Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Brothers gonna work it out

I have loved the Chemical Brothers for a long time, so of course when I heard they were coming to Chicago, I was giddy. They are touring in support of their latest album, We Are the Night, which is very good. So last night they played at the Riviera Theater, and the show was far more amazing that I even imagined it would be. My cousin joined me for a most memorable night.

I have never been to an electronic show before, so I did not know what to expect. Some people probably think that the group would just stand up there pressing play. Well Ed and Tom were hard at work, with many machines, mixers, decks, and the like.

The nearly sold-out crowd had great energy. The a.c. at the Riv is not very good, so with a couple thousand people dancing, combined with the 90 degree day, the place was very warm. I am not sure I have ever been sweatier.

Anyway, the show was brilliant. The guys played many of my favorite songs, and they played for 2 hours. But the highlight of the show was the huge 40 foot video screen on which was broadcast a wide array of dazzling graphics, strange videos, and stunning feats of acrobatic lighting.

(Click any picture for a larger image)

The show started with a powerful version of "Galvanize," and the military-themed lights were a nice touch.

The crowd was definitely into it.

A definite highlight of the show was the performance of "Do it Again." The dancing light-men on the screen, combined with the giant faces, made for a fun number.

Ed and Tom seemed like they were having a lot of fun, and their enthusiasm was infectious.

One of my favorite Chemical Brothers songs is "Out of Control," and this was a total crowd pleaser.

This particular graphic was one of my favorites. The show featured a wonderful combination of new songs and old classics.


A stirring moment of the concert came with the song "Surface to Air," which I consider to be one of the most beautiful electronic songs ever.

And then the robots came . . .

One of the best songs from the new album is the Superball-bouncey "Saturate," and the video for this was a lot of exploding paint balls.

My favorite performances, in addition to those already mentioned here, were "Star Guitar," "Hey Boy, Hey Girl," and "The Golden Path."

Another prime selection from the new album is "Das Spiegel," featuring Tom on the fancy electronic mouth organ. This is a sublime song.

For the encore, the guys came back with some old school big beat madness, featuring their classics "Leave Home ("The Brothers Gonna Work it Out") and "Block Rockin' Beats," which made the hot and exhausted crowd go wild with new life.

You can watch a live clip of "Do It Again" (along with others) here. (This is not the Chicago show, but the light & video show is the same.) It is definitely worth a look.

Though I stayed out way too late on a school night, it was so worth it. The Chemical Brothers put on one of the best shows I have ever seen.


At 10:34 PM, Blogger Deemer posited...

Great Pictures! The Riviera is an awesome venue. I wish more acts would utilize it.

As for Chemical Brothers, I wasn't too crazy about their new album. To me it demonstrated a group that had run out of material. After your post, I will have to listen to it again. Maybe i'm wrong.

By the way, I loved the song 'out of control' with the New Order guy!

At 2:48 PM, Blogger JB posited...

Love the pictures, and glad to read you had a blast!

The "fancy electronic mouth organ" looks like a melodica, but knowing the Chemical Brothers it was probably a MIDI controller. I'm not trying to be a pedant, I swear. I almost bought a melodica once. They're nifty.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...

My favorite picture was the elephant. I also thought the "fancy electronic mouth organ" looked like a melodica and would also like a melodica.

At 7:47 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Nadeem, the new album is not their best, but I do like it. There are a couple of songs that I skip over, but many of the songs are excellent.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

JB (and Jill),
Yes, it was a melodica. But last night when I was posting, I could not think of the name. It was one of those tip-of-the-tongue deals--I knew it ended with -ca, but I could not think of it. I sat with my post unposted for a while, and I tried to use the internet to help me, but I could not figure it out.
Then today I thought of it, but then I did not want to change my post. Besides, "fancy electronic mouth organ" has a nice ring to it, I think.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Josh posited...

i am not too familiar with these dude's work but this looks awesome


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