Moments of Focus

4 Jul

So imagine my delighted surprise a week or so ago, when while perusing the Chicago Reader web page ahead of our trip to the Windy City. One of the featured shows was taking place the day I arrived. A performance of Big Star’s “Third” the snake bitten final release featuring original members. Despite containing some of Alex Chilton’s most emotionally complex tunes, it failed to secure a label release for many years, and has hence been released with various sequences. I will admit I am less familiar with the album than the first two and in fact do not currently own a copy, nevertheless I was excited. And who wouldn’t be with an announced lineup that included Jody Stephens, Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey, Ken Stringfellow to name a few? And boy did they deliver. After taking the stage a little past 8pm (geezer’s loved that), they began with a take on Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy”. They proceeded through all of Third, using their own sequence, with various vocalists, including Gary Louris (Jayhawks) and Sally Timms (Mekons) being two of the most successful with the material. The show on a whole had a slightly ramshackle quality to it, which only added charm and color. The third “half” of the set showcased a clutch of Big Star songs, including “In the Street” which I had the pleasure of hearing Wilco perform the Friday previous at Solid Sound! All in all a very special night of music in a great venue. For a more polished review including the complete setlist, please visit here or here.


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