Author Archives: Taylor Nettnin

TVD Live Shots: Two Door Cinema Club with Joywave at the Riviera Theatre, 3/7

Two Door Cinema Club sold out the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on Thursday, March 7th in support of their 2022 album Keep On Smiling. Joywave was brought along to provide support for this leg of the tour.

Fresh off the release of their new single “Brain Damage,” Joywave stormed the stage to an audience full of fans dancing along to their catchy tracks. Looking into the crowd, you see attendees instantly start bobbing their heads, whipping their hair, and letting their hands fly up. Some fans have even put on the tie-dyed shirts that they freshly purchased at the merch table. Starting off their set with the dance heavy “Somebody New,” Joywave instantly proves that they’re here for a good time. Towards the latter half of their set, they announce that they will be back in Chicago on a headlining tour in September, and tickets go on sale in May.

Two Door Cinema Club was up next. With riffs that make it feel like it’s summer, it’s hard not to dance around and have a carefree mood while their set goes on. They open their set with a track off their most recent album, followed by a track from their first album. They play this back and forth through their entire set, mixing in old with the new, perfectly balancing their body of work for all to enjoy. They even performed their recently released single, “Happy Customers,” for the first time live, which was promptly followed by deep cut “Costume Party.” Both tracks elicited a positive response from the crowd, with many attendees trying to push forward so they could get even closer to their favorite band.

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TVD Live Shots:
Zack Fox at the
Metro, 11/8

On Wednesday, November 8th, actor, comedian, and musician Zack Fox had the crowd laughing and dancing at the same time while he performed at the Metro in Chicago, IL. Storming the stage shortly after finding out that the SAG-AFTRA strike had come to an end, Fox was in rare form, giving the crowd his all and even commenting about how the crowds in Chicago can get a performer very pumped up.

Fox calmly walked on the stage, stopped at his looping machine, and proceeded to tell a joke about how he liked how white women get zen at yoga classes. Continuing with that joke, he started to play meditation music and led the crowd through a breathing exercise, laughing while doing so. He kept with the joke, playing the meditation music between some of his songs throughout the night.

Eloquently delivering a smooth flow over carefully crafted beats, you can’t tell that Fox interpolates comedic lines into his lyrics, such as “This the trap game Abraham Lincoln / Four score and 16 bars ago” from his collaboration with Kenny Beats “Jesus Is The One (I Got Depression).” Ending the night with crowd favorites “dummy” and “fafo,” everybody in attendance left the venue smiling and wanting more.

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TVD Live Shots:
Run The Jewels at
the Salt Shed, 9/29

What started out as a one time collaboration for an album by two hip-hop juggernauts, Run The Jewels celebrated 10 years as a super duo with four album releases under their belt, by performing in four different cities for four nights, each night consisting of a full play of one of their four albums. Chicago fans were in for a treat as they were one of the four lucky cities chosen for these special performances, and we were present for night three of this epic event.

El-P reminded the crowd at the beginning of the show that they were going to be playing their third album all the way through. Meaning, they weren’t only playing “just the bangers” from each album, but they were going to get through every single track, including the ones that they never put in touring rotation.

Run The Jewels are infectious when they perform live, which is a huge part of why they’ve been together for 10 years and why the fans keep coming back for more. Each night of their four show run in Chicago was completely sold out, and that included special four packs of tickets for super fans that wanted to attend every single night.

You can tell while watching El-P and Killer Mike on stage just how much they love performing together in front of their fans. There is never a moment when a smile isn’t plastered on one of their faces. The energy that they exude onstage feeds the energy of the crowd, and getting to watch this amazing spectacle from the outskirts of the crowd is exhilarating. El-P and Killer Mike run and jump around the stage, while the fans are banging their heads and bouncing around in the crowd.

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TVD Live Shots: Fall Out Boy with The Academy Is… and Alkaline Trio at Wrigley Field, 6/21

Fall Out Boy kicked off their So Much For (Tour) Dust summer tour in Chicago, IL on Wednesday, June 21st at Wrigley Field. This marks the third time that the Illinois natives have played at Wrigley Field, a feat that lead singer Patrick Stump admitted they never could have imagined would ever happen. To mark the momentous night, they brought along their friends The Academy Is… and Alkaline Trio who also hail from Illinois, to make the show even more special.

When The Academy Is… played “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It),” a song that was unfortunately cut for time when they last played a show at Riot Fest in 2022, the crowd was being set for a show that will likely be talked about by fans for many years to come. Fall Out Boy treated the crowd to so many deep cuts—every time a song started, the crowd would scream even louder to show their shock at hearing their favorite songs live.

Patrick Stump even exclaimed that he “bet you never thought you’d hear this song being played at Wrigley,” before launching right into “Calm Before The Storm,” a track from their debut album Take This To Your Grave, which turned 20 years old this year. Stump also talked about how he was jogging around the neighborhood where the venue is located while they were writing that album, writing the song “Where Is Your Boy?” in his head. Bassist Pete Wentz quipped back “imagine us jogging,” to which the crowd laughed and cheered.

This show also saw the return of guitarist and co-founder Joe Trohman who announced in January of this year, following the announcement of the band’s eighth studio album So Much (for) Stardust, that he would be taking a hiatus to focus on his mental health. The entire band were well in sync with their guitarist back and better than ever, grooving all night with smiles plastered on their faces. They even played “G.I.N.A.S.F.S.,” a bonus from their third studio album Infinity On High, live for the first time ever.

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TVD Live Shots:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Sasami at Huntington Bank Pavilion, 6/1

“We’re not gonna party like it’s Friday night, we’re not gonna party like it’s Saturday night, we’re gonna party like it’s Thursday night because that’s the night the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are in Chicago!” That’s how vocalist Karen O set off the Yeah Yeah Yeahs electric show in Chicago on Thursday, June 1st. And party is exactly what everyone did.

Decked out in sparkling sequins, backlit by a huge LED panel, and armed with the excitement of being on tour, Karen O brought the most intoxicating energy—everyone in the crowd was dancing, singing every lyric right back to the band. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their groundbreaking album Fever to Tell, yet the seasoned band had the same energy and enthusiasm level as they did in 2003. It’s exhilarating to see a band full of world renowned musicians bringing the same intensity to the stage as they did when they were energetic 20-somethings.

The songs they performed from their newest release Cool It Down, “Burning” and “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” brought the same soul and punch as some of their more well-known tracks from their earlier releases. Just as the audience went crazy when the band performed “Sacrilege” and “Heads Will Roll,” everyone in the outdoor theater had the same level of enthusiasm when the band performed their slower track, “Maps,” which included a special intro dedicated to those who celebrate Pride Month.

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TVD Live Shots:
Olivia Jean with
The Knee-Hi’s at the Empty Bottle, 5/18

Hitting the road in support of her latest Third Man Records release Raving Ghost, Olivia Jean and her talented backing band gave their all to Chicago, the last stop on the first leg of the tour. Gal Gun and The Knee-Hi’s provided support before Olivia took the stage.

Wearing her signature bouffant, paired with chic cat eye makeup, Olivia immediately began shredding on her guitar as soon as her set started. Shifting between surfer rock and heavy grunge effects, her music paired beautifully with her raw and powerful vocals. She even lended her talents to a stunning rendition of Enya’s “Orinoco Flow,” which the crowd immediately ate up.

The crowd was a mixture of equal amounts of jumping around and standing and admiring, with a general appreciation for the show unfolding on stage. One couldn’t help but notice how many attendees had a huge smile plastered on their faces. As the night came to an end, the crowd was left wanting more.

Olivia is an unmatched powerhouse on guitar, so whether you’ve been a fan since her The Black Belle days, or you’re hearing her music for the first time, you can’t help but be amazed at how she has honed her craft.

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TVD Live Shots:
Rebecca Black with Mazie at the Bottom Lounge, 5/12

Hot off the release of her debut album Let Her Burn, Rebecca Black played in front of doting fans in Chicago, IL on Friday, May 12th. Mazie helped pump up the crowd with an opening set.

Mazie, a pop artist featured on the soundtrack for Netflix’s Do Revenge, really brought the energy as she hit the stage and immediately got the crowd off their feet. Employing heavy bass lines, as well as a catchy electronic beats, it was hard not to bop around while she dazzled on stage.

The lights turned down and the strobes started to pop off, making it so you could only see quick glimpses as the dancers took the stage. Wrapped in a black sheet, Rebecca Black twirled to remove the sheet in an epic reveal to the crowd. As the crowd chanted her name, the beat dropped and everyone was fully immersed into the Let Her Burn era.

Armed with the same choreographer as Lady Gaga and packing powerhouse vocals of well seasoned stars, Rebecca Black has proven that she is more than the tween who went viral in the early 2010s for a song about a weekday. Rebecca’s backup dancers, Charles Fournier and Cj Jensen, complemented her moves as they danced in sync to the music, even bringing out fun props like a fully rhinestoned chainsaw to hold her microphone.

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TVD Live Shots: 100 Gecs with Machine Girl at the Aragon Ballroom, 4/20

Riding high off their latest album release, 100 Gecs brought their hyper pop dance tracks to a sold out crowd at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on April 20th. With a setlist featuring new songs from 10,000 Gecs, as well as crowd favorites from the previous releases, 100 Gecs lit up the crowd for an hour and a half of pure bliss. New York electronic duo Machine Girl started the night off with heavy bass and trippy lighting, getting the crowd moving and dripping with sweat.

Keeping in theme with trippy lighting, 100 Gecs stormed the stage while all of their lights had a strobing effect that fit perfectly in time with their music. Donning their signature cloaks and wizard hats, they were met with an enthusiastic crowd screaming back every word to “Dumbest Girl Alive,” the opening track to their latest album and the song they opened their set with.

Laura Les often had a huge grin while performing, having the same amount of fun onstage as the crowd was on the dance floor. It’s endearing seeing an artist match the energy of the crowd, performing at the absolute highest capacity possible. Dylan Brady held it down, backing up Laura and hyping up the crowd.

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TVD Live Shots:
Lewis Capaldi with
Em Beihold at the
Aragon Ballroom, 4/19

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi brought his self-proclaimed “music for single people” to a sold out crowd at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Wednesday, April 19th. Em Beihold served as the opener for the Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent Tour.

Capaldi’s sold out North American tour sees him at smaller venues than he normally plays, making these quite intimate shows for him and the crowd attending. As such, he often talks at length between songs, excited that he can see the crowd and interact with them. During one of these moments, he declared that the Aragon Ballroom was one of the weirdest venues he had ever seen, comparing it to the fictitious Agrabah from Disney’s Aladdin. The Aragon Ballroom has ornate structures resembling a castle, while the ceiling is painted to look like a starry night.

The accomplished musician made his way through his various hits that have earned him a spot on the Top 100 most listened to artists currently on Spotify. Capaldi was unable to sing some of the lines from his songs at times due to health issues, but the crowd was more than happy to sing loud enough to fill in the gaps. Even with the help, Capaldi was able to push through and still play his guitar and flawlessly sing, actively pushing through his tics. It was heartwarming to see.

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TVD Live Shots:
John Mayer with
Joy Oladokun at the United Center, 3/31

No backing band. No backing tracks. Just John Mayer and his instruments. That’s how near 20,000 Chicagoans spent their Friday night at the John Mayer Solo tour as it made its way through the midwest.

Embarking on his first truly solo tour, which has just announced new dates for the fall, Mayer showed just how talented he is without any theatrics or help from other musicians. Switching between various acoustic guitars, the piano, and a harmonica, John Mayer commanded the crowd for nearly 2 hours, playing some of his more well known hits, such as “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” and “New Light,” while also touching on classics and covers, such as “Heartbreak Warefare,” and the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.”

Mayer often talked to the crowd between each song, sharing stories of how each song was created or where he was in life at that moment, as well as engaging with what concertgoers were shouting at him. Notably when Mayer heard someone repeatedly shouting for him to play “Vultures,” a John Mayer Trio song, he decided he was going to take a stab at playing it to show the person why that song doesn’t work acoustically and isn’t on the setlist. The result was a thrilling rendition that saw Mayer do a little bit of beatboxing, as well as on the spot transposing to guitar for all the instruments involved, and the crowd absolutely loved it. Mayer said that he’d would work on it as a result.

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TVD Live Shots:
JAWNY with Wallice
at Thalia Hall, 3/17

Hitting the stage in front of his largest headlining show to date, JAWNY had every person in the room, from the floor to the seated area in the balcony, on their feet dancing along. If you weren’t at the sold out JAWNY show in Chicago, IL on St. Patrick’s Day, you truly missed out on an incredible night.

Fresh off of the release of his debut album on Interscope Records, JAWNY played nearly every track from It’s Never Fair, Always True, as well as several fan favorites from his previous releases, even intertwining a Taylor Swift cover in the middle of the set, in which the crowd sang along so loud they overpowered the band’s in-ear monitors. You could tell that this moment caught JAWNY off guard, as he was visibly amazed at the volume of the crowd and commented on how thankful he was that the fans helped him pursue his dreams.

As the band played to the self proclaimed “best city in America for music and shows,” when starting the rock heavy song “take it back,” you could feel the floor shaking from how much the crowd was jumping. This led JAWNY to recall a moment when he was opening the show for a different band several years ago at the same venue, and he sitting in the balcony during the soundcheck looking forward to when he would be able to play for a crowd this big on his own. He even mentioned that they were originally going to book a much smaller venue as they didn’t think they could sell out the show. The crowd cheered him on through his speech, proving that it was a good idea to pick a larger venue.

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TVD Live Shots: White Reaper with Mamalarky and Militarie Gun at Metro Chicago, 3/10

Hot off the heels from their latest album release, Louisville, Kentucky rockers White Reaper brought their electrifying Asking For A Ride Tour to Chicago for a sold out show at the Metro. Mamalarky and Militarie Gun served as the openers for this leg of the tour.

With a mixed crowd of old and new listeners, everyone danced in rhythm to old favorites like “Might Be Right,” as well as instant classic “Pages,” the first single from White Reapers latest release, Asking For A Ride. Everyone in the crowd was off their feet and slamming into each other as they sang along to their favorite band.

Being close to home, it was no surprise that keyboardist Ryan Hater gave a shout out to his parents that made the trek over to watch their sold out show. You could see how proud they were when he pointed them out in balcony.

Commenting on the fact that a lot of their gear had been broken during the coarse of their tour, the most noticeable being the kick drum, they didn’t let that hinder them and continued to rock as hard as they could. It’s no surprise that they’ve been passionate enough to ding up their gear, as in the heat of the moment it’s easy to want to thrash around to their angsty tracks.

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TVD Live Shots: Adore Delano with Bev Rage and the Drinks at the Metro Chicago, 2/15

RuPaul’s Drag Race and American Idol alum Adore Delano brought her Party Your World Tour to Chicago on February 15th, with Chicago’s own Bev Rage and the Drinks opening the show.

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Everyone is here to see their favorite queen from season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Known for her vocal ability, it comes as no surprise that Adore has made a name for herself in the music industry. Going through her catalog of original songs, as well as covers, the reality TV star proved that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Many of Adore’s original songs come from a darker place and often explore the theme of heartbreak, which Adore noted as being hard to get to that mindset while performing in front of a crowd that’s showing her endless love and support. Telling stories of her writing process in between her songs, Adore connected even more with her adoring fans.

With electrifying covers of “Creep” by Radiohead, and “Toxic” by Britney Spears, plus fan favorite originals like “I Adore U” and “27 Club,” Adore captivated the crowd from start to finish.

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TVD Live Shots: Fitz
and the Tantrums with Sammy Rash at the
Vic Theater, 2/2

Fitz and the Tantrums brought their sold out Let Yourself Free Tour to Chicago’s Vic Theater on a cold, yet very hot inside from dancing, Thursday night. Bringing along up and coming indie pop artist Sammy Rash, Fitz and the Tantrums packed the theater with fans from all age groups.

Sammy Rash is a 20-year-old independent musician from Los Angeles, California. Lending his smooth vocals to the sweet melody’s provided by his DJ, Sammy helped pump up the crowd before the main act.

Fitz and the Tantrums stormed the stage with their vast array of brass instruments in addition to their guitars, keyboards, and drums. Every time James King picked up his saxophone, the crowd went wild. The saxophone helped elevate the dance music, bringing a bit of soul to the mix.

Watching older couples dance around and having a great time, lead singers Mike Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs led the group through their numerous hits and beat heavy tracks. Showing their utmost appreciation for helping the band achieve the success they have experienced thus far, Mike Fitzpatrick shared a story to encourage everyone to never give up on their dreams, which included telling the crowd how many times he tried to make it in the music industry and failed until he was in his 40s. “It’s never gonna happen if you give up on yourself,” was the sound advice given to the crowd before launching into the bands encore.

The Let Yourself Free tour continues through February.

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TVD Live Shots: Baby Gravy at the Aragon Ballroom, 11/22

On Tuesday, November 22nd, Baby Gravy headlined the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Baby Gravy consists of frequent collaborators Yung Gravy and bbno$ (baby no money). The duo have released an EP and an album together, titled “Baby Gravy EP” and Baby Gravy 2, as well as multiple singles on each other’s solo projects, so it was only fitting that they share the stage for a tour.

Rather than performing a full set each, Yung Gravy and bbno$ structured their co-headlining set so that they would perform a handful of songs together and then an individual set of a few songs each, repeating this set up before ending the show together. The animated videos they played before each mini set helped guide the tone, showing the duo in comedic situations that the crowd went wild for.

It’s no secret that the rappers are popular, dominating Tik Tok and making award show appearances, so it was no surprise that they would draw a rowdy crowd. Lining up for hours before the doors opened and then smashing into the venue like sardines, bbno$ had to stop mid song to point out an attendee that needed medical attention. It was endearing to see how much both of the rappers cared about their fans, making it a point throughout the night to pass out multiple cases of water to the crowd so they could stay hydrated and enjoy the show.

Another endearing moment is when Yung Gravy called for the crowd to throw as many bras as they possibly could on stage, explaining that they donate all of the bras they collect to different charities in every city. Once he shared this information, a sea of bras littered the stage.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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