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TODAY

Tuesday, January 31

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Transmission
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Concert Sat May 31 2008

"I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my shit."

From beginning to end, last night's show at the Chicago Theatre brought what concertgoers what they expected, which was energetic and engaging performances from two Grammy winning acts, all wound into a great four and a half hours. The Roots are supporting Erykah Badu on this Vortex Tour, and perhaps one of the few disappointments in the performance was that the two musical forces of nature didn't do "You Got Me." The disappointments were few and far in between, and the sold-out crowd seemed to enjoy every minute.

The Roots started off a few minutes late, much to the surprise of some hip-hop concertgoing vets, who arrived a half-hour later and missed half their set. The Roots ran through a tight, hour-long set with selections from the new ("Rising Up") to the old show favorites ()"Mellow My Man", "Next Movement"). Sprinkle in a generous helping of inspired solos from both guitar positions, tuba, and keyboard, and you have a uditorium of frenzied people attempting to find their seats and vibe along with the musicianship hitting them hard and fast.

Th Erykah Badu Experience took a while to set up on stage, prompting laughs and assuraces from fans wo'd seen her in concert before that "you are not ready." With two guitar positions, drums, turntables, four backup singers, drum machine, flute, and trumpet, the breadth of sounds produced served to help her take us where she wanted us to go, in terms of feeling.

First, we were hoit with the drums; powerful, abdominal-cavity-rumbling bass, as she popped and locked and sang and incited an already warm audience into standing-room frenzy. Her song selection was mostly from her latest New Amerykah, and the largely female crowd rocked right along.

Over the course of the night, it was demonstrated that a good live artist leads their audience with them, that performance is just as importance as song sequencing. Of course, there will be issues with song selection, as quite a few people had issue with the absence of "Honey" from the setlist, but I suppose that's to be expected. She amped the vibe when possible, and towards the end of the night, knew better than to keep that up, lest she have multidtudes calling encores. So she slowed it down, even eschewing the microphone for the end of a particularly heartfelt song. At that point, the entire Theatre was silenced, which was almost totally in opposition to the levels of rancor they were in the throes of moments earlier.

Overall, a great experience in music at one of their classiest venues in the city. Last night's show sold out in less than a day; there is a show tonight and, well, that's sold out, too.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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