves. Cross your fingers they come back next year so you can get in on a fun, new holiday tradition."
The UIC Pavilion was transformed into a club Friday night for Tiësto’s second annual College Invasion Tour, and not much has changed since the first time around. The tour continues to be the biggest EDM tour to hit the college market. The Dutch music mogul was joined by opener Zedd for an unstoppable night of music equipped with everything an EDM show might need: confetti, lights and tons of fans eager to dance the night away.
After rescheduling this gig from October 13 due to a back injury, Tiësto kept fans wondering what one of the top-selling DJs in the industry would bring to the table this year. After all, he hasn’t put out any new music under his alias since 2009’s Kaleidoscope. With the explosion of dubstep, moombathon and trap music, traditional trance music has been put on the back burner. Yet what allows Tiësto to hold the title of No. 1 DJ in the world is his ability to be a chameleon in these quickly changing times.
At the UIC Pavilion, Tiësto resurrected some of his classics like 2005’s “Adagio for Strings,” his best-known single to date. Straying from his trance-infused sound, he adopted some more-timely tunes like Dada Life’s “Feed the Dada,” Asaf Avidan’s “One Day” and Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child.” It would've been hard not to enjoy the show; Tiësto finished with an epic drop, coincidentally “Epic” by Sandro Silva and Quintino. Yes, you can say Tiësto is back in the DJ game. Looking at the completely filled pavilion, I’d say fans have spoken. Hopefully a new album is already in the making.
Canadian DJ Kid Koala is touring in support of 12 Bit Blues, a new album featuring jump blues, dance-floor jazz and funk. At the show, puppets, go-go dancers and the Kid himself working his way across four turntables were all just part of the fun. Adira Amram & the Experience opened.
It must be strange to be Sérgio Dias Baptista these days. When he and his brother Arnaldo founded Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes in the late 60s, a military coup had thrown the country into disarray. Out of the unrest emerged an artistic movement known as tropicalia.
When the Who released Quadrophenia in 1973, it was an enormously ambitious album by the standards of the day. The double album was the band's second rock opera, incorporating complex horns (Entwistle played the horn arrangements on the record himself as Pete Townshend would remind us when he introduced the Who's live horn players last night), keyboards, and an operatic storyline about Jimmy the Mod growing up in the '60s, struggling with an identity crisis amid the clashes between mods and rockers. The record was a triumph, though initially it got a lukewarm reaction—today it rates higher than Tommy for many fans and critics. It's certainly a more mature piece of art. Pete Townshend calls it his favorite Who album. But the Who's early tours for Quadrophenia were inconsistent. Keith Moon struggled to play with the stage tapes the Who found it needed to complete the sound of the record. The band wanted to show films during the UK tour for Quadrophenia—which was, naturally, toured in quadrophonic sound—but that didn't happen.
Last night at Allstate Arena, the Who—Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend plus a band of expert journeyman including longtime Who touring members Zak Starkey on the drums and Pino Palladino on the bass as well as Townshend's brother Simon on rhythm guitar and taking lead vocals on "Dirty Jobs"—brought Quadrophenia to life, in every sense, then played a few more songs. As a storytelling vehicle, the stage presentation turned the now very specific tale of Jimmy the Mod into a style-conscious visual story of the Who and the post-war English generation. Musically, the band played the enormously complex and difficult record at a prodigious level of detail, celebrating the music of the rock opera in a way that sometimes challenged the crowd (namely the long instrumental passages in "the Rock" and "Quadrophenia") and definitely challenged the band (Townshend told us the "music is a tough ride for us as musicians" after folding up the green binder of notes he used during the Quadrophenia set), but paid off in an artful arena rock experience.