Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dan Deacon, Height With Friends, and Chester Endersby Gwazda

In the 350+ live acts that I've seen in my lifetime so far, there is not one comparable to Dan Deacon. You never really know what you're going to get when you go see him, except that it will likely be an interactive, fun, trippy, weird, unique circus of a good time. He rolled into Lincoln Hall in his touring school bus that runs on corn oil with his Baltimore buddies, Height With Friends and Chester Endersby Gwazda, who kicked off the night. From there, Dan took over, ordering the crowd around like puppets (and they were happy, joyful puppets) and playing some tracks off of his latest album, America, along with a few favorites from his excellent 2009 album, Bromst. The energy of his shows is contagious. Moreover, Dan is able to create experiences that evoke emotions and provoke thought from his audience so that his art becomes shared art. Don't miss him next time his tour takes him to your neighborhood. For more of my images of the night, please click here.

Height With Friends has been around for awhile and Height has a Beastie Boys, Bloodhound Gang, and even Cake sort of vibe. Rap with soul, but also rap that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Dan Deacon hit the stage and didn't waste any time getting the crowd involved... 

First he made them point at things. 

Then Dan organized a dance circle and audience members busted out their best moves.

This is Chester Endersby Gwazda. He played a solo set before Heights With Friends and later played guitar and keyboards for Dan Deacon.  

After the dance circle, Dan had the audience create a human tunnel that spanned outside onto Lincoln Avenue. 

Some of his trippy background images included Obama and Romney faces. 

And the interpretive dancing continued... 

Woody Harrelson made an appearance... 

And later in the show I hit the stage to capture Dan's very own smartphone app in action.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Esperanza Spalding

Last month a few of us decided to check out Chicago's newest concert venue and eatery, City Winery. We couldn't think of a better first show to attend there than Grammy Award winning Jazz artist, Esperanza Spalding. And while we thoroughly enjoyed the venue and were ultimately impressed with Ms. Spalding's extraordinary talent, we were less than impressed with her attitude. There's no other way to put this: she was completely arrogant and shockingly rude to the audience. However, it's clear that she's a musical genius and has a band full of pure skill to back her up. Here are a few photos from the night.

Her band was EXCELLENT. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Father John Misty and La Sera

Father John Misty and La Sera put on a great show at Lincoln Hall the night before Halloween. There were some pretty awesome costumes in the audience, notably eggs and bacon, Ron Burgundy, and LOTS of lumberjacks (but in retrospect the lumberjacks were likely just that gaggle of bearded, flanneled men that are at every indie rock show). Anyway, La Sera - Katy Goodman's relatively new solo act (you might know her from Vivian Girls) - was all pop punk pleasantries. Her good vibes on stage worked their way through the happy, energized audience. Next up was Father John Misty, J. Tillman's (formerly of Fleet Foxes) solo project. Charisma is the first word that comes to mind when describing J. Tillman and his band; they definitely have a lot of it. And Tillman's hip shaking alone is worth the ticket - the dude has got some serious stage presence! I hope you enjoy the photos - for more, click here.

La Sera

Father John Misty

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wind Lake, Wisconsin

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Wind Lake, Wisconsin. It was the first time in a while that I've actually felt completely relaxed. I thought I'd share a few photos of this beautiful lake, which is a mere 90-minute drive from Chicago. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

White Rabbits

The first concert I ever saw at Lincoln Hall was The Walkmen and White Rabbits, so as I was photographing the White Rabbits this time around, I couldn't help but get a sense of things coming full circle. As usual, they put on an energetic set, often switching instruments with each other. There was not a dull moment; between their constant stage movements and the healthy mixture of old and new songs, it's clear that these guys truly throw all of themselves into their live shows. You can see more of my photos here.