Monthly Archives: August 2018

Excellent! InGen Productions presents Bangarang! A Neverland Reunion at the Den Theatre (Through August 12, 2018)

What do you get when you mix the 1991 film Hook and Fleetwood Mac’s The Dance reunion concert? You get Bangarang! A Neverland Reunion. These two performances combine well together as they both explore the desire for connecting to one’s past and the people in it.

Patrick Poulin does a fantastic job as Peter Pan. He’s hilarious as the dad worried about everything and constantly being critical of his children. Tai Palmgren is excellent as Hook. He’s devilishly delightful. Also, Kate Staiger is great as Moira, Peter’s wife. Her singing is especially impressive.

The band is excellent, especially considering the very small amount of space they are given on stage. In addition, the songs chosen are perfect. “Landslide” is beautifully done and brings some of the audience to tears. “Don’t Stop” is also superb. It’s a great way to end this show and have everyone leaving with a smile on their face.

It’s like getting two shows for the price of one! Get tickets now for Bangarang! A Neverland Reunion through Sunday!

Quinn Delaney

 

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Upcoming Concert Alert and Album Review: Slightly Stoopid at Northerly Island (August 12, 2018)

When Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald formed Slightly Stoopid in 1994, they were just two kids from California trying to create something unique. It’s hard to imagine that they could have predicted the success that would come of this grand experiment. Having now spawned 24 years and 13 albums, Slightly Stoopid’s career has exceeded all expectations. They have managed to stay relevant longer than most groups, mostly due to their unique sound and pool of influences. Their sound has never sounded stale and their ambition has never been stagnant. Perhaps this is why “Everyday Life, Everyday People” struggles to capture the listener’s attention. 

 

 

The album starts strong with the song “Glocks”. This bombastic jam begins with an encompassing and catchy synth line paired with some tight sounding reggae drums. This intro sucks the listener in fast before the song explodes with an array of horns and a guitar solo. While the chord progression stays simple, the nuanced and staggered nature of the song allows for that to work just fine. While this track starts the album with a bang, the tracks that follow it really do not follow suit. “Stay the Same (Prayer for You)”, “Fire Below”, and “Too Late” all lack the dynamic excitement of the opener and ultimately represent the downfall of this record. A group that was once described as “a fusion of folk, rock, reggae, and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal and punk”, has become an incredibly predictable pop-reggae oriented group. While there’s not anything too egregious about this, it hardly is the ingredients of a standout project. Most of the songs on this record sound completely uninspired and ultimately like background music. 

 

 

Outliers include cuts like “Punisher” and “Everyday People”. Both tracks see the group embracing a more menacing attitude towards the world. “Punisher” really is a crazy contradiction of a song. The instrumental is quite possibly one of the most relaxed on the entire record, but the vocal performance mirrors something out of a Rage Against the Machine song. Expletive words and aggressive articulation really drive McDonald’s point home. The latter of these two songs sees a very old-fashioned hip-hop vibe coming to life. The more conceptual lyrics and simplistic beat ultimately make this song stick out from the rest of the track list. Still, these songs are too little too late. The monotony of this album really begins to take a toll on the listener and ultimately makes this album a slog to get through. While it is certainly not without its moments, “Everyday Life, Everyday People” fails to deliver on the versatility and promise of the group that constructed it. 

 

Griffin Boyle

 

See our previous review of their live show, here.

Lollapalooza Preshow! Franz Ferdinand at Park West (August 1, 2018)

Franz Ferdinand hail from Glasgow, Scotland. Their first time playing Chicago was on March 26, 2004 at the Empty Bottle. This is their first show in Chicago since October 10, 2013. Officially, it’s a Lollapalooza aftershow, but maybe it should be called a preshow since the festival doesn’t start till tomorrow!

Surprisingly, they play “Take Me Out” as the fifth song in their set. The crowd goes nuts as they jump around and sing along. It’s a feverish moment that is matched again when they play “This Fire”. “We’re gonna burn this city, burn this city!” They put on a great show and Park West is a great venue for them.

See the full setlist here.

Quinn Delaney

Excellent! Live Nation Presents Charlie Puth at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island (July 31, 2018)

A large white sheet hangs at the front of the stage. Shadows are seen as the band takes the stage. The excitement builds as they begin to play a long extended intro. At last, the sheet drops and Charlie Puth is standing center stage bathed in bright spotlights. All the teenage girls scream and he begins to sing “The Way I Am” to their delight. It’s a very theatrical entrance that is very well executed.

Puth is very conversational with the audience. This makes it feel like a intimate show, despite it being in front of thousands of fans. He tells everyone about a time he was waiting for a girl to text him back at the Intercontinental in Tokyo. She wasn’t responding, so he decided to write. He came up with “We Don’t Talk Anymore”. Having this song is much better than her texting back, he says.

Lots of girls brought signs to the show. A few of them brought cut-out letters that spelled DOME. “What is dome?” asks Puth. Just as he finishes saying that, he figures it out and starts laughing hysterically. Oh, he says. That’s a naughty sign. At one point during the following song, he spots them again and he starts to laugh and is unable to sing the song for a second. It’s a great moment and shows that he is connecting with his audience.

Towards the end of the set, the band plays the opening notes to “Attention” and the girls scream. About one minute into the song, the bassist steps to the front of the stage and lays down the sick bass line and the crowd erupts into a dance party. This is his hottest song right now and should absolutely be the last song. Instead, he goes on to play “BOY” before he leaves the stage. After a few minutes of cheering, he returns to play “See You Again”. This is a great song that should have ended the set, leaving “Attention” for the encore.

Either way, it was a great show. He’s humble about his success joking, “I’ll be done in 4 years.” With his charisma and song writing talent, he’ll be around for much longer. That is, unless he decides to return to computer programming!

See the full setlist here.

Quinn Delaney