Tag Archives: Chicago live music

Reasons We Live in Chicago #2: Live music

It’s been December for eight days, and it’s snowed three days of those days. Right in a row.

The snow hasn’t been substantial yet, but it’s been enough to make the commute annoying and make me create a mental checklist of all indoor activity options—like live music. Reason We Live in Chicago (in crappy weather) #2.

Oh, yes. Bands play here.

Sometimes, I forget how cheap and accessible a good show is in Chicago. The notion quickly came back to me last Tuesday when we went to see The xx and Friendly Fires at Bottom Lounge.

The xx

Originally, the allure of attending the show was The xx. They’re a lovely little British band I’ve been listening to for the past few months, thanks to emusic and the prompting of my good pal, Lisa.  They sounded fantastic live, true to form, especially given that they recently went from four band members to three. Favorite live songs  were “Crystallized” and “Islands.” Yessss.

The only image I got of the whole band, thanks to the enormous speaker in front of me.

Signature double white xx, encapsulated in black.

Friendly Fires

The surprise of the night was how much I liked Friendly Fires. I have their album, and I do like it, especially as a workout soundtrack. I still had low expectations going into the show, assuming they’d play like other generic British pop bands. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing sound quality and immense energy that the band brought to the stage. The lead singer danced his ass off, and the crowd followed suit.

I just noticed how sweaty the guy in the middle is.

That’s the best: going from liking to digging a band as a result of seeing a live show. Especially when the show only cost you $15 plus the cost of cheap beer. The best.

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Filed under Chicago, chicago winter, city life, music

Let’s become geekier

We spend the first quarter of our lives trying to fit in, doing the same things as our friends and wearing the same clothes. Yes, to blend in is to fit in.

It took me a while but I’ve realized that, the older we get, the more we celebrate our unique interests, tastes and styles. Unlike our childhood and teenage years, being geeky makes you stand out in good way. My junior high self would be so confused by this notion.

I have to remind myself all the time that living in a city with so many things to do and see, there’s no excuse for not being geeky about something. There are restaurants opening every week, classes for everything and every kind of show imaginable. And because there are so many budget-friendly options, there’s no reason not to take advantage of them.

In High Fidelity fashion, on my top 5 all-time things I’d like to write about if knowledge and vocabulary were not obstacles, music would be #2 (wine is #1, duh). I certainly would like to be geekier about music. I like listening to music, I’m a fan of attending shows but I don’t know much about the mechanics. Luckily, live shows are crazy accessible. My new goal is to attend any show that strikes my fancy and agrees with budget and schedule. (Shows through Ticketmaster need not apply). Empty Bottle happens to be within walking distance. Perfection.

Joe and I saw Girls at Empty Bottle last Thursday. Dominant Legs and Real Estate opened. I messed up on the time, so we arrived suppperrrrr early. Probably before the bands. I enjoyed Dominant Legs’ beats and catchy pop songs. However, watching someone sing to along with a keyboard is only so exciting.

Dominant Legs. The dude is also in Girls.

Real Estate. I enjoyed their music more online that in person. Joe disliked.

I actually came to the show to see Girls. Their songs are dreamy and pop-like, yet cynical. My usual complaint about Empty Bottle is that the music-to-vocal-sound-ratio is terrible. But Girls sounded crisp and true to form.

Girls band

Girls

One of these days, I’ll learn how to upload .avi files. Until I become video savvy, I’ll work on becoming a music geek.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, music