April 24, 2013

[concert review] How To Destroy Angels

If you're a smart Chicagoan, that means you were at the How To Destroy Angels show on the night of Tuesday, April 23rd over at The Vic. The "epic-ness" of this show is something that cannot quite escape my brain yet. I feel there's so many feelings to delve into, but I'll try to lay them out slowly and clearly (or something like that) -

and down the spiral we go...

I can be really honest with you here and tell you that before I saw this show, yes, I enjoyed HTDA quite a bit, and I love Nine Inch Nails (of course I'll be seeing them this summer), but I hadn't given Welcome Oblivion it's fair share of listens before this show had taken place, even though I possess An Omen [EP] as well. I can't say I ever had them in heavy rotation, I'd say maybe three go-arounds since the time it had been dropped and that's not extensive. This very thing will sometimes will impact my excitement for seeing it happen live. See, I kind of consider myself REALLY lucky for having seen them at all because I was initially scheduled to work, until they fixed it after they realized I had requested that date off when pre-sale tickets were purchased. I was seriously worried that I wouldn't be able to make this happen. I can tell you now that after having gone, if I would have missed it and found out how astounding it was, I would have been...actually depressed about the whole circumstance. Fate fell into place REAL nicely. Want to get a vibe for the band? Listen in here;

Dan and I went with another couple we are good friends with and snagged seats in the balcony upon arrival. Although we had pre-sale tickets, we had by far missed the early entry. Rain plagued the city and slowed up everything that had wheels and although we got there late, we still got there earlier than most. We were debating how we wanted to play it out; whether we wanted to sit and watch it from above, or somehow try to weasel four people into an already tightly gathered G.A. crowd (which can be hellish if they're a crowd that's been in the queue for hours). We chose the former and snagged seats with some tables and room to hang. I can tell you right now, that if I were in that crowd and I couldn't see this show well, I would have gotten overly anxious/pissed because it was the kind of show that really required all of your visual attention and emotion. Being able to see it unfold from above was absolutely appropriate and pretty perfect. Dan had told me ahead of time that the stage setup was absolutely sick, and upon requesting to see it in advance, he told me that I really should wait. Well, while this annoyed me at the time, I'm pretty glad that I waited to see those beautiful beams of string lights right before my eyes, so I'm glad he advised it, and I'm glad I didn't sneak on the YouTube's. Rob Sheridan worked his genius so well, and I'm not even all that familiar with what else he's done except for what I've seen on concert footage. He deserves awards, so many awards. I went to Amon Tobin's show for his Isam tour in September of 2012, and it was amazing, another visual stunner. I'd saw that this was even on par with that...or maybe somehow better.

I'm so stoked we saw this together.
I'm actually just stoked we're together,
let's be honest.
This show was so magnificently captivating that it's almost hard for me to put into words, yet I want to use every single word possible in order to describe it. I want to tell you about every second that took place, about the way her sleeves flowed on her white dress as she moved, the way the lights streamed down and swayed around on the displays...but I won't. However, I will tell you right now, that it goes right in the top 5, folks. I've seen a lot of shows, but there's not many that make me feel like that did. Let's delve into pictures and work our way from there..YEAH, YOU HEARD ME, TOP 5.

This was right at the beginning. This is also where my jaw likely dropped and then continued to remain at
my ankles throughout the entire show. I couldn't pry my eyes away. Keep in mind, these video clips are
ultra short. I just wanted to try to capture something, but I can only capture so much at a live show, I just
sort of want to experience it after a certain point.

'Keep It Together'

As they weaved beautifully through the songs on the album and their other work, the visuals just kept getting better and more engaging. The sound was encompassing and it swallowed you whole, no matter where the sounds was coming from on the stage. When we got up to the balcony, our server for the section told us the guys had been working on their lights since 8:30 that morning, and it reflected that. All day work. It was just an epic show to the core, and the lights added these incredible aspects, and it made it that much more powerful and dynamic. The different ranges and visuals that they created with their set was just absolutely insane and I'm shocked they were able to fit it on the stage of The Vic. There was never a point where I was bored or wondered how many songs they had left in the set, I just knew I wanted it to keep happening, I wanted to keep watching. I can also tell you that I feel like a better person for having seen it...my emotions are still tangled up in those strings of light. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't come out extraordinarily well, but hopefully you have some idea of what happened in this show. It wasn't a late night by any means, which is sometimes a nice contrast to the show that starts at midnight. We got in, had one hell of a night, and were out by 10.

'And The Sky Began To Scream'

'Ice Age'

This show exuded an energy all it's own; an alluring carryout for sure and while some parts of me wished I had been right by the stage to see it right up close, like I said, seeing it from a further distance and allowing that sound to hit us was the right move. My god, if you have any hope to see this show (let's be honest, you have 6 more chances) THEN GO! I hope you dig the album and find yourself melting into the songs. It's beautiful and intense. Go experience it.


1 comment:

Dan Costalis said...

Perfect description. "Couldn't look away" is how I felt the entire time!