TVD Live: Future Islands, Digable Planets, Noname at the House of Vans Chicago Opening, 2/3

PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | As soon as the doors opened to the House of Vans, the crowd began exploring. This was the grand opening everyone was waiting to sink their teeth into and it did not disappoint. House of Vans is the only existing indoor skatepark in Chicago and some people were so excited they had their skateboard on hand.

The space is filed with beautiful sloping ramps, the walls lined with awe-inducing concert photography, and special touches to recognize its hometown. Behind one ramp, a fenced in ivy covered wall is reminiscent of Wrigley Field, as is the repurposed Goose Island brewpub bar. To top off the night, local favorites were waiting to treat the crowd with food and drink. On site were Parson’s Chicken and Fish, Big Star Tacos, and Goose Island, who even had a special brew, the Vans Golden Lager.

There was a lot to keep the crowd occupied before the music got started. Vans was handing out t-shirts, totes, and limited edition grand opening posters. Several folks couldn’t wait and they put their shirt on right away. A DJ played favorites as a line formed outside of the photo booth. Eventually the mass of people parted and a circle formed as several dancers took turns showing their best breakdancing moves.

Soon Chicago’s Noname, took the stage and everyone was quick to greet her. She encouraged the audience to dance and clap along, as she slowly bounced and swayed across the stage. She spit out personal lines about her hometown as the crowd repeated the verses back to her. Before singing “All I Need,” Noname told the audience, “This song is about how I quit smoking weed, but then started again, and then quit again… so it’s a love song.” Her set pleased old fans, but also created new ones. She brought a charm and energy that’s hard to resist.

Noname is starting her sold out headlining tour with two shows at Chicago’s Metro. The tour is to promote her album, Telefone which is currently available for download on SoundCloud.

Between sets, the House of Vans’ crew took a moment to thank the city for welcoming them. They also explained what House of Vans was all about—a place to promote art, music, and street culture. All that is needed to attend an event is to RSVP; their shows will never have a charge. “We’re not here for the weekend. We’re here for good!” They told the delighted crowd.

Next Brooklyn legends, Digable Planets were welcomed by fans. The band’s enthusiasm was high, telling the crowd, “This is a nice place, a nice situation.” Their drummer whipped at his drums while thrusting his hips. The beat took hold of the audience and soon everyone was dancing. When they played the classic “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” fans ran towards the stage with their phones in the air to record every moment of it.

Digable Planets spent 2016 traveling the world for a reunion tour. Though they haven’t released anything new in years, you can still find most of their work on vinyl, but it will cost you.

The audience was ready and in good spirits by the time Future Islands hit their first note. They opened with songs off their upcoming album and the crowd ate it up. Lead singer, Sam Herring uses every inch and level of the stage. He lunges back and forth, crouches down to look the photo-pit in the eye, he holds hands with audience members. Every song becomes a dramatic performance as he punches his chest passionately, grabs at his heart, slaps his face. He tells a story in his range of vocals—a simple phrase turns into a yell and rises to a roar.

Future Islands hasn’t toured in a while as they prepared for the release of their latest album, The Far Field. Herring started to feel out of shape for the show, “I should have worked out. These legs feel fucking crazy.” But the band powered through and with the first chords of old favorite “Long Flight,” the audience shouted their approval.

Future Islands’ next album, The Far Field, is now available for pre-order on black or colored vinyl (or even a mini-LP replica) and will be released April 7th.





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