Author Archives: Brigid Gallagher

TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/31

2:59PM: The Bonus Tracks stage has been hosting an array of local talent all weekend long—the Fly Honeys, Bob’s Dance Shop, etc. Today it’s drag queens galore and I get a little taste of the fun before heading to the north end of Grant Park.

3:20PM: Joe Keery—who you might know from the hit series Stranger Things among other acting roles—also has a band, Djo. A very funky, psychedelic band that’s drawn a nice sized crowd. “I lived in Chicago for many years,” Keery noted, referencing his time studying theatre at DePaul University. “To be playing here and playing this festival means a lot. Thank you.”

4:26PM: The Marías are out here representing the Latino community and the Latino community is out here supporting The Marias. It’s pretty, sexy music sung in both English and Spanish.

4:42PM: “I’m from Chicago, Illinois—the birthplace of gospel music,” Peter Cottontale declares. It’s Sunday and the producer/composer is taking us to church.

5:05PM: Peter Cottontale is full of surprises. As if his full band and choir weren’t enough, he’s got a special guest for seemingly every song. Joey Purps, Jamilia Woods, Vic Mensa, Nico Segal, and Chance the Rapper are just a few of the friends joining him on stage. It’s really a testament to Cottontale and all the music and careers he’s influenced.

5:45PM: From her bedroom writing songs to Lollapalooza with her band, it’s been a quick trajectory for Lili Trifilio, also known as Beach Bunny. The Chicago native seems to be taking it all in.

6:32PM: Porno for Pyros are giving us what we’d expect (fire, scantily clad women including Etty Lau Farrell, Perry chugging down a bottle of red) and then some. A surprise appearance by Billy Corgan caps off their set.

7:41PM: Banks is impressing and so are her dancers. I’m next to a gaggle of gays who’re erecting a statue to her as I write.

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TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/30

1:55PM: Cochise is firing up Saturday’s early Lollapalooza arrivers. Dressed as an inspector in support of his latest album, The Inspection, he kicks his way around the stage and directs the crowd’s moshing efforts.

2:32PM: Hinds continues to be one of Madrid’s finest imports. They’re currently covering The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs,” and a few songs ago they plucked a young female fan from the crowd to play bass with them. They deserve a better time slot!

2:52PM: I’ve lost count of how many Instagram boyfriends I’ve seen this weekend. Everywhere I turn, fans are taking time to perfect their Lolla poses for their socials.

3:16PM: I have never seen so many boob-related signs. Fletcher’s crowd is divided: some signs request that Fletcher show her boobs, while others would prefer she autograph their boobs. It’s no doubt a memorable crowd for the pop singer’s first time playing a main stage at a festival.

3:41PM: There are already throngs of people packing into Perry’s Stage in anticipation of hometown hero, Lil Durk.

4:32PM: Lil Durk has the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at Perry’s. It’s massive. Surf Mesa had to end his set early so the crew could get the crowd to back away from the stage barriers and Lil Durk’s set still started late because no one wanted to listen.

5:34PM: Somehow I’ve weaved my way through the crowd and just barely made it to Duckwrth at the Discord Stage. It’s a wooded reprieve from the insanity that is the Perry’s crowd right now. And Duckwrth is proving himself to be a thoughtful, creative performer.

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TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/29

2:59PM: Kicking Lollapalooza off with critically acclaimed British indie newcomers, Wet Leg. They take a minute to shake off their nerves after sight of the massive crowd—”This is our first festival in the US”—but soon get into their groove.

3:31PM: Perhaps you know Gata from FXX’s brilliant and hilarious show Dave, but hopefully you know him for his music as well. He’s full of pure love and positivity—and wearing a Manny’s Deli shirt and hat to show his support for (real) Chicago. He also took a moment of silence for the Highland Park, Illinois victims, and as far as I know was the only musician to do so over the course of the weekend.

3:53PM: The Regrettes are giving Chicago a dose of LA cool. Moshing is encouraged. Lars Ulrich of Metallica watches them side stage. Lydia Night flies around the stage. It’s one of the best sets of the weekend.

4:10PM: Popular festival looks this year: cowboy hats, lady mullets, cow print, crochet apparel. As always, ass is aplenty.

4:25PM: Genesis Owusu is busting out a high art performance, equipped with costumes and backup dancers. He is a presence.

5:00PM: It’s time for some hard rock, so good thing Royal Blood is ripping through their songs—and some tequila—on the Bud Seltzer Stage.

5:28PM: It’s homecoming at the Discord Stage for Muna’s Kate Gavin, who’s from Evanston and back on Illinois soil. To celebrate, they give the crowd an indie pop party.

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TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/28

12:43PM: Well, we’re underway! The Lollapalooza gates have barely opened and thumping from Perry’s Stage can be heard outside the grounds on Michigan Avenue where many an entrepreneur line the street. There are artists hocking floral crowns and headbands to popsicle stands to coolers filled with everything from water to White Claw to Fireball. Chicago is ready to make some money this weekend.

2:13PM: Entering Lolla I pass some teens attempting to hide their baby bottles of vodka from security. It’d be a lot more discreet if they weren’t standing directly in front of security, but they’ll learn.

3:22PM: My first Perry and Etty Lau Farrell sighting of the weekend and it’s right off the bat. The Lolla founder and his wife have brought special guests today: their two adorable dogs.

4:29PM: The sound of Still Woozy’s high energy pop music is matched only by his high energy pop presence.

5:24PM: You can always count on Tove Lo to bring a dance party and give you a good ol’ boob flash.

6:13PM: I wasn’t sure what to expect from Des Plaines’ own 100 gecs but their fans’ enthusiasm as they counted to 100 before the duo hit the stage had me intrigued. And then they appeared in wizard costumes and pretty much instantly won me over. Their hyperpop is perfect for gamers and fans of the show Workaholics.

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TVD Live Shots: Rage Against the Machine and Run the Jewels at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, 7/27

It’s been a long time coming. First the thrill of the 2019 announcement that Rage Against The Machine was reuniting for a world tour after an eight-year hiatus. Then 2020 hit and, well, you know what. So here we are, two and a half years later, finally able to feast our eyes, ears and souls on their Public Service Announcement Tour. And boy does it live up to expectations.

Run the Jewels kicked off the evening doing what they do best: winning over every single person in the arena. Killer Mike and El-P are quite literally a dynamic duo. Social activists, feminists, comedians, hype men—and oh yeah supreme rappers—they do it all. Their set left me feeling empowered and energized.

Next up was Rage. Much needed Rage. A rageful call to arms. Emotional catharsis in the form of song. For a couple hours, Rage Against The Machine (Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford) gave us permission to be angry and outraged at the state of our world; at the fact that their music, thirty years later, is more relevant than ever. They gave us permission to scream and stomp and laugh and clap. To cry and dance and sing. They gave us some healing. And I’m not sure there’s a better gift than that.

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TVD’s Pitchfork Music Fest 2022 Predictions

Tomorrow the Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off in Chicago’s Union Park. It’s intimate, kind, clean and you are guaranteed to discover at least one new band upon attendance. Below are some of our additional predictions for the weekend.

You will witness a Chicago showcase. From the stage—CupcakKe, Noname, Jeff Parker & the New Breed—to the shade—Chirp Record Fair, Renegade Craft Fair—to the stands—Goose Island, Connie’s Pizza, Chicago Diner—Chicagoans are celebrated.

The Roots will remind you that they’re not just Jimmy Fallon’s house band. They are legendary for a reason!

You will see at least one attendee reading a book, seemingly utterly disinterested in the scenes and sounds around him.

Spiritualized will lull you into a trance with their space rock. Go on the journey.

You will see the best dressed crowd of any festival. Fashionistas, this is your time to shine.

There will be at least one surprise guest during a set and yes, the odds that it’ll be Chance the Rapper are high.

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TVD Live Shots: Dead & Company at Pine Knob Music Theatre, 6/29

DETROIT, MI | It was a perfect summer night in Clarkston, Michigan as Deadheads gathered at Pine Knob Music Theatre for Dead & Company’s 11th show of their summer tour. Naturally I had to check out Shakedown Street before entering the venue and was treated to all the sights, sounds, and smells one would expect. Inside the venue, the party continued.

Dead & Company—featuring remaining members of The Grateful Dead Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann with John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti, and Oteil Burbridge—are a well-oiled machine at this point. Set one featured the tour debut of “Minglewood Blues” and Oteil on lead vocals for “China Doll,” while Set two gave us the live Dead & Company debut of Kingfish’s “Supplication,” among other highlights. Drummer Jay Lane did a fantastic job sitting in for Bill Kreutzmann for most of the show, as Kreutzmann continues to recover from a back injury.

A few days ago, the band had to cancel their Saratoga Springs stop because Mayer’s father was rushed to the hospital. We here at TVD hope that all is well now and the band can resume their tour.

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TVD Live Shots:
Ben Folds at Cain
Park, 6/23

It’s not easy to command an audience when you’re the lone musician on stage, but Ben Folds is a seasoned pro.

Between his masterful piano playing, unmistakable voice, and humorous anecdotes, his presence can easily fill any venue. Clevelanders were treated to a beautiful night at Cain Park this past Thursday. It was the kind of night we dream about when we’re buried in our homes under piles of snow during the winter.

Folds provided a setlist spanning his 30+ year career that prompted singalongs, laughter, dancing, and tears. My heartstrings were especially tugged during his Ben Folds Five covers, as I was instantly transported back to jamming out to those records in high school. He plays Chautauqua Institution tonight before heading south to Nashville to play with their orchestra. Catch him on the road this summer!

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TVD Live Shots: My Morning Jacket and Indigo De Souza at Jacob’s Pavilion, 6/21

It’s been five long years without a My Morning Jacket show in Cleveland, but that streak was fortunately broken last week in a scorcher of a set (both literally—it was hot AF—and figuratively—the band itself also melted faces) at Jacob’s Pavilion.

The show kicked off MMJ’s summer tour, which unfortunately came to a grinding halt two days later, as frontman Jim James tested positive for Covid. Consequently their two Louisville homecoming shows were cancelled, Detroit and Columbus were rescheduled, and I’ve spent the last week feeling pretty damn lucky that I got to see them at all. MMJ is set to resume their tour in Madison, Wisconsin on July 1st and hopefully this is the last time that Covid interferes with their health and wealth.

As for the Cleveland show, it was full of everything I love about My Morning Jacket: soaring vocals, epic solos, full-on jam-outs, and thoughtful production lighting. Their band chemistry is simply off-the-charts—not to mention that they’re all musical wizards—and that combo makes for something seriously special.

Keyboardist and Lakewood native Bo Koster got a little extra love from the crowd after his solo on “Feel You,” but ultimately every member of the band dazzled. On more than one occasion I saw mouths gaping open all around me. It’s how you can identify new members of the flock.

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TVD Live Shots: Kikagaku Moyo at
El Club, 5/25

DETROIT, MI | Japanese psych rockers Kikagaku Moyo have been a musical staple of my household for a few years now. I couldn’t tell you how or when I discovered them, but I’m sure glad I did.

In their decade-long career, they’ve released five excellent studio albums including their most recent one in April, Kumoyo Island. And despite their acclaim and success, the five members—Go Kurosawa, Tomo Katsurada, Kotsu Guy, Daoud Popal, and Ryu Kurosawa—have decided to call it quits. So when they announced a final tour with a stop in Detroit at El Club, it was a no-brainer decision to road trip it from Cleveland for the night.

El Club was as packed as the intimate venue could get, with every neck craning to catch a glimpse of the band. There was a buzz in the air that we were about to witness something special, and boy did we. Kikagaku Moyo transported us. Listening to their music takes you to your own expansive world, even when sandwiched in a pack of people. I will miss them, but look forward to seeing where their individual paths take them in the future.

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TVD Live Shots:
King Gizzard and
The Lizard Wizard
at the Agora, 5/20

If you know anything about King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, you know that these Australian rockers are a prolific bunch. Since 2010, they’ve released 20 studio albums. Twenty!

Their musical style ranges from psychedelic to progressive to thrash metal (and everything in between), so it’s impossible to predict what’s in store when you buy a ticket to see them live. You can, however, expect a colorful, energetic, and tongue-wagging experience.

Such was their show at Cleveland’s Agora. Fans were even treated to two live debuts from the Gizzverse (“Presumptuous,” “The Grim Reaper”), and plenty of face-melting moments. Band members Stu Mackenzie, Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Joey Walker, Cook Craig, Lucas Harwood, and Michael Cavanagh hit the east coast next before touring Europe this summer. They’ll probably release a couple albums as well.

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TVD Live Shots: Turnstile at the
Agora, 5/18

Baltimore’s Turnstile have been around for a decade but are just beginning to get their credit due. Their 2021 release Glow On received critical acclaim for good reason—it fucking rocks. Ever since, this hardcore band has been catapulted into the mainstream. They’re also one of the most exciting live bands around.

Each member of the band—Brendan Yates, Franz Lyons, Daniel Fang, Brady Ebert and Pat McCrory—have such captivating stage presences that it’s hard to know who to focus your eyeballs on. Especially since you’re probably headbanging. Or crowd surfing. Or screaming along to the lyrics.

Catch them on tour this summer and you won’t be disappointed. That’s a promise.

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TVD Live Shots:
Lucius at Beachland Ballroom, 5/17

“Welcome home!” a lone voice screamed to native Clevelander Holly Laessig, one half of the vocal powerhouse that is Lucius, and the Beachland Ballroom crowd erupted.

There’s nothing Clevelanders love more than another Clevelander—especially a famous one. The other half, Jess Wolfe (who is equally awesome and from LA), addressed the crowd: “Of all the amazing experiences we’ve had, nothing feels as good as being here with you singing along to our music that we wrote from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.” Then they dove into a gorgeous rendition of “Dusty Trails,” and made practically everyone weep.

It was nice to hear songs from their latest album Second Nature, live. Released last month, it’s Lucius’ first album since 2016. But don’t let that fool you—they’ve been very busy. Between touring the world with Roger Waters and lending their vocals to track after track for the likes of Harry Styles, Brandi Carlile, John Prine, Mavis Staples, and Jeff Tweedy to name a few, the women of Lucius have been busy as hell. Their new originals are as sparkly and vibrant as their outfits, and their disco vibe was perfectly capped off with a finale cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.”

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TVD Live Shots: Jacob Collier at the Agora, 5/13

“Did Jacob Collier just play five instruments in the span of 20 seconds…and we’re only on song one?,” I asked myself while sprinting around the photo pit, clumsily attempting to capture the musical savant as he dashed from one end of the stage to the other, conducting the crowd. Yep, he sure did.

And that’s the Jacob Collier experience: a dazzling multisensory explosion of sounds, colors, ideas, and talent. It can be overwhelming and potentially induce feelings of inferiority for not knowing how to play 45 instruments. But there’s no time to wallow because the Londoner’s innate charm and enthusiasm sweep you right up.

At 27, it’s not a stretch to refer to him as a virtuoso and I look forward to continuing to be astonished by him in years to come.

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TVD Live Shots: Interpol at the Agora, 5/10

One of the most magical attributes of music is its ability to allow the listener to time travel. And some bands do it better than others. One such band: Interpol. Upon the first riffs of “Untitled”—from their brilliant 2002 debut, Turn on the Bright Lights—the packed Agora erupted into cheers and then quickly quieted so as to not miss a note.

The entire show was a transportation: every instrument clear and precise; every song a spectacle of lights (cheers to whoever produced the lighting for this particular tour); every moment a cherished one by a member of the audience. Interpol has aged well, their music lasting the test of time and their musicianship at an all-time best.

Their tour continues through the fall with dates in the US, Europe, and South America. Get yourself a ticket.

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