Each year the Windy City’s largest music festival brings together young, trendy artists and old favorites to flood the grounds of Grant Park. While ticket sales were lower than normal this year, the hype regarding the lineup and artists coming to Lollapalooza is still as strong as ever.
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Pitchfork Music Festival goers expected the worst, their eyes watching gray clouds roll in as they flocked to Chicago’s Union Park, armed with rain ponchos and umbrellas. But something was looking out for us this weekend — only small spurts of rain dropped on the crowd of thousands and artists played as though sparked by the adrenaline rush of risking electrocution.
“IV is the sum of the I, II, and III.” That was the driving thought behind the fourth installment of the Eaux Claires music festival, according to the festival’s homepage. In years past, co-creators Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner have used the weekend in the woods to shine a light on emerging artists and give fans the opportunity to see influential artists of a massive scale.
The ideal way to listen to indie pop band Men I Trust involves lying in the grass looking up at the sky as it shifts from blue to pink to purple during the sultry golden hour and then getting up and dancing, just you and your headphones. The band took me, and it appeared the entire High Noon audience, to this euphoric place at their Thursday night show.
On Tuesday, April 10, the Majestic Theatre on State Street turned the lights off and cranked the music up. Sasami started the evening off, followed by the band No Joy, with Baths ending the upbeat night on a great note.
Vundabar has made their way to Madison on a national tour that’s taken them through California, Colorado and Florida, with an appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas along the way. The indie rock band from Boston will be bringing their specific brand of melancholy and hard-hitting punk rock around the Midwest in April, with shows in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago.
Earth, Wind & Fire, arguably the most influential and prolific funk, disco, R&B and soul band of all time, performed at the Overture Center last Saturday, 49 years after the band’s creation.
Superheroes don’t always wear capes, or so the saying goes. Sometimes they blend into the black backdrop on a stage and cast their powers over a crowd through the vibrations of their guitar strings. Indie rock singer-songwriter Mitski radiated this power, her chin raised and legs placed firmly in a powerful stance, regal as she watched over her kingdom at the High Noon Saloon this past Thursday.
Lorde kicked off her “Melodrama” North American tour in Milwaukee earlier this month with Tove Styrke and Run the Jewels. After suffering through two hours of dreadful, mediocre opening acts, the crowd was getting restless.
Declan McKenna first caught the world’s attention, and my own, for his 2015 hit, “Brazil.” The song was written in protest of the worldwide soccer organization, FIFA, and their awarding of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to Brazil. This required the country to build new stadiums — which cost millions of dollars — despite many Brazilians living in poverty.
Expectations were high as I waited outside of the Orpheum Theater last Wednesday, excited to see what Mat Kearney would perform for his stop in Madison. His last album, Just Kids came out in 2015 and his last well-known hit, “Ships in the Night” dropped nearly eight years ago. I was curious to see what Kearney’s performance would unveil and I was pleasantly surprised — though he has new music, the same relaxed and upbeat songs were still there.
Keys N Krates stole the stage last Wednesday, March 7, at the Majestic with their classic trap bass and beats. The Canadian trio consisting of Greg Dawson, Adam Tune and David Matisse are on tour for their recent album, CURA. Though most electronic shows consist of a producer behind a laptop, Keys N Krates introduced a unique element of live performance throughout their set.
Judah & The Lion brought energy and positivity to the Orpheum last Tuesday night, but the openers were truly what made the performance memorable.
Vince Staples and Tyler, the Creator brought their North American tour to Madison this past Thursday, where each performed in front of a packed crowd at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall.
Most people know Walk the Moon from their acclaimed, overplayed pop hit “Shut Up and Dance.” If you don’t know the tune, you must have done a pretty good job at avoiding every radio station for the past four years.
In Chicago’s Vic Theatre, the room went dark and the crowd came alive. We knew what this meant — Hippo Campus was finally ready to perform, and we were more than ready to listen. Shades of blue lighting immediately hit the stage and outlined the band. Lead vocalist Jake Luppen let his voice pervade the room that had now fallen silent with suspense. His melodic tone carried the lyrics to the song “Poems” as the other band members let their instruments slowly seep into the rhythm. The beginning of “Poems” feels like a dream — unhurried and soothing. After a minute or so, however, all of the instruments come in at once to create this burst of euphoria. Although it was not clear to me at first, it now seems obvious why the band chose this song to open with. The initial dreamy feel and the knowledge that a vibrant chorus is seconds away generates this palpable, unmistakable electricity in the crowd that sets up the rest of the night for high spirits and success.
Portugal. The Man brought some of their new spirited vitality and buzz to the Overture Center.
In a dizzying and intense performance, Portugal. The Man rocked the sold-out Overture Center Sunday night.
We all have that one relative: the scruffy-looking type who keeps to themselves at family gatherings and clearly doesn’t want to be there. His hair wild, eyes lowered, Destroyer’s frontman Dan Bejar appeared to headline the second night of the annual FRZN Fest embodying this character. He took frequent sips of his beer as he crooned lyrics that sounded like poetry but felt like the deep prophecies an uncle absentmindedly drones on about at the dinner table.
While sporting flannels and hoodies, the hip musicians of Whitney transported audiences away from the thick air of the Majestic Theatre. The band had the vibes of a gang of dudes simply jamming around a bonfire on the shore of a sunset-tinted, misty lake. The sold-out crowd swayed and smiled to the indie pop tunes, basking in the hints of outdoorsy late summer nights.