Our (fairly) regular roundup of Music & Arts related news from Chicago-based web media, featuring thoughts and insight from some of the city’s most dedicated writers.
- Summer Guide: Music festivals
Summer Guide: Two dozen (mostly) sun-drenched music festivals
- Riot Fest 2013 Lineup Announced
With much fanfare and long waits for many pleading fans on Facebook and Twitter, Riot Fest announced their 2013 lineup just now. The festival, held for the second year in Humboldt Park, is three days (September 13-15) of both new and old punk and hard rock favorites, with the addition this year of some notable hip-hop acts. The festival has added serious ammo this year with an impressive lineup that rivals many of the other major festivals coming through Chicago this summer. Some personal favorites just at a glance includes Blondie, Violent Femmes, Taking Back Sunday, Against Me!, Bad Brains, Stars, Dessa, Saul Williams, and many more. The festival is also going to be three full days in the park instead of two, and will include the same carnival theme as last year.
Three day passes are now onsale for $69.98, and three day VIP passes (which include 15 drink tickets, not a bad deal at all) are $175. You can purchase tickets here.
Check out the full list of bands after the jump:
Fall Out Boy
Sublime with Rome
Guided By Voices
Rocket From The Crypt
All Time Low
Taking Back Sunday
Pierce the Veil
The Dismemberment Plan
The Lawrence Arms
Mission of Burma
Toots and the Maytals
Peter Hook (Joy Division Set)
The Devil Wears Prada
Saves The Day
Reggie and the Full Effect
The Dear Hunter
Maps and Atlases
Deal’s Gone Bad
- Review: Kurt Vile & the Violators Stomp Through Chicago on a Pretty Day
Photos by Sara Pieper
There was no Bulls theme song playing over the loud speakers when Kurt Vile & the Violators took the stage at Lincoln Hall on Tuesday–but there might as well have been. Vile and his crew emerged from backstage looking very much like a team as they proceeded to stomp through songs from their new album, Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze, with fierce discipline, emotion, and an added heft. Hell, even some of band members looked a little bit like Joakim Noah.
Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze reiterates many of the introspective themes already explored on Kurt Vile’s previous albums. On 2011′s Smoke Ring for My Halo, for instance, Vile would riff about making “the most outta your chill time, maaan” and figuratively taking a “whiz on the world” in a lazy-man drawl that somehow came across as contemplative when paired with the psychedelic space it was allowed float in musically. Pretty Daze fine tunes this effect with a more lyrically articulate delivery of his laid-back worldview and even more room to breathe and shift through long, expansive musical landscapes. But at Lincoln Hall, the Violators stomped through the album’s songs with yelps, screams, a lot more fuzz, and a showy confidence that led to heightened jams and crescendos.
The band played in front of a giant backdrop of icons from its Philadelphia mural that makes up Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze‘s cover image. And for most of the set, Vile and the Violators played at a rapid pace that magnified the band’s visible comfort and showiness on stage. Vile himself contributed an extra oomph to a lot of his songs with big, J. Mascis-style guitar soloing. On “Girl Called Alex”, the band pulled of a radical shift of the song’s walking chord progression into its breezy, hypnotic outro. Many band members also took on multi-instrumentalist duties, whether tinkering on a wurlitzer organ during the jammy “Shame Chamber”, or squawking on an alto-saxophone during “Freak Train”.
Songs from Smoke Ring for My Halo also felt more sure footed and confident. “Jesus Fever” had a newfound punchiness, while “Ghost Town’s” slow, towering chords crescendoed into a frenzied shoegazing finish that saw guitarist Jessie Trbovich violently swinging his guitar to produce feedback.
The Violators appropriately closed the regular set with “Hunchback” and “Freak Train”, two noisy tracks from 2009′s Childish Prodigy. But instead of “singing” the verses of bizarre characters on “Freak Train”, Vile took advantage of the song’s implicit freakiness to mostly yell, scream, and otherwise focus on leading his band into one of the most brutally noisy finishes Lincoln Hall may have ever heard–at least since Metz played the venue that previous weekend.
There was a short break in the pace during the latter half of the set for Vile to take some acoustic numbers. He sang the winking chorus of “Peeping Tomboy” in that exaggerated, lazy-man drawl now so much a part of his songwriting persona. But it was clear on Tuesday that while Vile’s music evokes a serene state of mind, Kurt Vile & the Violators are a lot rowdier as an entity on stage.
Opener Steve Gunn, from New York, provided an appropriate warm-up for the headlining set. He and his band played a versatile set featuring mostly long, finger-picked songs ranging anywhere from blues to breezy, Bert Jansch-style folk rock.
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