Black Angels & Vietnam at the Empty Bottle

The Black Angels’ album Passover was one of my favorites from last year, and they also put on a great live show last summer at the Empty Bottle, opening for the Pink Mountaintops. I missed seeing the Black Angels recently in their hometown, Austin, Texas, when I was there for SXSW, so I couldn’t miss their return visit to Chicago. It was a heavy, intense show, with those fuzzy guitar riffs, pounding drums and a groovy groove that seemed to go on all night. The band members sort of wander around the stage, with a very casual attitude. The encore was the strongest part of the set, including a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” I enjoyed the opening set by Vietnam, too, though I’m less familiar with their music. I heard some Velvet Underground-style drones and noisy solos from these shaggy Brooklynites.

Photographically speaking, it was a frustrating evening. As usual for the Empty Bottle, it was about as bright as the inside of a closet. And to top things off, my special lens for low-light settings is malfunctioning (a stuck focus ring), so it wasn’t easy to get shots that were in focus and light enough to use. I was a little bit more creative than usual in Photoshop…

See my photos of the Black Angels and Vietnam.

Leave a Reply