2011 Mid Year Wrap Up: Best Concerts
We have come to that point halfway through the year where we look back at what we at Reviler liked best in the first half of 2011. Today we will start with our favorite live shows from the first half of the year, with albums, songs, local albums and overrated/underrated all coming later in the week.
1. Bill Callahan at the Cedar Cultural Center
Finally got to hear Callahan live and he completely lived up to my hopes/expectations
2. Budos/Charles Bradley at First Ave
Awesome bands and breakdancing going on in the crowd made for a terrific, high energy show
3.Dengue Fever at the Entry
Been wanting to see this band for awhile. Even the flailing drunk asshole in the crowd couldn’t make it not awesome.
Really terrific lineup of “underground” local talent plus the greatest drummer I have and probably will ever see (Chris Corsano)
5.Tune-yards at the Cedar
Merril Garbus puts on a hell of a show and this year she toured behind incredibly strong material
- James Blake – 7th Street Entry
- Randy Newman – Guthrie Theater
- The Joy Formidable – 7th Street Entry
- Middle Brother / Dawes / Deer Tick – Metro (Chicago, IL)
- The National – Reggie’s Rock Club (Chicago, IL)
1. Heliotrope 8
2. The Sleaze / Sinks @ the hex 5/14
3. Davila 666 @ the Turf 4/6
4. TVBC @ the Loring 3/31
5. Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuaria @ the Cedar 2/22
Crystal Stilts – 7th Street Entry – Man, I’m so glad I decided to go to this show. Listening to these guys on record is one thing, but being crushed by their wall of sound live is on another level. Although Brad Hargett is pretty distant and too-cool-for-school live, they put of a tremendous show.
Pomegranates – Triple Rock Social Club – Poms is one of my favorite bands and one that always ends up on my underrated/underappreciated lists, so seeing them for the first time I had high hopes. They delivered with an incredibly tight set. I can’t want to see them again.
Man Man – First Avenue Mainroom – I went to see Man Man for the first time about a month ago on a complete whim. After one song I understood the hysteria surrounding the band. You MUST see them live.
Braids – 7th Street Entry – This was probably the best set I’ve seen in 2011. Simply mesmerizing. I cannot say enough good things about this band and their live show.
The Radio Dept. – 7th Street Entry – There’s no telling when the Swedes will make it back to the T.C., so it was a pleasure seeing them in the cozy venue. They were greeted with a very eager, energetic crowd that all seemed to genuinely love the band. That always makes it better.
Honorable Mention: Every single time Sexy Delicious play a show. Anywhere, anytime.
*Heliotrope 8 at The Loring Theater
As if we needed more proof of the depth of talent our music scene possesses.
*Bill Callahan at The Cedar
My first time seeing one of the most creative and entertaining singer/songwriters of the last decade-plus and he didn’t let me down one bit.
*Brute Heart LP release (with Lighted, Jerusalem and the Starbaskets, Lighted) at Turf Club
Four local (or mostly local) who filled a night with as good of music as you could ever expect, local or otherwise.
*Pixies Doolittle Tour at Roy Wilkins
Roy Wilkins? Meh. Hearing the Pixies do one of their landmark albums two decades after it was released. Awesome.
*Group Doueh + Food Pyramid at The Cedar/John Maus at 7th Street Entry
Yes, I know they are two separate shows, but they fell on the same night and provided wall to wall entertainment that was overall one of the best nights of music in recent memory for me.
(Honorable Mention: Totally Gross Nation Product showcase at First Ave in March for the sheer amount of talent gracing the stages of the entry/record room/main room)