Chicago Concert Preview
August 25-31, 2010
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2010, Volume 17, #8
Written by John Metzger
Wed August 25, 2010, 06:30 AM CDT
8/25 - David Gray / Ray LaMontagne - Jay Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago - 6:15 p
A collaborative tour featuring David Gray and Ray LaMontagne has been long overdue. Both artists add soulful textures to their melodic folk-rock songs, and although they ultimately wind up in different places, they share a profound love of Van Morrisonís output. After a four-year absence from recording, Gray returned last year with Draw the Line. While he had intended to alter his approach by hiring a new supporting cast, the end result wasnít a huge departure from his previous endeavors. Making up for lost time, Gray quickly completed his latest effort Foundling, a double-disc collection that began as a compilation of leftovers from the sessions for Draw the Line. Meanwhile, LaMontagne has shaken off the tedium that plagued much of his 2008 set Gossip in the Grain. Beg, Steal or Borrow, the lead single from his latest album God Williní & the Creek Donít Rise, embraces the organic facets of his early work, while also emphasizing his infatuation with The Band. Gray and LaMontagne will share the stage at Chicagoís Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on August 25.
8/26 - Vienna Teng / Alex Wong - Lincoln Hall - Chicago - 8:00 p
Fans of Vienna Teng wonít want to miss her performance at Chicagoís Lincoln Hall on August 26. It might be a while until she is back in town. Earlier this year, Teng announced plans to put her music career on hold so that she could return to school to seek a dual degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Teng has stated publicly that her decision has less to do with the state of the music industry than it does with her longstanding interest in building sustainable businesses. Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine that the current condition of the economy, which has had a negative impact upon ticket sales across the board, wasnít a factor in convincing her that now is the right time to take a leave of absence from the road. Tengís latest trek through town is part of an ongoing collaborative venture with Alex Wong. In concert, the duo not only has shown a tendency toward revisiting tracks from Tengís latest studio set Inland Territory, which Wong helped to shape, but they also are prone to offering their interpretation of Radioheadís Idioteque.
8/26 - Lou Barlow - Schuba's - Chicago - 9:00 p
After mending fences with J. Mascis and rejoining Dinosaur Jr., Lou Barlow reconnected with Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein to resurrect the classic line-up of his side project Sebadoh. Somehow, amidst all of this retrospective thinking, Barlow also found time to launch his official solo career. His debut Emoh was a promising beginning, even if it also felt a little tentative. His sophomore set Goodnight Unknown, however, is a fully confident second act. As Barlowís fans might expect, the outing contains an abundance of tuneful melodies as well as its share of acoustic melodrama and electric angst. In effect, it summarizes everything that Barlow has ever done in a way that simultaneously clears the slate and positions him for the future. Not surprisingly, Barlow has not been digging very deeply into his back catalogue on his recent sojourns, and there is no reason to think that he will change his approach when he performs at Schubaís in Chicago on August 26.
8/29 - Iggy and The Stooges - Aragon - Chicago - 7:30 p
Reunited, once again, with guitarist James Williamson, Iggy and The Stooges is in the midst of a tour designed not only to support the newly expanded edition of Raw Power that was issued earlier this year, but also to celebrate the bandís long-delayed induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once the epitome of music-business excess, the group, like many of its peers, has toned down its radical behavior. The result is a streamlined show that strikes hard and fast, refusing to release its grip until the final notes of the evening have been played. There arenít many outfits that can maintain a ferocious edge for 43 years, but Iggy and the Stooges seems to have found new life within the feral intensity of its classic recordings. Iggy and The Stooges will mix material from Raw Power, Funhouse and its self-titled debut with selections from Iggy Popís first few solo endeavors when it performs at the Aragon in Chicago on August 29.
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