Thursday, December 12, 2013

From Yesterday

Went down to Chicago yesterday for a concert, The Night We Stole Christmas show with 30 Seconds to Mars, Queens of the Stone Age, Foals, Alt-J, and Grouplove. It's been a little while since I've been to a show. I do believe it was Halloween in fact. Spent the better part of the afternoon at Shoeless Joe's Ale House, which is only a short walk from the arena. Pretty solid craft beer selection, though I did notice that they only had two stouts, and one of those was Guinness. The beer list was comprised mostly of IPAs. Not a problem for me as I enjoy IPAs greatly.

The show was at the Allstate Arena. This was my first time at this location. It's very similar to the BMO Harris Bank Center (Formerly known as the Bradley Center) with general admission floor (no seats) and seating around the sides. Not a bad place for a concert, but I'm not a huge fan of arena shows. Coming into this show, I was excited to see Queens of the Stone Age and 30 Seconds to Mars. I was not that familiar with the other bands, though I would discover that I knew some of there songs from radio play.

Grouplove was the opening act. A young five-piece band, they have a really good pop sound. The one female in the group is a spaz. She certainly danced like no one was watching. It turned out I knew their last three songs, Tongue Tied. Ways to Go, and Colours. The next band was Alt-J, another young pop band, but these guys have more of a Celtic sound and style and reminded me of Mumford & Sons. I've mentioned before how I like to watch the drummers. Both of these bands had solid drummers and were much better live than their songs would indicate. I really enjoyed them.

The night was off to a pretty good start, but it was not to last. Foals was the third band up. I'm not impressed at all. Not only did I not connect with their music, but I felt their performance was lackluster. Perhaps they should have been the opening act. If I had to describe Foals...I might say if the Cure and Oingo Boingo had a musical love child, it would be Foals. That's a shame too, because I like the Cure.

Up next was a band I had yet to see live, Queens of the Stone Age. I love it when bands come right out and start jamming right away. Just straight up, kick you in the face rock n roll. That is exactly what Queens did. They played a nice ten song set that included favorites like No One Knows, If I Had a Tail, Go With The Flow, and Song For the Dead. A great live band!

Headlining the evening was 30 Seconds to Mars. This is the third time I have seen them. First time was at Summerfest. Second was at The Rave with Breaking Benjamin. Each time, the show has gotten better and better. You have to hand it to Jared Leto, he knows how to perform. Maybe it's the acting experience that helps with that, but it works. The music rocks too. I was a little disappointed that he didn't play From Yesterday, but he made up for it with tons of energy and fan interaction. He performed an acoustic version of The Kill, which was really good, and a cover of Rihanna's Stay. Finished the night up with Kings and Queens and Up In the Air, during which he go about 30 people up on stage with him. A really great show! I hope they come back to Summerfest! The lighting wasn't the greatest for picture taking, but I managed to get a few decent shots.

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