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« Our Favorite Acts at Pitchfork Music Fest 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday »

Review Sat Jul 20 2013

Review: Savages & Sky Ferreira @ Lincoln Hall, 7/19

There are usually two ways things can go when opening acts bring the bar down. One, the headliner can seem incredible by comparison to what preceded them; two, it can just wear out an audience. Friday night for Savages' Pitchfork aftershow at Lincoln Hall, it seemed things would head in the latter direction for much of the night. But you never know for sure until the end.

Sky Ferreira kicked off the evening with a delightful set that ran from intimate, downtempo Americana-ish tracks to practically synthpop. Her voice worked with everything she sang, but she had more fun on the uptempo songs when the crowd showed some life. For a young performer, she had a very strong stage presence and appeared to know exactly what she wanted out of her music. At one point, she stopped her guitarist to have him play slower and then started the song all over again to get it right from the start. Her full-length isn't due until 2014, but she has the makeup to break out once it comes around.

As good as her set was, though, what came next was sort of a mess. Björk played a predictably off-beat set of music from her iPhone and Johnny Hostile played 20 minutes of guitar noise followed by ten minutes of atmospherics. Before Savages went on at 12:45, pockets of the crowd had already left and more were grumbling.

Three songs into Savages, it seemed like everyone was on fumes because the band wasn't really connecting with the audience. But then it came together midway through. Jehnny Beth's Ian Curtis-like tics became endearing. Gemma Thompson's intense guitar-playing shined. And the rhythm section was completely in synch on their angular post-punk. The back half from "No Face" until "Husbands" gave the indications that Savages' immense hype isn't overblown. Beth paced the stage, went all in on her Siouxsie Sioux-like vocals and played to the pogoing carousers. When Savages suddenly came to a stop after playing nearly all of their music in 45 minutes, it seemed like they were on the verge of stepping into the next gear. But I guess they left something in the tank for Union Park.

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danielle harpy / July 20, 2013 4:58 PM

To say that Bjork's DJ set was off-beat is a huge understatement. It was hateful. torturous. Not music, but the sound of chainsaws on trees, jackhammers on cement and at a volume that was like hitting our heads with a hammer. It did not nothing but make me angry that she was so anti-human.

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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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