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The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Phil Lee at the Hideout on Monday night.


2. Elvis Costello at the Copernicus on Wednesday night.

* Loerzel: "Elvis Costello played solo for close to 2 1/2 hours tonight at the Copernicus Center, an old movie palace in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. He opened with one of my favorites, 'Jack of All Parades,' from his great 1986 album King of America, and later returned to that record for another outstanding selection, 'Suit of Lights.' He played most of the hits that you'd expect as well as a lot of obscurities."

* Gendron: "Elvis Costello didn't take an easy or predictable route Wednesday at a sold-out Copernicus Center. Seemingly on a mission to connect the common threads of popular music styles from the past century, the singer/guitarist performed a marathon 145-minute show touching on every facet of his adventurous career. Focusing on deep-catalog material, Costello displayed his unwavering commitment to excavating the memories, meanings and mysteries held in song - a pursuit he implied in '45,' an ode to the significance of vinyl singles."

* Guarino: "An evening with Elvis Costello playing 32 songs spanning four decades over two hours and 30 minutes: That probably describes a dream scenario for anyone who's followed him over the years, but it happened. At the Copernicus Center Wednesday, the songwriter performed a solo show surrounded by guitars and a keyboard, topped by a lime-green fedora and armed with nothing to promote other than a career of feisty, wordy, and luminous songs."


3. Eagulls at Beat Kitchen on Tuesday night.


4. Kelis at Park West on Monday night.

* Kot: "Kelis, the girl whose milkshake once brought all the boys to the yard, was back in town Monday at the Park West. 'Milkshake,"'her massive 2003 hit, was still on the menu, but its blend of sex, defiance and drums is now just one ingredient for a multifaceted artist. The singer made the most of a voice that lives in the basement, with its husky tone and dark shadings. She adapted it to countless styles with a six-piece band flexible enough to go wherever she directed with a flick of a hip or a nod. The energetic performances were at times undercut by languorous pacing, as Kelis paused to chat with fans she recognized from Instagram exchanges and other tour stops. Yet this conversation-in-the-living-room aura suited an intimate show that was all about the comforts of domesticity and motherhood."


5. Omar Souleyman at Millennium Park on Monday night.

* Loerzel: "Syrian singer Omar Souleyman cast a strange spell as he performed Monday night on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage in Millennium Park. He did not make any especially flamboyant gestures as he strolled the stage - and yet, he has a commanding presence. A contingent of Syrian or Arab-American fans was going a bit nuts in the seats near the stage. And plenty of people who don't know a word of Arabic or Kurdish, like me, were getting into the music, too. As usual, the Millennium Park security guards were on a buzzkill mission, insisting on getting people out of the aisles when they tried to dance. A lot of people managed to dance anyway, mostly by standing in front of their seats. The mood was festive."


6. Cheatahs at Beat Kitchen on Tuesday night.


7. Morgan Delt at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.


8. Earring at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.


9. Ben Ottewell at Bottom Lounge on Thursday night.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 13, 2014

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