Monday, October 11, 2010

You Missed Out: Dan Deacon and Lightning Bolt

(click to see larger image)

Instead of having to endure another echoey show at the Logan Square Auditorium, the increasingly intelligent folks at Empty Bottle took the class outside for yesterday's Dan Deacon/Lightning Bolt show. Set up in front of the monument, the square itself became a fenced-in concert venue for all-ages. Goose Island was set up in one corner for the adults, girls had plenty of room to hula-hoop in another corner, and smokers were able to watch a show while getting high. For $5-$7, here's hoping for more of this in 2011. It's too bad they didn't figure all of this out earlier in the year.

Dan Deacon's ensemble played as the sun set, brightening the amber leaves around the square. Twelve dudes rocked out a set of old classics, mostly from Bromst, and a few new jams that sound like a natural progression from Deacon's last album. Three drummers barely mimicked the loops on Bromst, along with three additional percussionists and a few synth players. The frantic beats got the kids crowd-surfing and dancing around, at times in a large pit.

The last time I saw large pits like this was at Five Iron Frenzy shows. But these kids weren't skanking, just bouncing around like monkeys at the zoo. And when I say kids, I do mean teenagers. The neon synth pop is what they're into nowadays apparently. And it's great, because kids need fun music that they can dance around too. In my day it was ska, but my day is gone. The kids today have Dan Deacon, the Spiderman of the Rings.

The young'ns got plenty sweaty and left before Lightning Bolt came on, which is apparently a band for guys who are getting old but don't want to stop moshing. But Lightning Bolt is absolutely intense. The music is brutal enough on record, but actually seeing Brian Chippendale lose his mind on the drums is a workout even for observers. It was night by the time they started, and security doubled at the front of the stage. No injuries or property damage ensued, so it's likely we'll be able to see more concerts at the square next year. If sanity and safety was maintained during a Lightning Bolt show, they can bring in anybody now.

I left the show a few songs early, but the noise rock permeated the neighborhood as I walked a few blocks to my bike. It was a perfect soundtrack to Logan Boulevard in the autumn. After enduring hours of horror films at the Musicbox Massacre the "day" prior, I feel like I've adequately celebrated the season already. Now it's time for the temperatures to drop below 80. Then we're talking the best time of the year in Chicago.

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