Concert Photography + Review: Sims and Astronautalis at Schubas Tavern (Chicago)

Sims (Minneapolis) and Astronautalis (Seattle)
March 27th, 2011
Schubas in Chicago, Illinois

Donning a Gayngs hooded sweatshirt Sims started his set out with the energetic “Say It Like You Mean It”. Sims wasted no time getting the dance party started in Schubas backroom. As the crowd moved closer he played “Radio Opaque”, followed by the tittle track to his album, Bad Time Zoo. Revealing a Timeberwolves shirt, there is no question Sims has hometown, Minnesota pride. Next he played, “Sink or Syncopate” and revealed to the crowd, “I’m on this Charlie Sheen stint. I’m gonna make this show all about winning tonight” Paying homage to his fellow Doomtree member he said, “I’ve got Paper Tiger blood!” The crowd jeered in excitement and listened intently as Sims spoke of the latest infamous tween, Rebecca Black”. “Today is two days after Friday. I learned that from Rebecca Black.”

Diving strongly into the “The Velt”  he jumped from the stage into the excited crowd. The audience encompassed him, mobile phones went up taking snap shots. Once back on stage Sims took a moment to take a breath and to explain how one becomes an underground rapper. “One, get the internet. Two, eat your Cheerios.” Sims followed his strong enthusiastic set with “Hey You”, “One Dimensional Man”, “Burn It Down”, and “Weight”.

Around 10 P.M. Astronautalis and his band took the stage. This tour is the first time Astronautalis has ever played with a live band. The entire experience is absolutely brilliant and is different experience than his other live shows. If you’ve ever seen Astronautalis before you know he solely performs with his Macbook. his new band members include, Chris Reisman (Nobs) on the drum machine/ sampler, Derrick Gierhan on the drums, and Oscar Romero on the bass. Performing songs from the new album the crowd received the songs with vibrant excitement. Especially the song, “Midday Moon”, a song he describes as, “A song about cryogenically freezing someone you love.” Along with his new songs, he played “The Wondersmith and His Sons” along with “Gaston Ave”, and a few others from his older albums throughout the night. Having the live band on stage only amps up the performance. Which is hard to imagine if you’ve seen the way Astronautalis performs, thinking of an even more energetic, powerful performance is hard. These four boys make it happen, they make a hip-hop/rock show happen. And it’s magical. At one point he was rapping so hard and furious that his mic chord fell out and he kept rapping the words. His concentration intense with his eyes on the prize as he felt the chord and plugged it back into the mic.

Playing another new track, “Measure the Globe” before launching into his famous audience inspired freestyle which included topics; TV show, Salute Your Shorts, video game, Burger Time, having sex in the lazy river at the water park, BBC TV show, Dr. Who, Howard The Duck and Gillian’s (an audience member) ass.

Sims jumped back on stage to rap with Astronautalis on a new song that is still in demo mode before playing his famous track “Trouble Hunters”.

Thoughts?