October 31, 2011
Pigeons > Radio Child > Wishbone, True To My Nature, Time Zones > Love Tractor, Degenerate > Blight > Tail Dragger > Climb To Safety
Godzilla > Iron Man > Godzilla, Imitation Leather Shoes > Jack, Surprise Valley > Drums > Surprise Valley > Blue Indian, I'm Losing You > Chilly Water > Bust It Big > Chilly Water
Outta Mind (Outta Sight), Postcard, Porch Song, Werewolves of London
Who Are These Guys?: A decided different sounding show than the jam fests at the Chicago Theater, no huge improvisations to speak of, and even hardcore fans had trouble identifying tunes like "Wishbone" and "Degenerate". New cover, Howlin' Wolf's "Tail Dragger", in the first set was a head scratcher for the majority of fans.
Second Set Fire: It seemed like the guys came out of the setbreak with the simultaneous mission of getting the crowd back in the game and rocking the fuck out of the ballroom. When the first riff of "Iron Man" came pounding out of the "Godzilla" jam, the place went absolutely berserk.
Best Run: Sometimes new covers and rare tunes can make a set seem disjointed. For my money, the show finally reached cruising speed starting with "I'm Losing You" deep in set two, which JB freaking owned on the vocals. The "Chilly Water" / "Bust It Big" sandwich that followed lacked a long improvisational journey, but the bass-centric jam coming back into "Chilly" was INTENSE!
Costumes: A nod to Chicago, the stage was decked out like 1892 Chicago World's Fair Columbian Exposition (tip: read Erik Larson's "Devil In The White City" to really appreciate this, no matter where you're from). Todd was the genie in a Zoltar fortune telling machine, with a large custom-made encasement covering his drum riser and providing the centerpiece. Schools wore a Blackhawks sweater, while in a nod to the infamous moment in Chicago sports history, Jimmy was wearing a Moises Alou Cubs jersey, while just overhead, JoJo was Steve Bartman in the Wrigley Field "stands". Sonny pounded away as Shrek. A three piece suit wearing JB was Geoff Peterson, the robot sidekick from the Craig Ferguson Late Late Show... so very JB.
Summary: The encore was a nice summarization of the whole show. Personally, the Wilco cover "Outta Sight, Outta Mind" was everything I could ask for -- classic song by a great Chicago band, masterfully executed. While Chicaoans were overjoyed, I think a lot of our friends up visiting from the south clearly preferred the harder rock of the set two opening suite. The band kept those folks happy with tight, well placed renditions of hard boogeying classics "Postcard" and "Porch Song" before "Werewolves" put an exclamation point on the night. If you're not into that song, especially on Halloween night, I'm so sorry. Shorter and less jammy than first two shows of the run, I'd still put it on par for creativity, song choice and Halloween "specialness".
[box type="download"]Download Entire Show Ipod-Ready (.mp3 zip)[/box]
Panic Chicago Poster by Franklin