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Sunday, June 23

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Concert Tue Jun 16 2009

Review: Patrick Wolf @ Bottom Lounge, 6/15/09


Photos by Kirstie Shanley.

On a Monday night in the bloom of summer, you'd expect a fairly young crowd out for the Nylon (magazine) Summer Music Tour, AKA "look at our new label peeps". While the back of the crowd had a decent mix of folk (and of course, Thax), the front pit was a decently-sized mob of college kids or recent grads who certainly didn't look like they were facing a morning commute.

Jaguar Love drew the short straw and played first. Unfortunately, this meant that people who didn't want to stand in the Bottom Lounge for five straight hours were still finishing up their dinners or perhaps going for pleasant evening strolls. Sorry, Jaguar Love.

Following them were the impossibly French Plasticines, whose syrupy accents made their fairly standard Donnas-esque rock a little sweeter. They played their cover of "These Boots are Made For Walkin", and demanded (eventually through an "interpreter", in case the crowd wasn't understanding their English) that everyone had to "go like thees: *clapclapclapclap*" After some trips into the audience from lead singer Katty Besnard, everyone eventually obliged.

Of special note here is that during the break, no one less than Bob Marley was used for fill music. Sure, why not?


The Living Things took the stage with a slightly more tepid reception. Usually notorious for their political leanings, the banter was strangely white-washed for the St. Louis natives, with singer Lillian Berlin declaring his love for the city, cornhole, and even claiming to be a Cubs fan. The crowd didn't quite get loose, and Berlin's raised arms and yelps were not matched. Eventually even singing the city into the instrumental parts of the song, they certainly gave it their all, but as everyone knows — disinterest is the sexiest attitude.

As Patrick's band took the stage and started soundchecking all sorts of adorable little instruments, the crowd murmured with anticipation, wondering if he'd be in top form or dramatic, or in tiny red pants or battle armor. Patrick Wolf took the stage in a white and black jacket with matching flying V, his blonde hair coiffed to Billy Idol levels and silver eyeliner caked on with abandon. He started into the new "Oblivion", then hopping back one album to "Bluebells" before returning to the Bachelor's "Damaris". Patrick shed the jacket, and started to work the crowd — "Tristan" proved to be an good call and response for the crowd, and then "Battle" found the entire pit shouting along for his every point. In very good spirits, he talked to the audience for a bit, receiving a gold cap made for him by a fan and trying it on, declaring "Now the cops won't find me in San Francisco — my new name is David Crosby. No, Bing Crosby. " He also said he was saving up for a chola sex exchange, to which he added the asterisk "We don't really have Mexicans in Britain, sorry — I don't know about all this stuff. Ah, I Iove being an ambassador." If anyone found it a bit less than PC, it seemed to be forgiven by his playful nature and mugging for the audience.

After a strong performance of "The Libertine", he continued his good spirited chatter by making a joke about the Chicken Soup for the Soul DVD he'd watched — but when they started the song, Patrick couldn't keep a straight face, and broke to finish describing it as "seriously the scariest thing I've ever seen". Asking permission to start over, the band launched into "Who Will", and somehow Patrick pulled off all the gravitas needed even after the giggling fits. Working the crowd expertly during and in between songs, Mr. Wolf probably cemented himself in the minds of many of his fans last night, and made a few new ones in the process.

[For more pictures from the show by Kirstie Shanley, see the Gapers Block: Transmission Flickr page.]

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Tim / June 17, 2009 1:14 AM

Jaguar love also spent a lot of time in the audience...he sang part of a song with his head on my foot. The Plasticines seemed to have a lot of trouble getting the sound right and had to restart a song so I think when they got aggravated about people not clapping it was somewhat justified. Living Things certainly seemed to have fun regardless of how distracted the audience was. Patrick was delightful, and the pit was definitely a great experience.

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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 »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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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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