Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats Open for Kings of Leon in Tinley Park, IL

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What. A. Night. Two of my Top-Five Favorite Bands playing at the same venue…on the same night. I wish Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats had played a little longer, but Kings of Leon had to take the stage at some point, right?

Nathaniel Rateliff previewed a couple of new songs as well as playing a good mix from their first two albums. They sounded just as good as I remember when I saw them play at Chicago Theatre last year, but brought some new dance moves to the stage – like James Brown!

Kings of Leon opened their set with a mechanical beating heart and Conversation Piece. Believe me, this is a show I will be talking about for a while. I mean…here I am writing about it. The show progressively became brighter and brighter and their visuals were artistic and obscure. I loved every minute of it!

One of my favorite moments was about 1/3 of the way into the set when the curtain falls and they bring out a tiny drumset, 2 acoustic guitars, and a bass. Caleb comes out on stage first and begins to play Milk solo, and then they join him one by one as the song progresses. After a couple of songs on the tiny set, they transition into Walls, and during the climax of the song, the curtain rises exposing a very brightly lit stage with tons of screens and contours and more musicians that I remembered the band having to begin with. Apologies for the run-on sentence, but the sight was overwhelming and awesome.

The lighting cues, graphic visuals and treatments were unique to each song. Impressive to say the least. My only regret was not upgrading my seat to “the pit” section where I might have had the chance to catch a guitar pick or drumstick. But at the same time, I’m really happy no one scuffed my shoes and I had plenty of room to dance.

The pictures and video don’t do the production justice, but I hope you still enjoy them.

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Young The Giant: Home of the Strange Tour

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I went to see Young The Giant featuring Ra Ra Riot as their opening act at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

The vibe was great, for the most part. My only frustration was the two girls standing next to me, speaking so loudly, you could hear them over the music and the crowd. How Rude?! I mean, at least go stand in the back or STFU so everyone around you can at least enjoy the show. Other than that, nothing but your typical concert annoyances ;P

Ra Ra Riot were fun and energetic! I didn’t realize how many instruments made up their band. Their cello player had a hollow cello – like it was only the outline, how f-ing cool is that? During their second-to-last song, Young The Giant surprised band and the crowd by joining the stage, oh and there was a kitty!

Young the Giant’s performance melted my face off. I was on Cloud 9, rocking out, dancing, singing along, and had a great night – and so did YTG! Their final show of the Home of the Strange tour. They had 2 encore sets, that had the entire crowd jumping! I think my favorite moment was the surprise Champagne and Remix to Ignition. Second-most-favorite moment was I Got. I loved that they played a few good songs from their first album.

Check out a few snaps from last night’s show

Joanne by Lady Gaga

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What can I say? I am Ga-Ga for Joanne. I’ve always been a fan of Lady Gaga and everything she represents. I feel like I am maturing with her and our music tastes compliment each other too.

This album is a little more raw, a little more country, and a little more emotional than her previous compilations. I believe this is her strongest work yet, working with some more alternative artists like Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and producer Mark Ronson.

I love the song Joanne because I can totally relate to it at this time in my life. I just made a big career move and now I wonder where I will go from here as I begin to plan my goals for the year ahead. Then the song John Wayne is a great follow-up song that lets you let loose and go a little wild. The song Hey Girl came on with Florence Welch, and I literally “OMG” out loud as I was listening to it in the office. I almost died with excitement. Grigio Girls is just a get-down fun song and I love it – dance it up!

Tame Impala Live at UIC

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Tame Impala is a band that I have been wanting to see live for quite some time, and last night my void had been filled!

Benjamin Booker almost blew out the speakers opening the show. Tons of reverb and even some unbearable high-pitch feedback. Once they got that under control, the music was loud and thumpin’!

Tame Impala’s crew came out in lab coats as they set up the stage. I thought it was a fitting uniform for a guitar/instrument technician. They opened the show with a bang of confetti and closed the show the same way!

I was amused by the light-show and the synchronicity between the lead guitar and the visual currents projected on the screen. It was trippy to say the least. The entire joint was lit up in about 5 minutes, someone open a window! Although, I really didn’t mind 😉

My favorite moment was the final song, the band walks of stage and the entire crowd is cheering. People start holding up their lighters, cell-phone lights, etc and the room slowly starts becoming brighter. The band can’t refuse an encore with a display of love like that!

Check out a few pics and video from the show last evening!

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Dark Necessities

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It has been five years since we have heard new material from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and it has been worth the wait!

Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of I’m With You, but Stadium Arcadium was one of my favorites.  Until now. Their first single from their upcoming album, The Getaway, dropped today. Dark Necessities had me hooked in the first few measures. I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the album has in store.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

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Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are my latest obsession.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats [quite the mouthfull to say] blew up the local radio with their debut song “S.O.B.” It kind of reminded me of something you would have heard in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, but it’s upbeat tempo and catchy melody make it easy to enjoy.

I had heard a couple of other songs on WXRT and decided I needed to hear the entire album. I am so glad I did! Check them out for yourself!