It was a whirlwind jaunt with a Great Lakes view. The trip wasn't my idea but I was happy to join in (especially since I didn't have to do any of the planning). Airbnb.com hooked us up with a sweet apartment to stay in - a short walk from the concert venue, Reggie's Rock Club. And Porter got us there smoothly and comfortably - an excellent flying experience but marred after the fact when we encountered striking workers. The strikers were polite and only detoured us slightly on our return. It was their concerns about safety and a living wage, and their claims that Porter has failed to provide either, that were upsetting. I wish them the best of luck, and equity, in their negotiations.
|Corey Dennison at Buddy Guy's|
Day two gave us an awesome heavy metal brunch with Thérèse from Mares of Thrace and the band's sometime touring bassist/drummer/cover art painter/American Heritage member, Scott. They took us to a place called Handlebar, where I had an extremely tasty vegan breakfast tacos special. Then we got glimpses of various parts of the city before heading to Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. We didn't make it to the special Picasso exhibition (the line up was so long!) but we did see a couple of Picasso paintings, some Georgia O'Keefe, a giant Seurat, the picture of Dorian Grey used in the film based on Oscar Wilde's novel, and a bunch of other cool stuff (and drank some excellent Goose Island root beer and vanilla cream soda to follow up our Goose Island beers from the night before).
Even with all our wanderings and a little down time we still made it to Reggie's in time to find some familiar faces and chat a bit before the opening act, Chicago's Without Waves. I didn't know anything about the band before, but it looks like their drummer is playing with Novembers Doom now as well. I liked their progginess, and got a kick out of their Portishead cover, "Numb," I think it was.
Novembers Doom's set was on the softer side, likely to ease us into the much poppier sounds of Anneke's set to come. They were joined on stage by a woman named Tricia (I think), who wove her excellent voice in among the band's melodies. I didn't take notes and have already forgotten most of the details of the setlist (I was never good at song titles), but the range of songs worked well and the band sounded great. Towards the end of their performance they worked in a cover by a band called Vast (I wouldn't have known if they hadn't told me), and they brought things to a climactic end with what was probably their heaviest track of the night, "Rain." This was maybe my third (?) time seeing Novembers Doom, and it was nice to get something a little different once again.
|Anneke van Giersbergen + Paul and Larry (Novembers Doom)|
Anneke was as charming and charismatic as ever, radiating a kind of delighted joyfulness. Watching and listening to her perform could be a kind of anti-depression or anti-anger therapy - I don't think there could have been a single cranky person in that room. The warm feelings might not have lasted (for us, it was up early the next morning and back to work within hours), but it was pretty blissful for at least a short while.