Aragon Ballroom // Chicago, IL // March 22, 2019
Three bands, three styles, one cohesive night of incredible music!
Combining different musical styles on a tour can be risky. Fans who came to see one of the main acts might be bored by the openers and vise versa. However, the eclectic combo of July Talk, Zoé, and Metric worked so well that fans who came for one band gladly stayed for all three.
First up, blues rockers July Talk put on one of my favorite shows so far this year, mainly thanks to the incredible chemistry between vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay. Dreimanis gives off a Nick Cave vibe, while Fay is in a league of her own. During one of their songs that Fay gleefully said was about “toxic masculinity”, she calmly jumped off the tall stage and walked on top of the barricade. Her voice never wavered, despite essentially walking along a balance beam over a giant crowd. July Talk are one of those bands that truly shine when in front of a crowd, and they poured their heart out at their Chicago show.
Something I truly loved about this trio of bands was officially becoming a fan of Zoé. The Mexican rock band aren’t as well known among English audiences, although they arguably had a bigger fanbase at the Chicago show than Metric. Their sound reminded me of The Cure: powerful rock music with a twinge of goth and new wave. Vocalist Leon Larregui had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, singing along with every song. Larregui spoke to the crowd entirely in Spanish, but even when I couldn’t understand exactly what he was saying, I could feel his energy and the blaring screams from the audience.
Canadian synth gods (and goddess) Metric closed out the night with a set that encompassed their 20+ year career. Vocalist Emily Haines was in top form, shrouded in a blanket of fog and beams of light. The band’s newest album, Art of Doubt, reached #6 on the Canadian Billboard charts and is a testament to the band’s cannon sound. While many bands follow musical trends and lose their old fan base, Metric sound pretty timeless. In other words, if you like their old music, you’ll love their new stuff. One of the highlights of their set came during their encore, when they played “Black Sheep“. This song is featured in one of my favorite movies, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, and it’s such a quintessential Metric jam. Haines and the band are still in top form and finished off an energetic and exciting evening of music.