Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer 2015: Rain, Cheap Beer, and Post-Concert Depression

I think I've spent more money this season on concert tickets and overpriced Bud Light than I have on...well, anything ever. And being the generous person that I am I've decided to relive some of the magical moments I spent drowning in the rain, surrounded by scantily-clad teenagers here, on this library blog, with you. Enjoy. 
*Disclaimer: the majority of the shows I attended this summer fall under the genre of 'country'. Surprise! 

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Lana Del Rey
May 30, 2015
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Tinley Park, IL

I have to admit I am a fan of Lana's music, although I won't go as far as to say she's my queen. Seriously guys, what's up with that? Del Rey kicked off her Endless Summer Tour in early May with special guest Courtney Love...which was odd to say the least. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to witness that spectacle as Grimes was the opener on Del Rey's Chicago stop. I had no idea who Grimes was before the show and I still don't have a clue today. It was 40 degrees and pouring rain yet every concertgoer around me was wearing high-waisted shorts and a flower crown. I was unimpressed with Del Rey's performance; she whined her way through a couple of tracks off her most recent record Ultraviolence while mostly ignoring her second (and my favorite) album Paradise. And when she finally got around to performing "Summertime Sadness" I was in the bathroom. That was the first and the last time I see LDR in concert. She's all yours, hipsters! 

Zac Brown Band
June 28, 2015
Milwaukee, WI

I traveled to the faraway land of Wisconsin to witness Zac Brown and his 10 piece ensemble throw down on the main stage at Milwaukee's annual Summerfest. The most impressive part of any ZBB show is the sheer amount of fiddle they're able to incorporate into modern country music; their cover of "Devil Went Down to Georgia" is reason enough to shell out the money to see these guys play live. They have an incredible energy that allows them to play lesser-known material to a crowd that really only wants to hear "Chicken Fried" on a two hour loop. The band took a big risk releasing their latest album Jekyll + Hyde this year. It has a much less traditional sound than their fans are used to, but it ultimately opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the band. You can place a hold on the album here.

July 10, 2015
Windy City Smokeout 
Chicago, IL 

I've reviewed Kacey's material here before and I really just can't say enough good things about her. Musgrave's onstage persona is just as you'd expect it to be. She speaks the truth and nothing but the truth and she's damn proud of her Texas roots. And ladies, her style is ON POINT. Not only did she play a bunch of her own songs, but she also covered some classic country hits like Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough" which confused a lot of the preteens around me. She's returning to Chicago in September to play a set at Farm Aid alongside Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp (just to name a few).  

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Taylor Swift
July 18 & 19, 2015
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

Swift is without a doubt America's Sweetheart--donating thousands to a young fan diagnosed with cancer, sending personalized Christmas gifts to girls all over the world, spending hours interacting with her fans on Tumblr--and she recently kicked off her latest world tour in support of her album 1989. I've been a fan of Taylor since the very beginning; I saw her perform for free on the lawn outside of Soldier Field way before she was ever big enough to sell out the stadium two nights in a row. Her new album is unlike anything she's done in the past and she played the entirety of it for 60,000 Chicago fans. Twice. She left behind the acoustic guitar and the melodramatic lyrics this time around to show her fans that she's more than just a boy-crazy wannabe. She's the real deal. She's a bonafide pop star.

So, when all is said and done, I've seen some pretty bangin' shows this summer. Despite the weather (Illinois...amirite?!) and the hundreds of dollars I spent on booze instead of bills, I'll call it a success.