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.
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Saturday, May 18

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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.


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 »


  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

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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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