Air - 6/30/01 @ the Vic

Simply put, Air rocks. After viewing this show I am totally convinced that the good 'ol french band is an above average rock band. Before the show, I worshipped Moon Safari...dug The Virgin Suicide's score and said 10,000 htz Legend was okay at best...but after this live performance, I really like the newest album. Predictably the show was heavy on the new stuff, because according to numerous articles from (dance) magazines, Air said they are trying to get away from the easy listening lounge of Moon Safari. My first impressions of 10,000 Htz Legend were so-so, after a few great tracks (Radio One and Vagabound featuring Beck) the album would be relegated to a good background music album (one you wouldnt need to pay attention to.) Air sold me on the new album, it must've been that I was digging there live sound so much I actually paid attention to the tracks. I know I'll burn in a hell which forces me to listen to Sum*41 after being so lazy with the new album, but it happend. I love 10,000 Htz Legend, but Moon Safari will always hold a place in my heart. I did however get to hear a few goodies from Moon, they also performed an amazing version of Playground Love (Only deep sax interlude) They concluded with Sexy Boy (third encore.) The shows visuals where amazing...(blinding lights and strobes.) The sound was perfect (no bad echo and the Vic has great accoustics) and the show was extremely loud (bass that is harmful to your chest cavity.) What impressed me the most, was every single song and everysingle note was performed by a real instrument (sans a few drum beats.) Onstage there where 5 musicians (Keyboards, drum, guitar, bass, guitar/vocals) and I was seeing shades of post Ok Computer Radiohead. While churning out techno fuled space rock, the band was very colorful and showing lots of energy. I was at a true rock show. As great as the show was, I had my gripes however. Two very key songs were not performed in my opinion. "All I need" and my fave "Kelly Watch the Stars" I could understand no "All I need" because of no female vocals on stage...but "Kelly Watch the Stars" needed to be unleashed on the masses. After those minor problems, i'd have to say that show was one the best shows I've seen in a long time. So to anyone who's skeptical on Air's stage credibility, they proved themselves. I highly recommend this live act. Oh! and I almost forgot, fittingly, a rather ho-hum opening act by weird noise bellowing style rock star in the making; Sebastian Tellier. He played a guitar solo and bellowed into the microphone in some sort of un-intelligable language for about 30 min, alongside some blond girl who played a weird box shape instrument which causes extreme bass sound. Mr. Tellier's act will always be remembered by the fact that after one of his songs, the blond girl screamed a blood curdling scream (which could cure my grand-pop's deafness) and then pass out. She gets up to a loud cheer from the crowd. An even bigger round of appluase came a few songs later when Mr. Tellier's set ended.

--S. Chyba, Chicago







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