Silversun Pickups @ The Vic Theatre

February seems like the time artists always come around to Chicago, and frankly I’m OK with that because there’s nothing else to do around that time. It’s been some years since I last saw Silversun Pickups and they are touring for their new album Physical Thrills which departs a bit in style from past albums and takes on a more digital/synth type element. Of course it wouldn’t be my type of event if we didn’t have crazy unseasonably warm temperatures and tornadoes that were basically chasing me as I drove down the interestate. I missed the opening act Hello Mary but I’ve seen then on KEXP before and they are not bad. set list link here and tour dates poster below.

View from outside The Vic Theatre, albeit after the show since I didn’t arrive early enough to get a before shot. Missed out on the merch line too, it was packed.

Due to the weather, travel after work on a Tuesday, and parking, I only reached my seat minutes before they went on stage. Seat tonight was in the mezzanine sectin 400, row G, and seat 401 right on the aisle. For some reason I think I sit nearly in this same spot every time I’ve been to the Vic but hey it’s a great spot so why not? Price for a double rail rum & coke was $23 ooooof.

Unfortunately my iPhone corrupted all the original RAW images and I was only left with the less-detailed JPGs. That being said, it’s still impressive to me how far phones have come over the years. In some cases, like the image below, it worked to my advantage. Along with the smoke machines turned up to 11 many of the “keeper” shots that I got had this fuzzy soft glow and frankly it fits with the band’s musical style.

Nikki had several solo isolations throughout and each one drew applause from the audience. She had these bright red shoes on that made me think of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and they matched her red Thunderbird bass. Often times when the light hues were fully blue, the red pigment would drop out completely which gave a curious visual effect.

The lighting effects were mostly from the top spotlights and these neat LED free-standing bars strewn across the stage. Whatever they use to sync up all the effects is seriously impressive. Many times they had a pattern that resembled something like raindrops slowly falling down in alternating colors. Others, it was solid flashing or pulsating lights.

There were a few other times where the top spotlights had rotating shapes that projected downwards and spun like spirals.

Another variation of the textures/shapes coming down from above. The lighting crew did a great job mixing it up throughout the set.

Most of my “zoomed” shots using the 3x lens on the iPhone 13 pro came out blurry save for just a couple. This one was during Lazy Eye, the final song of the encore.

For the second-to-final song of the encore, they brought Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and her wife Paris Campbell Grace on stage and they led playing a cover of the Against Me! song “Thrash Unreal.” Apparently Laura Jane Grace has lived in Chicago since 2013. I never listend to that band much (not really my thing) but it definitely got the crowd going.

As the show let out, all the rain and storms were over. The drive back home was easy and quiet. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night.

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