Another 12 months have passed, and this time around, only 39 live shows attended. Now, my tone is intentionally darker, because last year, our crew rolled deep to 46 shows. That still amounts to about 3.25 shows per month, which ain’t so bad, right? Just like with records this year, there wasn’t any truly amazing shows in the Chicago area, and you’ll quickly notice that when you see the locales of three of my favorite shows. Even though !!! aren’t listed, I have to give them props for bringing it both times in Chicago; Nik and crew were insane at Lollapalooza. Onward after the jump….
1. LCD Soundsystem & Arcade Fire at Red Rocks – 9/17
Take an outdoor venue that is situated amidst the Colorado Rockies that is also encompassed between two gigantic, rust colored monoliths; this is Red Rocks. Scenically, it can’t get much better, especially for what us Chicagoans are used to when it comes to outdoor music venues. Just like in the past, the shows that we travel for always end up being the best of the year. And if finally having the opportunity to experience this must see practically natural wonder wasn’t enough, there happened to be two bands I like a little bit on the bill.
2. Muse at Red Rocks – 9/18
So I fly into Denver to attend the above show and realize that another band I find to be decent is playing the next day. MiS is no fool to how insane Muse’s live shows are. Even Red Rock’s monumental venue could barely house the fury that Bellamy and crew laid upon us that night. In retrospect, one of us should have also been laying on something, too! Fuck, man.
3. Battles at Metro – 11/18
These guys are on some next level shit. I finally witnessed what all this live hype was all about. Maybe it is noise. Maybe you just don’t get it. Maybe I didn’t get it. It was fun to look around during some of their crazy parts and just notice the what the fuck faces on more than half the crowd; others had their fists pumping and their heads bobbing uncontrollably. Regardless what you may feel about their avant-garde songs, Battles bring a live show like a wino brings it with a gun!
4. Girl Talk at Stonefly Brewery (Milwaukee, WI) – 3/23
Milwaukee. Mickey’s. Sparks. Unfinished Caucasians. And Girl Talk.
5. Presets & The Prairie Cartel at Metro – 3/24
The Presets rile up the crowd with their dirty electro rock. It’s loud, fast, and makes hipsters move. Excellent live show, but the main reason this is included is because of Chicago’s Prairie Cartel.
This group consists of what some would consider classic Chicago musicians. Their sound combines the best elements of Local H, Caviar, and a love for European beat oriented dance music. Since I grew up on a lot of Chicago based music and have followed the most of these members since practically late junior high, I was really excited to see what the final product would actually sound like. After working out the kinks, the end product has been phenomenal. Besides maybe being a tad nostalgic due to its members, I’ve drastically seen this group’s live show exponentially grow over the course of two plus years.
I mean, shit, this year they even covered Rapture’s ‘House of Jealous Lovers’. They get a nod just for that. Give them a listen.