Archive for August 2011

Ben Harper Live at The Vic Theatre, 7/1/11

Ben Harper Live at The Vic Theatre, 7/1/11
People can never understand why I go to so many concerts… or so many baseball games.  And what I always try to explain about the live concert setting is that you simply never know what you’re going to see.  Like baseball. Baseball is the one sport where day in and day out, it always feels like it’s possible to see something incredible.  I don’t go to a basketball game expecting that it’s possible I might see somebody score 100 points.  But with baseball, I watch the hit count constantly in the hopes that maybe today is the day I’ll see a no-hitter (and I have… a no-hitter and a perfect game).  Maybe this is the day I’ll see somebody hit for the cycle.  Maybe today is the day I’ll see a team turn a triple-play.  No matter how remote, there’s always that chance. Which brings me back to the live concert...

Loretta Lynn with Court Yard Hounds Live at Taste of Chicago - 7/1/11

Loretta Lynn with Court Yard Hounds Live at Taste of Chicago - 7/1/11
Something old.  Something new… But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That was the lesson learned Friday afternoon at The Taste of Chicago as Court Yard Hounds opened up for 76 year old country legend Loretta Lynn. It’s an adage Lynn has clearly been wise to follow and one that her opening act would be wise to think more about...

The Lemonheads with Material ReIssue Live at Taste of Chicago - 6/28/11

The Lemonheads with Material ReIssue Live at Taste of Chicago - 6/28/11
Taste of Chicago music bookings this year appear to have been done in a fairly shoddy manner.  Last Sunday’s performance by Soul Asylum was announced only weeks before the actual show (and was absent entirely from the city’s initial press release touting the 2011 music schedule) and left many fans scratching their heads. Bookings of major acts in years past (Stevie Wonder, Counting Crows, etc.) have been replaced this year by acts, who while by no means bad, have a far smaller appeal.  The city went this route in an apparent effort to decrease attendance and spend less on security (at least for the time being while Mayor Emanuel decides whether to resurrect a previously announced plan aimed at beefing up The Taste and charging admission).   The Lemonheads last performed at Petrillo Bandshell as part of The Taste of Chicago on the 4th of July in 1994 at the peak of their popularity to a massive swell of people that filled the lawn section along Lake Shore Drive.  Material Issue last played the Bandshell on the 4th of July in 1991, ironically as the opening act for The Replacements who finished that show by breaking up onstage and never playing again...
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Hall & Oates with Company of Thieves Live at Ravinia - 6/26/11

Hall & Oates with Company of Thieves Live at Ravinia - 6/26/11
Sunday night featured an interesting mix of people in the lawn section at Ravinia.  From twenty-something hipsters wearing t-shirts displaying their typically ironic brand of “humor” (at Ravinia the shirts featured Hall & Oates influenced phrases like “Haulin’ Oats” and “Oates > Hall”) to babyboomers and beyond, Sunday’s show ran the gamut.  The “Live in ’85!” themed wearables were surely selling well. With a lack of recent material, Hall & Oates stuck to the hits on Sunday night… and the hits were plenty. ...

Reverend Horton Heat Live at Taste of Randolph - 6/19/11

Reverend Horton Heat Live at Taste of Randolph - 6/19/11
In 2009 Morrissey famously cut his set at Coachella short and stormed off the stage… for the smell of grilled meats emanating from the festival concession stands was simply too much for the renowned vegan to… stomach. Morrissey will not be playing Taste of Randolph anytime soon. The Reverend Horton Heat however brought it’s unique mix of punk, swing and rockabilly to the west side as smells of grilled meat and much more lingered in the air...