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Thursday, December 14

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Concert Wed Nov 11 2009

Late Review: Crystal Castles and Chromeo @ The Congress Theater

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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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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.

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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.

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