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

Standard

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.

IMG_1893IMG_1894IMG_1896IMG_1898

IMG_1903IMG_1908IMG_1910IMG_1914IMG_1915IMG_1918

IMG_1922IMG_1931IMG_1932IMG_1935

IMG_1940IMG_1942IMG_1943

My Lollapalooza ’17 recap

Standard

This year I got Lollapalooza single-day tickets for Sunday, to close out the 4-day fest with Arcade Fire. Can you tell who I was most excited to see? Surprisingly though, The Shins stole the day for me. In light of recent Arcade Fire’s controversial plagiarism news, it kind of put a damper on my excitement to see them.

We began the day by taking the CTA to downtown and as soon as we got on the train, I felt over-dressed and that I may be getting to old to be going to Lollapalooza…but then I remembered that I registered our wristbands to the Citibank lounge and guess what? I fit right in! No children or booty shorts! They had fun lawn games and a cushy place to put your tushy to rest. That’s the way to Lollapalooza! Until the shows we wanted to see started and then we wandered down to the lawn for a closer look.

Here are a few pics from the day:

IMG_1852IMG_1855IMG_1862IMG_1867IMG_1868

IMG_1871IMG_1872IMG_1873IMG_1879IMG_1880IMG_1885

Everything Now!

Standard

As I listen to Arcade Fire's new album for the um-teenth time on repeat, I think I am finally able to put my reaction into words. Everything Now is just that.

This album is about everything that is happening right now. Today's technological world and reliance: both beauty and ugliness of it.

The title track, Everything Now is the setting of a city or a world we live in where anything is accessible at any time we want…i.e. The Internet, which is a recurring theme in the album. Another thing I love about this album is that it was written as a cohesively, melodies and rhythms that are heard from song to song. The album starts upbeat and cheerful with the first few tracks, which were released in order every week or so leading up to the release of Everything Now. Then the light-hearted and fun songs in the middle, and a somber digital ending that really left me questioning having all of my personal data online… 🤔

Creature Comfort is a bit more serious as it reminds me of too many of today's youth putting their entire lives online and justifying their actions with likes and comments.

My favorite songs include Peter Pan, Put Your Money on Me, Electric Blue, Chemistry, and all the other songs…it's a great album really! I haven't been able to skip any songs. Whatever Arcade Fire is doing, they should not change the formula.

Listen

Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’

Standard

Kid Cudi is back! Not that he really went anywhere, but his latest album is comparable to his First and sophomore albums Man on the Moon I & II.

He suffered through life, and you can hear that in his past few albums. Cudi’s latest release, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, is a depiction of getting your life back together. Trials, tribulations, love, hate, sex, there is tons of emotion flowing. A rebirth, rising of the Phoenix. He’s taken back the commander role upon his spaceship.

 

All You Need is Love

Standard

Whenever the world is getting you down or you are having a hard day, put on The Beatles. Eight out of ten times, the song will be uplifting and the other two times, the song will be just what you need to hear.

With all of the crazy politics going on and all of my family and friends in an uproar, I am left feeling exhausted, confused, and disappointed. I must stay positive. I have to, there is no other way to survive and generally not be in a bad mood all the time.

This has happened to me twice, which is why I am writing about this. I take the train to way work and am usually listening to music. On these particularly difficult days I put on The Beatles and the first song to come on was All You Need is Love followed by Let it Be and then a really random song like Rocky Racoon or Penny Lane. The first two songs have been the constant in both cases.

It reminds me that first and foremost: LOVE wins. Always. Second: Don’t be angry over what you cannot change. I’m starting to think my iTunes’ shuffle setting isn’t that random after all, or someone else controlling my playlist  😉