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Review Thu Apr 22 2010

Review: Echo & the Bunnymen @ Metro, 4/21

Last night's show at the Metro was intense to say the very least. The music of Echo & the Bunnymen means so much to so many people and the expectation for a killer show was very much out there. Most of the crowd was a bit older than my modest 30 years and I knew that my age might be a factor to my experience. My first encounter with this band was very much a somber one. My babysitter would play them as soon as she thought I was sleeping, so my association with their music is recalling not wanting to go to bed as I was lulled with a dreamy sound. I can't think of any other band that would fit this mood or a better introduction. Going to sleep as a child can be sad as well as a bit comforting. I think this sums up the Echo & the Bunnymen sound and experience.

The show went on a little late and there was a bit of anxiety in the air to the older crowd who grew up with this music as teenagers. The band released a whole slew of new material with last year's The Fountain. Of course we all want to hear the new stuff, but will "The Killing Moon" be played and would they be as good as they did when they played back in the day were a few of the many questions going around in the audience.

The set started out with "Going Up" from their first album Crocodiles and continued with very early works "Show Of Strength", "Rescue" and "Villiers Terrace". I couldn't wonder to think what it would have been like to have been a grown-up in the '80s hearing some of these songs live before they were classics. Just as I was getting used to the second hand nostalgia "I Think I Need It Too" from the new album was played. It was touching to realize how many memories filled the room.

Some of the lighter moments were when singer Ian McCulloch — who never removed his sunglasses — tried (with all of this mumbled British might) to address the audience. After hearing that it was nice to be back in Chicago,there was some talk about the Icelandic volcano crisis, but most of his communications were not audibly received and the band got right back to playing.

My favorite song of the entire evening was "The Back Of Love" if only for the vocal quality that was as powerful as it was ethereal. I got chills from the balcony as I watched the music escape from his mouth to reach everywhere in the house. I never recalled that song being as amazing as I experienced last night, but this is exactly why seeing music live is so important, to gain a new experience on what we have already heard. "Rust" from the 1999 album What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? was played earlier in the set. It made me tear up as it was played beautifully.

The set ended with "The Killing Moon" and then "The Cutter" both old school favorites that everyone knew. What I enjoyed most about the show was the audience response was that after every first chord (and I mean every) there was overwhelming applause and cheers. I believe the band could have done a Bryan Adams cover and still be given positive response. The cover that brought down the house was half part cover/sampler of Lou Reed's amazing "Walk On The Wild Side" that was part of an extended encore that also included "Do It Clean" and "Lips Like Sugar.

The show was nothing short of amazing and was performed with passion and love for the fans. This was music that helped define a subculture of a generation and the show recalled how important the music we grow up with can be.

 
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brother mayhem / April 23, 2010 9:30 AM

great show & great review

iban / May 13, 2010 1:08 PM

Epic Concert!
pasado de lanza ese concierto!!!

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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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