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« Lollapalooza 2010 Recap: Friday, August 6th Lollapalooza 2010 Recap: Saturday, August 7th »

Concert Sun Aug 08 2010

Review: Devo and Dirty Projectors @ The Congress, 8/5

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Devo fans wait (photos by Katie Hovland)

A chorus of "Boo" is one of the saddest sounds in live music. Nothing is more depressing then an angry crowd that have been standing around 2+ hours waiting for the band they love. Sadly this was the case Thursday night at the Congress, before Dirty Projectors or Devo took the stage. Have no fear, the sweet sounds of Devo saved the day in the end, but things were off to a rocky start.

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Devo (photos by Katie Hovland)

The show was made to sound like an early one, 17+, doors open at 7:30. So it was a surprise when upon entering at 8:30 that local DJ duo Moneypenny were spinning, and for an hour already no less. Although the duo is fun at a bar or smaller club, it was nothing memorable in such a large space, and certainly not for a crowd anxiously waiting for Devo. As the fans waited, another local took the stage, DJ Zebo, and the crowd grew more weary. Perry Farrell sauntered on the stage around 9:30, and didn't actually DJ like the venue stated, but had a friend of his behind the decks briefly spin Daft Punk and Benny Benassi samples. Farrell taunted the crowd, calling them "old motherfuckers" because they didn't know the music being spun, and when angry fans yelled at him down front (after waiting at this point for two hours), he flicked them off. DJ Zebo grabbed the decks again, and thankfully helped the situation when he stated to the crowd "You don't want to hear this type of music anymore, do you?" and switched over to playing The Smiths. The angry mob calmed down a bit, and thankfully at 10:10, the Dirty Projectors finally took to the stage.

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Dirty Projectors' lead singer and musical director David Longstreth (photos by Katie Hovland)

Dirty Projectors were off to a rocky start, as the mic levels and sound were terrible, which is a shame because the band usually sounds so clean and crisp live. For the first 20 minutes, they sounded off and sloppy. They finally caught their stride when the sound was fixed, and shined on standout tracks "Stillness Is the Move" and "Useful Chamber." The vocals of the band blend so perfectly, but with the wrong mic levels sound disjointed, so thankfully the band was able to overcome the problems and win over the crowd towards the end of the their set. They were a perfect light precursor before the main event.

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Devo (photos by Katie Hovland)

Devo finally took the stage at 11:30, marching and busting out dance moves as the crowd responded with massive approval. Mark Mothersbaugh takes over, a seasoned frontman, and its clear that this is a band that knows how to entertain. Younger bands take a lesson and see Devo live; this is entertainment. With catchy riffs and hooks, engaging visuals, and the perfect dash of oddity, you've got a perfect recipe for what a good band should be. They start off with a heavy dose of new material off their latest (and excellent) album, Something for Everybody, playing "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" "What We Do" and the single "Fresh." The single alone made me want to go straight out and buy the new album, a heavy blend of New Wave pop goodness.

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Devo (photos by Katie Hovland)

They don their energy domes as they go right into favorites "Girl U Want," "Whip It" and "Uncontrollable Urge," the die hard Devo fans going completely insane for the classics, and rightfully so. These pop hits still sound fresh and new 20+ years later, a testament to the pop genius of Mothersbaugh. The band plays a space and time themed intro during their costume change, and enter wearing the full Devo jumpsuit look, ripping into "Jocko Homo" as Mothersbaugh spins around stage, ripping off parts of his clothes. The band strips down to the classic black shorts and knee pad look, jumping in unison as a Devo mosh pit (one of my new favorite things) breaks out in front of the stage. For the encore Mothersbaugh wears a giant blue and red energy dome, as the fans stand and salute during the Devo anthem. They play more classic tracks to end the night, starting off with "Freedom of Choice" before ending the night with "Beautiful World," a video of the oil spill gushing in the gulf behind them, a clear statement on how they feel about the world today. Everyone cheers, Mothersbaugh releases a fanny pack full of bouncy superballs into the crowd, and with a final burst of energy the show is over. Sure, the wait was forever, the venue didn't handle the booking well at all, but on my way out the door I notice a father and son in full Devo jumpsuit and energy dome outfits, huge grins across their faces, and I know despite everything else, Devo saved the day. Are we not men? No, tonight, we were all Devo.

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Devo (photos by Katie Hovland)

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Shaggy / August 8, 2010 10:02 PM

Spot on review!
Almost 2.5 hours of blaring DJs really had many people not in a very good mood including our group. You couldn't escape the noise unless you stood in that smoking area or the freaking bathroom (where I saw one of the biggest cockroaches save for in Florida). Its no wonder those that didn't know Dirty Projectors were a bit aggro waiting even longer for what most were there for, DEVO. First time to see either band for me and DP was what brought me in. Was a bit miffed at the sound issues but once sorted, wonderful. Can't wait to see them in a more appropriate situation, headlining with many fellow fans. Devo really was an awesome surprise for all of us though. What a wonderful show/production no question...will def go see em again!

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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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  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
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Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
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Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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The Shrine
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Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

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Dave's Records
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Groove Distribution
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Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
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Numero Group
mP Shows
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Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
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