Note: This was originally intended to run at chicagoinnerview.com back in July but I got tied up covering the Pitchfork Festival and had some problems with the photos so that didn't happen. I decided to put it up here a month late instead.
For the second year in a row, Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis have brought the Sound Opinions experience to Lincoln Hall and taped two shows live in front of a packed audience. After nabbing Japandroids and Ty Segall last year, they’ve really outdone themselves by booking Parquet Courts and Savages—who have given us the two best rock records of the year so far—in advance of their spots the Pitchfork Music Festival this Saturday. The interview/performance/interview/performance format could definitely have dragged, but both bands were game for the interviews (with the exception of Savages drummer Fay Milton, who skipped the interview in favor of her exhaustive warm-up regimen). In their interview, Parquet Courts were everything you would expect from their breakout second album Light Up Gold: funny, quick, a bit prickly, and probably pretty stoned. When it came time for them to perform, it’s kind of amazing that they didn’t blow out any of the speakers as they doubled the intensity of all of their songs, debuted a few new ones, and displayed an ability to jam that isn’t present on their concise, bare bones records. I’ve never worn earplugs to a show before, and this is the closest I’ve ever come to regretting that choice.
In contrast to the dark, punishing, urban decay on wax sound of their incredible debut Silence Yourself, Savages were just as funny and affable as the members of Parquet Courts during their interview. Singer Jehnny Beth was the most endearing, making her complete transformation during their set all the more jarring and impressive. While running through most of the songs on Silence Yourself, Beth stalked around the stage while the rest of the band pushed the entire audience back a few feet with the force of their sound. Parquets Courts and Savages have very different sounds and sensibilities, but as far as 2013 buzz bands go, it would have been impossible to pick a pair better suited to share a stage.