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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 6

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Concert Tue Jun 23 2009

Review: The Sea and Cake, Dirty Projectors @ Millennium Park 6/22/09

The rain broke, the heat rose with the sun, and there was a free show Monday night at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Oh, I was there. The lawn was not quite a Decemberists-level crush of blanket sitters, but the crowd was lively and comfortably dressed in the sundress and bicycle cuff style. Beer was purchased (or brown-bagged), wine was shared, and cheese was added to crackers. The excitement peaked as the sun slid behind the Michigan Avenue wall and a collective sigh rose as Dirty Projectors hit the stage.

Swinging through through hits like "Stillness is the Move" and "Cannibal Resource" and from their latest album, Bitte Orca, the harmonies between Angel Deradoorian and Amber Coffman were magical in the haze of the slow burn of the evening. From where I was sitting, in that soft light, I couldn't make out the band well, but I could clearly see two members of Broken Social Scene (in town to do some recording at Soma with Sea and Cake's John McEntire) Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew sitting, socializing and enjoying the music. You know, there is something very BSS-like in the harmonies and loops that Dirty Projectors utilize. I can see how that's up in their wheelhouse.

DP closed with a seemingly truncated version of "Knotty Pine" (Byrne-less, sadly), but the Park was keeping a tight schedule. [Note: Later Monday night, after heading off toward Detroit, the band got into a car accident. It seems like the initial reports of serious injuries were false, but they're scrapping two shows in Canada and heading to NYC to regroup.]

Starting right on time were the evening's headliners The Sea and Cake, all business and down to it. Unfortunately clocked in as the "older" band by some of the less-familiar in the crowd, Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt led the fellas through the set beautifully and really gained some new fans Monday night. The sound was something else — I repeatedly remarked that the bass was stronger than any other Sea and Cake show I'd heard — in a good way. I felt like even though I was hearing this outdoor performance of great songs like Car Alarm's title track and their older self-titled album tune and audience fave "Jacking the Ball" I was experiencing them for the first time in high fidelity. Likely this is a testament to the fine design of the speakers at the Pritzker. To you, I say, Bravo. I wasn't alone in feeling the love that night — the crowd begat several pockets of bouncy dance circles (one of which spilled over into a post-show drum circle, but that's ok).

Oh, hey, and Andrew Bird was there, too, hanging out with Jay Ryan. Yep, I think I was in the right place Monday night.

[Get in on the fun! Next Monday, the 29th, catch The Feelies and Icy Demons, also for free at the Pritzker Pavilion starting at 7:30pm.]

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charlie / June 24, 2009 4:40 PM


You summed things up nicely except I simply can't agree with you regarding the sound. I and a few other friend thought it was horrible. No mid-range to speak of...

I'm sure it's a challenging place to mix but I was a little annoyed.

Anne / June 24, 2009 10:08 PM

Charlie- Maybe I found a sweet spot? Dunno.

charlie / June 25, 2009 8:33 AM

Charlie- Maybe I found a sweet spot? Dunno.

Can I have your seat for the Feelie's show please?!

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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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