Concerts I’ve seen lately:
THE SWELL SEASON’s Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglova played five songs Aug. 12 at Lincoln Hall following a screening of the film that made them famous, Once, and a Q&A with Sound Opinions hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. What a delightful evening. (Of course, now I keep thinking about the tragic death of a fan that happened at a Swell Season concert in California a week later.)
LOST IN THE TREES played Aug. 16 at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, part of the “Dusk Variations” series. A nice example of an indie folk-rock band making sophisticated use of chamber-music style strings.
MY MORNING JACKET played Aug. 17 at the Charter One Pavilion, which was my first visit to this concert venue on Northerly Island, where Meigs Field was until Mayor Daley ordered in the bulldozers. Charter One is basically a parking lot and bleachers set up in front of a big stage, with vendors selling tallboy cans of Bud for $11. ($11!!!) Not really my sort of venue, but I guess it served its purpose as a setting for My Morning Jacket’s arena rock. The band showed that it still knows how to rock out with a vengeance — at least when it’s playing its old songs. Luckily, the band played a lot from It Still Moves and Z, but I wish they’d played even older songs. The more recent songs are lackluster in comparison, although the band almost brought them to life on stage.
THE SADIES were scheduled to play two nights at Schubas, but the second night was cancelled, and the band ended up playing just one show, Aug. 20. It’s a shame that this terrific band hasn’t become more popular and moved up to bigger venues. On the other hand, it’s nice that Sadies fans can still enjoy seeing them up-close in an intimate venue like Schubas. The guitar licks were as awesome as they usually are, and it was great to hear the Sadies doing some songs from their excellent recent record, Darker Circles. They even did double duty, playing as the backing band for Jon Langford and Sally Timms during one of the opening sets. And they finished off the night with an encore medley of tunes originally played by Them in the ’60s: “Gloria,” “”I Can Only Give You Everything,” “Baby Please Don’t Go” and back to “Gloria.”
Sorry, no photos from these concerts, but my camera will be back in action very soon.