Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, March 23

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Tomorrow Never Knows 2010 Dates Announced She's Money »

Concert Wed Nov 11 2009

Late Review: Crystal Castles and Chromeo @ The Congress Theater


All photos by Andy Keil

Disclaimer: This review is insanely late due to the fact that two days after Halloween, I caught swine flu. Yup, swine flu. I wish I was kidding about this fact, but I'm not. Sorry to Andy for just now posting his wonderful pictures from the night, and sorry to all the readers for just now reporting on this fun night of music in Chicago. And go buy some hand sanitizer, try and get an H1N1 vaccination shot if you can, because swine flu was the worst sickness I've ever experienced, and trust me, you do not want it dear readers. Now on with the review!

Sweaty masses of underage kids packed into The Congress is a typical affair in the Chicago music scene, but only one weekend a year is it normal to add in a few dozen green men, a plethora of slutty outfits, and a crowd surfing horse into the mix. Such was the case at the packed Crystal Castles, Chromeo and Boys Noize show Halloween weekend.


The typical problems that plague shows at The Congress were evident as usual. The will call line snaked around the side of the building, and after talking to a few people I found the general wait time was 45 minutes to an hour just to pick up your ticket, then another 30 minute wait in another line to get inside the venue. Security was a mess, and incredibly rude, and people overall acted a lot less civilized than at other venues in Chicago. Maybe it was the holiday spirit, the costumes, or the massive amount of drunk teenagers, but after attending a good amount of shows at The Congress, this general atmosphere tends to be standard, Halloween weekend or not.

Despite the poor venue management, and the rude crowd (seriously, can someone teach these younger patrons some concert manners? Get off my damn lawn kids!), The Congress still know how to pack a strong bill and bring a massive dance party. Crystal Castles kicked things off with an incredibly noisy and indulgently long intro, the bass resonating deep, fuzzed out and strong enough to actually feel deep in your body. Live, Alice Glass comes off just as bratty and brash as she does recorded, but the music itself is even more polished, stylized, and sexy than their infectious self-titled dance debut.


The floor got a bit more friendly and relaxed as Chromeo took the stage. They pumped out their typical retro style jam after retro style jam, the perfect soundtrack that conjures up images of Saved By the Bell, light up sneakers, slap bracelets, and other nostalgic memories of the blended late 80s/early 90s time period. The music was tight and popped, especially on standout crowd favorites like "Tenderoni" and "Needy Girl."After seeing Chromeo a handful of times, you can never tell how serious they are when it comes to their style of music, which is a bit unnerving at times. But they have a lot of fun doing what they do, and when you've got a few thousand people wanting to dance, that is all that matters. The 6ft tall bearded Oscar the Grouch going apeshit next to me approved, so I took a cue from him and got down. Sure, the night had its technical flaws, and I'd had more than enough slutty costumes to fulfill my quota for the year, but overall it was a quality Friday night dance party courtesy of The Congress.

Check out the rest of Andy's Chromeo photos from the night here.

GB store

Stephanie Griffin / November 12, 2009 10:21 AM

At least now you've had it, you can't get it again (right?). You don't have to live in fear like the rest of us.

Aharona / November 12, 2009 11:10 AM

Great review! I'm so bummed I missed this show. Hope you are feeling better!

Michelle Meywes / November 12, 2009 2:25 PM

The Congress is always a mess at will call and always rude. Wish somebody could get that place in order, I hate going to shows there.

GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15