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The Big Takeover Issue #91
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My Brightest Diamond at Gezelligheid – Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago, IL) – December 14, 2022

15 December 2022

Shara Nova performed new My Brightest Diamond material during an opening set for the fifth of seven seasonal Gezelligheid concerts by Andrew Bird. Photos by Alec Basse.

The Smile -The Riviera Theater (Chicago) - December 1st, 2022

30 November 2022

Both the lyrics and the song structures on The Smile’s 2022 album A Light for Attracting Attention go places that, if they were bodies, would be strange contortionists. One might find yourself wondering if a chord progression can actually evolve like that the way you’d wonder if a knee can bend in a certain direction.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2022 - Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA) - October 2nd, 2022

20 October 2022

On the third and final day of 2022 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Danielle Ponder emerged as one the main highlights of the festival, delivering a blistering set of soul music.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2022 - Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA) - October 1st, 2022

20 October 2022

A beautiful Saturday greeted the fans on the second day of 2022 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park, featuring everyone from the Mekons to Elvis Costello.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2022 - Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA) - September 30th, 2022

20 October 2022

It was hard not to feel nostalgic about this year’s return of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, September 30th through October 2nd.

Halloween Meltdown - Mosswood Park (Oakland, CA) - Day 2 - October 9, 2022

20 October 2022

Day 2 of Mosswood Meltdown saw the idyllic calm of Sunday afternoon quickly ripped to pieces with punk and stoner rock.

Amyl and the Sniffers live at Halloween Meltdown, 2022

Halloween Meltdown - Mosswood Park (Oakland, CA) - Day 1 - October 8, 2022

20 October 2022

On October 8th and 9th, Halloween Meltdown was back at Mosswood Park in Oakland, offering up two days of punk, stoner, and garage rock under sunny East Bay skies.

Alvvays -The Riviera Theater (Chicago) - October 14th, 2022

16 October 2022

It’s impossible to be unhappy while listening to Alvvays. There’s something so sincere and also buoyant about lead singer Molly Rankin’s vocals that reassure a human in their most melancholic of moments that everything is going to be alright. It’s not merely catchy pop songs she sings but lullabies to get you through your darkest days.

Iron Maiden – United Center (Chicago, IL) - October 5, 2022

6 October 2022

Spooky metal for Halloween! Iron Maiden brought its Legacy of the Beast tour to United Center in Chicago, IL.

Swindon Shuffle Festival - Year 15 - Top Three Bands

20 September 2022

Any music festival that had risen from a vague idea, one drunken night in the back room of a pub, into a five-day, “in the city” style celebration involving eight venues and over 60 original bands and which had negotiated floods, recessions, lockdowns and the growing apathy towards those who chose to write their songs, should be the stuff of legend.

Riot Fest: Day 3 - Douglass Park (Chicago, IL) - September 18, 2022

19 September 2022

Despite forecasts of an inbound storm that threatened to disrupt Nine Inch Nails’ headlining set, Chicago received sunny end-of-summer weather during most of the final day at Riot Fest. Jeff Elbel’s coverage includes The Linda Lindas, Jawbox, Lunachicks, Jimmy Eat World, and Sleater-Kinney.

Martin Courtney-Elsewhere 1

Martin Courtney - Elsewhere Zone One (Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY) - Friday, August 5, 2022

11 August 2022

Unlike larger, more prodigiously-attended Real Estate shows, this more intimate setting allowed one to focus attentively on Courtney’s exquisite singing and guitar playing, and to better appreciate his delectable songwriting flair.

Lollapalooza 2022 - Day 4 (Chicago, IL) - July 31st, 2022

1 August 2022

Day 4 of Lollapalooza 2022.

Idles -The Metro (Chicago) - July 28th, 2022

28 July 2022
What the audience heard was pure power as the band delivered songs from their thus far quite prolific four album career. At times, the rhythms can be as jarring as they are uncompromising but they always land in a way that might make one forget how well these songs are actually constructed and relish in the sum of their parts.

Lollapalooza 2022 (Pre-Coverage)

27 July 2022

The Big Takeover’s Pre-Coverage of Lollapalooza 2022 in Chicago, IL.

Pitchfork Music Festival: Highlights and Photos: Sunday, July 17, 2022 @ Union Park (Chicago, IL)

17 July 2022

It goes without saying that The Roots are an absolute legend and they proved on top of their game. It was especially wonderful to see Questlove play drums again as well as to have “Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.Bryson playing sousaphone, adding another layer to their songs and live set that was super animated! Captain Kirk Douglas was also hamming it up on guitar as usual. It was a fantastic way to close out the weekend!

Pitchfork Music Festival: Highlights and Photos: Saturday, July 16, 2022 @ Union Park (Chicago, IL)

16 July 2022

People sometimes say that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that might be because of the complexity of all the layers upon layers of city built by human hands throughout its history. These are humans who bled and suffered yet still managed to create something that will stand the test of time and be a witness to what humans can actually achieve at their absolute height. The very same accomplishment can be applied to the songs by the band Low and it would be best if you experience their multifaceted layers as you would The Colosseum : in a state of perpetual awe.

Pitchfork Music Festival: Highlights and Photos: Friday, July 15, 2022 @ Union Park (Chicago, IL)

15 July 2022

The energy the chord progressions take on is incredible enough to write a dissertation on how feedback can evolve into something that feels a little dangerous and also a little healing at the same time. This time around seemed even more precious because, let’s be clear, in a pandemic like this touring isn’t easy. Yet, if there’s one thing to live through a pandemic for, it’s seeing Spiritualized play again.

Guided By Voices - 9:30 Club, Washington DC (June 18, 2022)

2 July 2022

Guided By Voices storm the capital in preparation for the release of yet another strong record.

Just Like Heaven Fest: Franz Ferdinand

In Pictures: Just Like Heaven 2022

4 June 2022

The Just Like Heaven festival convened at the famed Rose Bowl on May 21, and the Big T stalkerazzi was out in force to bring you every second of the sordid action!

Bob Mould at Freight & Salvage

Bob Mould, H.C. McEntire - Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse (Berkeley, CA) - April 10, 2022

29 April 2022

Bob Mould brings stripped down but nonetheless provocative sound to Berkeley with supporting act H.C. McEntire.

Photo by Sarah Piantadosi

Spiritualized - Club Congress (Tucson) - April 17, 2022

21 April 2022

Spiritualized live performance in Tucson, AZ

Yumi Zouma - Lincoln Hall (Chicago) - April 20th, 2022

20 April 2022

It was no surprise the devoted audience knew all the song by heart, even when Present Tense was just released last month. Just about every song in their catalog could easily be a pleasing radio friendly hit. “Right Track / Wrong Man,” “Give it Hell,” and “In the Eyes of Our Love” are the kinds of songs that have the sort of light-hearted sensibility to elevate anyone out of a dark funk and came off especially well in concert.

Hana Vu - Schubas Tavern (Chicago,IL) - March 20, 2022

20 March 2022

The way the intensity was built up really brought to home the fact that Hana Vu is hopefully on the verge of what is to be a long an artistic career and is as genuine as they come.

Witch by James Broscheid

Witch - Club Congress - Tucson, AZ - March 13, 2022

18 March 2022

The band took to the Club Congress stage with Mwondela donning one of the band’s iconic chitenge cloth hats (initially designed to curb stage fright in the 1970s). Jagari (nicknamed after the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger), now 70, was in fine form both vocally and physically, dancing around the stage, high-fiving the crowd, and handing out a cowbell for people to contribute rhythm.

Wet Leg at First Avenue in Minneapolis

Wet Leg – First Avenue - Minneapolis, Minnesota - March 3, 2022

8 March 2022

The Isle of Wight duo expanded to a five person rock band in concert and played an exciting 16 song set.

Music Frozen Dancing - The Empty Bottle (Chicago) -February 26th, 2022

27 February 2022

There have been a few Music Frozen Dancing events when it is has been even unseasonably warm and the outside heat lamps didn’t even really need to be on. But, there’s always that Music Frozen Dancing day temperature the matches the February date perfectly. And, who would hold a festival outdoors in Chicago at the end of February anyway? Luckily, the same people who know the necessity of booking fantastic bands that bring the energy. You can’t get frostbite or die of hypothermia if you’re too busy dancing, right…..right?

The Weather Station - Lincoln Hall (Chicago) - February 25th, 2022

26 February 2022

Sometimes, it takes a single voice to evoke a mood. Slowly drifting across an audience of connected strangers and lingering in all the cracks between them. Then, suddenly a keyboard comes in and then a guitar, bass, and drums all connected by the grounding melodies of the vocals. In the sense of a shared experience, fans feel the intensity build in a way that strengthens the pieces overall. Yet, in the building is a strange sort of reckoning with the way the lullabies soothe.

Squirrel Flower - Schubas Tavern (Chicago) - February 20th, 2022

21 February 2022

While Williams dominated the stage throughout the set with a very lovely glam style and her luscious folk vocals, she also provided a safe space for the sold out audience to be in the moment enjoying the wonder of the songs.

Ghost - Allstate Arena (Chicago, IL) - February 18, 2022

20 February 2022

Frontman Papa Emeritus IV (Tobias Forge) delivered a high-caliber set of gothic evil with a wink and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Tool, Blonde Redhead - Ford Idaho Center (Nampa, ID) - January 13, 2022

15 January 2022

On Thursday night in Idaho, America’s finest prog-rock band finally unveiled selections from Fear Inoculum to a packed arena on the third night of their long-awaited tour behind the record of the same name.

Stewart Copeland: The Police Deranged for Orchestra - Allen Bradley Hall (Milwaukee, WI) - December 2, 2021

7 December 2021

“What is this drummer guy doing with an orchestra?” said former Police percussionist Stewart Copeland.

Sheastie Boys

Halloween Meltdown - Mosswood Park (Oakland) - October 16-17, 2021

18 November 2021

The weekend of October 16th and 17th saw the return of live music to Mosswood Park in Oakland with the 2021 Halloween Meltdown, hosted by John Waters. Fans, many in costume, crowded into the park’s concrete bowl to mosh, crowd surf, or just sit and take in the 17 bands who played over the weekend.

Nada Surf - Thalia Hall (Chicago) - November 14, 2021

14 November 2021

No worries about Nada Surf’s ability to deliver the same kind of high quality live show that urges devoted fans to try to catch multiple tour stops. In fact, their over 2 hour set surely must have left the audience satiated and joyous.

Gojira - Revolution Concert House (Garden City, ID) - October 8, 2021

9 October 2021

Friday night’s performance by Gojira marked the first occasion on which the massively successful quartet played in proper support of Fortitude, one of the year’s best albums in rock music writ large.

Katie McGavin

MUNA - Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) September 17, 2021

5 October 2021

Days after the release of MUNA’s “Silk Chiffon”, their collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers, they took the stage in Pittsburgh shift attention from the doom and gloom of a pandemic, and remember – in their own words – “life’s so fun.”

Photo by Philamonjaro.

Alice Cooper – BMO Harris Pavilion (Milwaukee, WI) – October 1, 2021

3 October 2021

The music and sights did the talking during the tightly paced, theatrically produced show. As a parting blessing, Cooper exclaimed, “It’s very close to Halloween, so may all your nightmares come true.” Photos by Philamonjaro.

Morrissey – Riot Fest (Chicago, IL) – September 16, 2021

20 September 2021

Despite controversial opinions and provocative statements offstage, Morrissey needn’t have questioned his fans’ ardor for his music.