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Transmission
« Preview: Daniel Johnston @ Bottom Lounge 11/3 Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - November 2012 »

Review Thu Nov 01 2012

Review: Knife Party's Haunted House Tour @ Congress Theater

When several thousand people make it out from all corners of a city to enjoy the same music in the same room in front of the the same stage, it can be a really incredible thing. When the overwhelming majority of those thousands show up in costume -- ranging from the hilarious to the scanty -- ready to dance, there can also be something undeniably ridiculous about it.

As I've probably hinted at through my other articles on Gapers Block, I'm a fan of electronic music. It's a cool amalgamation of the burgeoning rave scene of the '90s, the breakthrough of rap and other beat-focused music to suburban households and the evolution of the hardcore rock scene. Seriously, listen to some of the tight, low octave breakdowns of mid-2000s hardcore or "metal" bands and you'll find plenty of similarities between the "drops" that dominate popular electronic dance music. It's no coincidence that Skrillex -- the unofficial "king of dubstep" -- started in a Florida screamo band.

More so than a culture study though, Saturday night was simply a Halloween party set to music.

Kill the Noise, who's signed to Skillex's OWSLA record label, has some of the most dynamic production abilities of any producer/DJ performing at his level. Sadly, he shied away from spinning original tracks during his set at Saturday's Haunted House Tour stop at Chicago's leading electronic music venue the Congress Theater. The DJ's 2011 EP Kill Kill Kill sounded more like an unusually aggressive house music album than "traditional" dubstep. More cuts from this disc would've been appreciated instead of the crowd-pleasing, completely expected drops that he filled his nearly hour-long set with.

Saying that Knife Party's headlining set was highly anticipated would be an understatement. The DJ duo pointed out that this was only their second appearance in Chicago during their set. This is a pretty remarkable fact considering they sold out the Congress Theater (the capacity for which tends to vary between 3,500 and 4,200, depending on the source) weeks in advance and their first stop through our city was only two months ago at North Coast Music Festival. Their's was one of the standout sets of the weekend so hopes were high going into the night.

As this tour was titled "The Haunted House Tour" and this performance took place on the Saturday night before Halloween (which, everyone knows, is the night to party) I expected more Halloween-themed accouterments. Several carnival-like performers (i.e. jugglers, stilt walkers) graced the stage during the opening sets and during the first few minutes of Knife Party a burlesque dancer shot sparks into the crowd while taking a grinder to her steel garter belt. Animated skulls and brief clips from vintage horror movies blinked across the LED screen every so often. But, still, it felt like there could have been more. Musically, no Halloween-esque elements were added, which you would think wouldn't be the hardest thing considering it was a DJ set.

However, Knife Party managed to match the energy that they put out at North Coast, making for a steamy dance party at the Congress -- seriously, it was hot in there. The pair opted for a heavier, less melodic set than the dance-driven show they put on for Chicago this summer. Their uber-popular hit "Internet Friends" made an appearance and "Bonfire" was treated to an extended play complete with showers of confetti being released from the ceiling.

House parties are fun and all but this was the place to be for Halloween weekend this year.

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Classical Tue Apr 01 2014

Pulling Strings: For Classical Music in Chicago, You Got a Guy - April 2014

By Elliot Mandel

Love fugues? Dig counterpoint? Get your fix this month as the music of J.S. Bach fills the city. Plus, don't miss a Chicago debut and all five Beethoven cello sonatas.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
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Live Fix Blog
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Oh My Rockness
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Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
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

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
House of Blues
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Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
Ultra Lounge
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
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


Events

Tue Apr 15 2014
MTV Ghosts, Detective Novel & Careful Q @ The Burlington

Wed Apr 16 2014
The First Time @ Martyrs'

Thu Apr 17 2014
John Cale @ Old Town School

Fri Apr 18 2014
Kid Sister @ Reggies

Fri Apr 18 2014
Funk Fest @ Subterranean

Sat Apr 19 2014
Funk Fest @ Subterranean

Sat Apr 19 2014
The Mountain Goats @ Old Town School

Sun Apr 20 2014
The Mountain Goats @ Old Town School

Mon Apr 21 2014
Secret History of Chicago Music Anniversary show @ Empty Bottle

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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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