Review: Bruce Dickinson, November 23, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Posted on by Paul in Reviews | Leave a comment


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Shortly before the start of Bruce Dickinson‘s one man show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday night, I witnessed a man in the crowd who appeared to be putting earplugs in … before a spoken word show. It seemed a bit odd.

Granted, I don’t know what this guy’s situation was – maybe he’s got very sensitive ears (the pre-show music – all Maiden of course – being pumped through the speakers was perhaps a bit loud) or maybe those were actually earbuds and he was listening to the game or something. Still, it was a little unusual. I know it’s Bruce Dickinson, but what the hell was this guy expecting?

Truth be told, other than the general idea that Dickinson would be talking about his life and career over the years, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect either, but I had to assume that he’d have some pretty good tales to tell. After all, as far as legendary metal vocalists go, they don’t get much more legendary than the Iron Maiden frontman, so surely he’s got some stories. And over the course of the evening, Dickinson indeed regaled the crowd with stories from throughout his career, from his beginnings in his hometown of Worksop (which to his surprise, at least someone in attendance had heard of) to his time at an English public school (actually not public at all, but a private school – oh, those wacky English) to his early days in the music business as singer for Samson and onto his days as frontman for Iron Maiden and his other life as an airline pilot. So yeah, dude’s got a lot of stories. And he tells them well.

Memorable moments from throughout the night included his accounts of his time at that English public school, wherein he developed a healthy opposition to authority and was eventually expelled (“I pissed in the headmaster’s dinner. And he ate it.”) as well as the stories of his time singing in Samson and their general lack of experience when it came to the business side of the music industry. Also amusing was a segment of the show wherein he critiqued some of his past sartorial choices as he shared some slides of past stage wear with the audience.

Overall, Dickinson proved himself to be a very animated, enthusiastic storyteller. Funny too, albeit a bit corny at times. But I suppose Bruce Dickinson’s allowed to be a little corny if he wants. He’s earned it.

Review: Riptide Festival, November 23, Fort Lauderdale

Posted on by halley in Concerts | Leave a comment


When you combine good music, amazing light and sound set ups, tasty food, and the beach it’s hard to go wrong. Fort Lauderdale’s two-day Riptide Festival capitalized on this equation to put on an awesome event this weekend.

First, if you’ve never been to south Florida – you should make it a destination. White sand beaches, palm trees, crystal clear ocean, great bars and restaurants, fresh seafood and interesting (the good, the bad the beautiful and the ugly sort of interesting) people who come from all over the world. Second, what better time to go (especially for our Canadian and Chicago readers) than late November? I arrived from Chi city in a parka and immediately changed into a sundress. #yesplease

Finally, to close the argument: Riptide. The reasonably-priced festival isn’t overwhelmingly crowded, is jam-packed with interesting food and fashion vendors, is right on the beach and treats its audiences and bands right with great stage, lighting, and sound support to put on a stellar show. My personal highlights from Saturday’s line up were Judah and the Lion and The Killers. I really can’t sing Judah’s praises enough. They are just a delightful, high-energy and uplifting show every time I’ve seen them and they are touring hard so take advantage! These guys are well worth the ticket price.

The Killers, Saturday’s headliner, also lived up to expectations. The band, hailing from fabulous Las Vegas, put on a Sin City-worthy spectacle with an amazing light show and even a guest star from the audience. The band welcomed up a super talented young gentleman named Jason who wowed the audience with his drumming skills and obviously was having the time of his life. The whole show was a real treat and it was only good vibes in the audience who were soaking in the music, the surf and the beautiful Florida night. (Side note: the Killers made multiple promises to be back in Fort Lauderdale in 2020 – even more reason to book a trip.)

So, thanks Fort Lauderdale and Riptide. As we get closer to the Thanksgiving season here in the USofA I am so grateful for the weekend away from the chilly Chicago winter and the chance to see some top notch musical talent in a beautiful place with good people. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Song Of The Day: Shitkid – Get jealous

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment


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Photo by Milkdrop Studio

Back in 2018, Sweden’s Shitkid made a big impression on me during their performance at that year’s edition of SXSW. It was easily one of the most fun and memorable shows of the entire week – bandleader Asa Söderqvist’s anarchic playfulness led to a sense that pretty much anything could happen over the course of their set and the band’s energy and attitude definitely had me sold – so much so that I had to go see the band there again during this year’s edition (and will likely do so again next year – the band has been confirmed for SXSW 2020).

During their second journey to Austin earlier this year, Söderqvist and her bandmate Lina Molarin Ericsson found a bit of time to slip into the studio for some recording sessions that would end up resulting in their latest release Duo Limbo/”Mellan himmel å helvete”, an album which sees them singing songs in their native Swedish for the first time. The album also sees the band collaborating with The Melvins, Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, and Josh Freese, who’s played with pretty much everyone – look it up.

“Get jealous” is the lead single off Duo Limbo/”Mellan himmel å helvete”. Check it out below.

Duo Limbo/”Mellan himmel å helvete” is out on January 24 2020 via PNKSLM Records.

Concert Review: Minami Deutsch, Kikagaku Moyo, November 19, Horseshoe Tavern

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

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There’s always something special about seeing a band at the top of their game playing live – the interaction between band members with the ability to lock into a groove and jam at an almost telepathic level can make for an impressive show. And on Tuesday night at the Horseshoe, a packed house was treated to not one but two such performances courtesy of two acts from Japan – Minami Deutsch and Kikagaku Moyo.

First up was Minami Deutsch, whose name translates to “South Germany” – an apt name since the band is heavily inspired by the Krautrock sounds originated by acts such as Faust, Can, and Neu!

In concert, the band’s long, hypnotic jams alternated between a locked-in motorik groove and pure balls-to-the-wall guitar freak outs. Those were basically the band’s two main gears throughout their roughly 40 minute set, though they did find time for the odd exploratory psychedelic passage here and there.

It was an absolutely beautiful performance. I came in as a curious admirer of what I’d heard from the band on record and came out a full on fan.

Following Minami Deutsch, headliners Kikagaku Moyo took to the stage and kept the psychedelic vibes coming with a sound that was a tad trippier and more expansive than the openers, though no less intense and just as satisfying.

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