The Riviera filled quickly as The Descendents walked quietly onto the stage. Looking more like aging scientists than hardened punk rockers, they wore black t-shirts and buttoned-up short-sleeved shirts complete with graying hair and wrap-around glasses. Touring in support of 2016 release Hypercaffium Spazzinate, the new decision by Milo to leave his scientific career and focus on the band once more caused fans to turn out in droves. The band started off the set with crowd favorite “Everything Sucks” (and made a quip that it was for Cubs fans everywhere, since they lost that night’s game.) As the set progressed, the crowd was moshing, crowd-surfing and dancing with a frenetic energy which amped up Milo as he stalked the stage bending down with one hand on his knee singing into the mic. The generational love for this band is off the charts (I stood next to a dad and his seven-year-old daughter, who knew every word and bounced with delight at every song.) The idea of giving up the ghost never occurred to these guys, and for good reason. The poignancy of their work resonates in every lyric and note, from old albums to new. BY ERIN MALYSA
BY BRIAN FURMAN
PHOTO BY MARK DAWURSK
Chicago born and raised (well, Des Plaines more accurately), Pelican continues to rumble low and slow through the Great Lakes basin. Forming in 2001, the cinematic post-metal quartet perfectly blends glacial riffs with beautiful, intense instrumentals that drive their eerily gargantuan sound to heightened perspectives of rock. Like drops of cold rain on a blistery fall day, the band’s five studio records and numerous EPs and splits offer distinct and different cloud formations of the same sonic storm. Pelican is currently signed with Southern Lord Recordings and released their latest EP, The Cliff, in 2015. Punishing yet beautiful while simultaneously dark and uplifting, the band’s emotion-churning live show is not to be missed.
For the first time ever, Red Bull Sound Select is bringing its “30 Days In” series to the Windy City with 30 days of concerts and events this November. After taking over Los Angeles last November with its “30 Days in LA” series, this year’s “30 Days in Chicago” is setting up shop at concert halls and DIY venues across town, kicking off November 1 with Young Thug at Metro and concluding with Migos and Lil Yachty at the Riviera November 30. In between, there will be live music every night of the month (excluding Thanksgiving) at venues including Thalia Hall, Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Metro, Riviera, and Empty Bottle, as well as DIY venues like Fourth Presbyterian Church, The Annex, and House of Vans. There will also be classes and seminars at Columbia College, with concert highlights including Parquet Courts and Meat Wave November 15 at Empty Bottle and Fake Shore Drive’s 10th anniversary showcase November 4 at Portage Theater. Visit the 30 Days in Chicago website for tickets and details.
BY BOB GUAPO
Throwing a good party will make you plenty of friends. Not long ago, The California Honeydrops were cult favorites in the Bay Area putting on raucous shows that weave together a rich tapestry of R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line. A few years later, it’s safe to say the secret is out. Fueled primarily by word of mouth, the last few years have seen the band tour extensively with heavy hitters like Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John and Umphrey’s McGee, with the band making their triumphant Red Rocks debut earlier this year. Capping their headlining tour with two sold-out nights at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, the Honeydrops make their way to Chicago in a saucy mood ready to party.