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Wednesday, October 27

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Concert Sat May 05 2012

Photos/Review: Yann Tiersen @ Cabaret Metro 5/4/12

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French superstar Yann Tiersen may have been competing with another popular French band, M83 (how could they split up the Chicago French contingency like that?!) but at the end of the night, it was quite certain the audience for Tiersen was not only impressed but feeling confident they made the right choice. Though this review/photographer is certainly a fan of both bands, Tiersen's appearances in Chicago have been much less frequent than M83 and fans of the latter can always catch them at Lollapalooza Friday August 3rd. (and hopefully an after show will be announced soon too!)

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Tiersen is astoundingly talented and it's easy to be in awe of him in terms of both his technical abilities and his creativity. The stage setup at the Metro featured a slew of instruments with six musicians total and multiple synthesizers (guitar, drums, bass, melodica and wind instruments also present with some great sense of band dynamics.) Tiersen himself played synth keyboards, melodica, guitar, and violin and showed the most impressive skills on the violin with quite a breadth of emotions overflowing with abundance.

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Within his compositions, he often has moments of extreme lush melody rich with a keen sense of melancholy that builds into almost bombastic triumphant sounding climaxes. In some ways, though they are still creative in the context of most other music out there, within his own set they begin to get more predictable. Yet, there's something pleasing and comforting in the way that one can predict the emergence of the coalescing chorus. A musical sense of home, or reassurance in the abstract art form is created and envelops the listener in a way that makes one lose track of space and time and just focus on being carried away in the moment. The visuals also help reinforce this sort of lost in the mood effect with images from album art work featured most predominantly.

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There was ample time to do this, in fact, with an astounding 90 minute length set that focused mainly on songs from Tiersen's last two full length studio releases, 2011's Skyline and 2010's Dust Lane with highlights being "Chapter Nineteen" "Ashes" "The Gutter" and "The Trial." In a touching moment, Tiersen also dedicated his song "Esther" to Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys who passed away earlier in the day.

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If you have never witnessed Tiersen performing in the past, this reviewer/photographer highly recommends you see him on his next tour. He's an incredible musician who leaves you with something so permanent in its joy it's almost tangible. The experience is one to be treasured with blissful remembrance and hopefully he will be back soon.


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Also a delight was the soft and sweet feminine vocals of opener Felix whose releases are featured on the Kranky record label. Lucinda Chua was a dreamy vision and her floating lyrics provided the perfect element of calmness amidst the anticipation of Tiersen.

 
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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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