Category Archives: TVD Chicago

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: Pinegrove, Gulfer,
and Poise at Thalia
Hall, 7/26

Pinegrove finished off their two-night stand in Chicago at Thalia Hall on Tuesday, July 26 for the 11:11 Tour. Poise and Gulfer provided support for the sold out show.

Pinegrove’s 20+ setlist saw them rip through many highlights of their lengthy catalog, including their newest album 11:11, and favorites from Skylight, Merigold, and many others. Even though Thalia Hall is a larger venue, the band’s boisterous presence and thoughtful, melodic lyrics brought the crowd together in what felt like an intimate setting.

The audience felt just as important as the live show itself. Without the emotional crowd interaction, the show wouldn’t have felt as special as it did. Fans were screaming, jumping, and thrashing their bodies over the barricade, which wouldn’t be a reaction anticipated from Pinegrove’s sound. Their music touches people to the point that they need to physically express their love for the music.

The 11:11 Tour continues across North America through the end of August.

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TVD Live Shots: Pitchfork Music
Festival, 7/17

WORDS AND IMAGES: HAYLEY PARKER | 1:30PM: The ground may be muddy but the goal is clear—finish off Pitchfork Music Festival day 3 with a bang!

1:45PM: L’Rain takes the early stage, a 6 piece band who embodies the vibe of Pitchfork. Laidback, easy to listen to, and an all around good vibe. The lead singer, Taja Cheek AKA L’Rain jokes “I feel responsible for the weather. I’m sorry.”

2:30PM: Chicago local KAINA shows her home city how it’s done. Described as a “soft, savory voice that’s sharp enough to remind you of what happens when you get too close to the sun” on her website, I couldn’t agree more.

2:45PM: At first glance, you would be forgiven for seeing Sofia Kourtesis and expecting some more laidback, Indie melodies. Boy, would you be wrong. Head banging and experimental house music exudes from the Peruvian DJ, proving that you can’t judge a book by its cover and giving the crowd something to marvel at.

3:20PM: Hip hop group Injury Reserve takes the green stage. A two man show, rapper Ritchie with a T sits on a sound speaker and addresses the crowd: “It’s gonna be a good show.” The audience is undoubtedly hanging on every word of the set, with the producer Parker Corey matching the energy.

4:00PM: A break from the rapping, Erika de Casier serves relaxing beats with a side of sultry tones on the opposite side of the park. There’s something quietly flawless about this act, and despite no headbanging or jumping, the crowd is mesmerized by the simplicity.

4:15PM: Natural Information Society has replaced BADBADNOTGOOD after a Covid induced drop out. An eight piece ensemble, multiple instruments ring out amongst a crowd of picnic blankets. This is the ultimate zone out and vibe acoustic music, and the crowd knows it.

4:30PM: Injury Reserve is interviewed in the Doordash backstage area, answering questions about their formation as a band and past experiences. Notably, they speak about how they were booked to play at the back of an Italian restaurant in Stockholm which led them to creating an improvisatory sound for their album.

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TVD Live Shots: Pitchfork Music
Festival, 7/16

WORDS AND IMAGES: HAYLEY PARKER | 1:45pm: Aaaand we’re back! CupcakKe is getting the party started with some sensual beats, telling the audience if they’re not good in bed… they can leave. Passionate fans line the front fence while concert goers eager to catch their fave acts trickle in for Pitchfork Music Festival, day 2.

2:13PM: CupcakKe is getting more sensual by the minute, with her explicit lyrics and moans ringing out loud across the park to an equal mix of stunned onlookers and fans who knew what to expect. With numerous children running around, my only hope is that their kid-safe headphones are blocking out the expletives.

2:15PM: Could it be? Sun! The picnic blankets are out in full force despite the soaked ground.

2:30PM: The Linda Lindas are the cutest band I’ve seen yet, coming out in drawn on whiskers and colorful attire. They have the crowd jumping and singing along instantly with their quirky vibe. I overhear someone say “are they singing about their cats because they haven’t had their hearts broken yet? Love that for them.” I later Googled the band to realize they ranges in age from a mere 11-17, but you would never know it based on their stage presence.

2:58PM: I was thinking about stopping by and getting a complimentary Monster, but after The Armed’s performance I’m feeling more alive than ever. HOLY ENERGY! We had hair flips, painted faces, and full on catapulting into the crowd. My early bet for “most jumping on stage” for the weekend.

3:20PM: Hyd is giving all the ASMR vibes during their set, with powerful whispering evolving to violent screams. The juxtaposition has the audience captivated, along with her smooth dance moves the electro-pop artist gained more than a few fans this weekend.

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TVD Live Shots: Pitchfork Music
Festival, 7/15

WORDS AND IMAGES: HAYLEY PARKER | 1:50PM: Did I just step into a dream? The rain has cleared and Ethel Cain’s angelic voice rings out across Union Park. Pitchfork Music Festival 2022 is back, baby!

2:16PM: Is it too early for dinner? There’s an impressive line up of food options this year including fair favorites, the classic Island Noodles and “farm to fest” options for every appetite.

2:30PM: Philadelphia locals Spirit of the Beehive serve a side of chill vibes along with a standout performance, getting the early crowd buzzing from the first note.

2:45PM: Word is Tkay Maidza has dropped out, replaced by the stunningly talented Monaleo.

2:50PM: 5 minutes late to a 15 minute set, the audience is getting antsy, with chants drifting in and out.

2:56PM: The schedule might have been off but the vibes definitely weren’t! An emotional Monaleo takes the stage, thanking the audience for their warm welcome and playing their viral hits. She goes between being sassy and fierce to shy and softly spoken in a matter of seconds, and the crowd is hanging on every word.

3:20PM: Rapper Wiki takes the stage. I’m not one for rap music usually, but this guy wearing an Oscar the Grouch tee has captivated both myself and the entire audience. If they weren’t fans of him before, they definitely are now.

4:00PM: I make my way through the crowd intensely watching Wiki and overhear “Wait… this dude’s white? He’s mad talented.”

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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: UMI with Dianna Lopez at Lincoln Hall, 6/30

UMI wrapped up her Forest in the City Tour with a sold out show at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, June 30th. Dianna Lopez provided support and warmed up the crowd before UMI made her final appearance for this run.

With incense burning, breath flowing, and bodies moving, UMI and Dianna Lopez brought their ethereal and uplifting live shows together for a moving night. Dianna Lopez set the tone for an emotional night, stopping for a moment to shed a few tears as she was overcome with emotions after the crowd openly received one of her favorite songs she had written.

With a smile on her face, UMI embraced the stage and led the crowd into a group breathing session, making sure everyone was in tune with their breathing and bodies before jumping into the music. Playing songs from her newly released album and tracks released prior, the crowd received her music with pleasure, often shouting adoration at the singer during any quiet moment they found.

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TVD Live Shots: Syd
with Destin Conrad at Thalia Hall, 6/8

Coming towards the end of her tour in support of her sophomore album Broken Hearts Club, singer-songwriter Syd sold out Thalia Hall in Chicago, IL on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022. Destin Conrad opened the show, playing tracks off of his debut project COLORWAY.

Telling the tale of her worst heartbreak through music, Syd started at the beginning of her journey and proclaimed that she had to “take these L’s and turn them into W’s.” Even though it was about a broken heart, Syd’s journey through her memories via her music felt like anything but a heartbreak, with the constant screams of adoration from the fans and the reciprocation every time Syd told the crowd that she loved them.

Syd’s upbeat vibes radiated throughout the entire venue for the duration of her set, with the crowd sweetly singing along to every word she sang. In between the tales of her broken heart, Syd mixed in a few tracks from her debut album Fin, as well as a few tracks from her band The Internet. These tracks served as a great addition to the beautiful and vulnerable tracks chosen from Broken Hearts Club. Heartbreak is not fun, but Syd knows how to turn it around into something beautiful.

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TVD Live Shots: Phoebe Bridgers at Huntington Bank Pavilion, 6/4

Multiple Grammy-nominated artist Phoebe Bridgers brought her Reunion Tour to a sold out Chicago crowd on Saturday, June 4th, 2022. Fans lined up as early as 9AM to get a chance to see the “Kyoto” singer up close, listening to music that has been described as being sadly beautiful while being vulnerable with thousands of fans alike.

Shortly after 9PM, the lights dimmed and Disturbed’s “Down With The Sickness” boomed over the speakers while the backing band entered the stage. Bridgers’ band donned the skeleton costumes she has become known for wearing, while she wore a whimsical white suit that matched her angelic vocals presented during the night. The fans in the crowd proved their loyalty to the artist, belting her lyrics so loudly and powerful, it proved that the venue was at maximum capacity.

Every track off of her Sophomore album Punisher was played, with a few tracks from her debut album, as well as a few singles sprinkled in between. Taking short breaks between some of the tracks, Bridgers addressed the crowd with varying topics, such as corporate America taking over Pride, the government’s opposition to reproductive rights and affordable healthcare, and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

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TVD Live Shots: Pabllo Vittar with Alice Longyu Gao at the Metro, 4/25

Fresh from making history as the first drag queen to perform at Coachella, Pabllo Vittar brought her I Am Pabllo World Tour to a packed crowd at the Metro in Chicago, IL. With Alice Longyu Gao opening the show, this is the most dancing you’ll experience on a weekday afternoon all season!

Multidisciplinary artist Alice Longyu Gao set the night off on a great note with her hyperpop and upbeat dance tracks. Decked out in a colorful and trendy exemble, Alice happily hopped around the stage while the crowd reciprocated her vibes. In between songs, Alice gave the crowd plenty of words of advice for being their most authentic selves and shared words of support for the LGBTQ community. The “Legend” singer properly warmed the crowd up for the great show that was about to follow.

If you were curious about what perfection looks like, buy yourself a ticket to see Pabllo Vittar live! Sharing the stage with a few backup dancers, Vittar flawlessly executed every single dance move and hit every high note without breaking a sweat. Pushing through her hits and collaborations, such as “Flash Pose” and “Follow Me,” the Brazilian drag artist kept the crowd moving for over an hour.

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TVD Live Shots:
Wilco at Auditorium Theatre, 4/24

It was 20 years ago to the month that Wilco released their seminal album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. To commemorate the occasion, the band played the record in full for eight special shows: five in NYC and three in their hometown of Chicago. On the final night of the run at the Auditorium Theatre, Jeff Tweedy acknowledged that the experience was “emotional. It was weird.” And, I imagine, cathartic (and not just for the band).

The entire evening was thoughtfully curated and nuanced. Opening the show and setting the mood was tremendous local quartet, The Magnificent Strings. They played a series of songs and snippets from YHF before the curtain opened and Wilco—Jeff Tweedy; John Stirratt; Glenn Kotche; Nels Cline; Patrick Sansone; and Mikael Jorgensen—took the stage. And we were off: the album, as promised, from start to finish. As beautiful and crushing as ever, and lush with backing from The Magnificent Strings and a three-piece horn section. The musicians on the stage seemed to pour their hearts and souls into the performance—no detail too small. It was simply stunning.

The band returned to the stage to make a couple dedications in the form of B-sides from the YHF era and a few fan favorites from their earlier years (“Monday,” “Outtasite”). They first covered Bill Fay’s “Be Not So Fearful” for Jim O’Rourke because of “all the amazing work he did on the record.” The remaining songs were devoted to the memory of Jay Bennett, “for all his contributions to the band and particularly [YHF].” Bennett, who died in 2009, was a multi-instrumentalist with the band from 1994 to 2001.

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TVD Live Shots:
Oliver Tree at
Radius Chicago, 3/4

Oliver Tree brought his Cowboy Tears tour to a sold out Radius in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, March 4th. 347Aidan and Sueco were slated to open, but unfortunately Sueco suffered an asthma attack and had to cancel.

Two weeks after Oliver Tree’s sophomore album was unleashed on the world, 3,800 Chicagoans recited all the words to his new tracks as he played them live. Complete with several costume changes, a quirky set design, and hilarious banter between songs, the “Life Goes On” singer kept the crowd on their toes for the entire set.

Tapping in to the country theme of his latest album Cowboy Tears, the stage was decked out with various props to emanate a western feel, including large boulders in front of the drum set, an outhouse that would later be used for a costume change, comically large, yet still functional guitars, and a life size cow that Tree rode while belting out the lyrics to the first track released from his latest record, Cowboys Don’t Cry.

Alternative rock, indie electronic, country infusion—the night had a little bit of everything to please any and all genre-bending music fans. While Tree declared that this would be his last tour before he retired, his devoted fans are hopeful to see more from this one of a kind performer in the future. Tree’s talents are too great to hide from the world.

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TVD Live Shots: Tommy Cash at Lincoln Hall, 2/23

Multifaceted Estonian artist Tommy Cash brought his world tour to a sold out crowd at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL on Wednesday, February 23rd. Even though it was a work night, the crazy amount of energy emanating from the hundreds of people in the crowd made it feel like a Saturday night.

In lieu of an opening act, they played Eurobeat music to warm up the crowd. Once the house was packed, Tommy Cash brought over an hour of non stop dancing, even getting the entire crowd to fully squat down and jump back up on beat. Spitting through classic hits, like “Winaloto” and “Little Molly,” and hit collaborations, like Quebonafide’s “Benz-Dealer” and Salvatore Ganacci’s “Heartbass,” Tommy Cash didn’t skip a beat once, captivating the crowds energy and attention his entire time on stage.

A heartwarming moment happened when Tommy Cash spotted a fan holding a Ukrainian flag, which he got ahold of while smiling and proudly waving it around on stage.

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