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Unlimited Sunshine Tour

Featuring: Kinky, Modest Mouse, De La Soul, The Flaming Lips, and Cake
Chicago, IL

venue: Aragon Ballroom
show date: 08.30.02

Once In a While, the Sun Shines On Me
by: bill aicher

Let me start this out with an apology: for those of you looking for a review of the Cake or Kinky parts of this show, it's not here. Unfortunately we were a bit too late to see Kinky (damn Chicago and its rush hour traffic) and due to a nasty cold that attacked one of our staff, we were unable to stay for the Cake performance. But we encourage you to read on, because it was still a damned good show.

As stated above, we were unable to catch the Kinky performance. Instead we got to the Aragon just as Modest Mouse began their set. Now I haven't heard much from Modest Mouse before the show, but I was assured by friends that they're an excellent band. Whether or not this is true, I can't say. What I can say however is that they're live show left much to be desired. Maybe it was the somewhat poor acoustics of the venue, but my overall impression was that Modest Mouse is a great band musically - they just need to drop the lead singer - and that's all I'm saying about their set.

Next up were the legends of hip-hop, De La Soul. After over a decade of producing notoriously good hip-hop, their inclusion in Unlimited Sunshine was a wise choice. Unfortunately for crowd-goers, De La didn't seem to have a grasp on who they were playing for. The majority of the set revolved around encouraging audience participation, and at times seemed to even attack the audience for their lack of enthusiasm. Sorry guys, but you have to keep in mind that Unlimited Sunshine is really a tour for the music geek / hippy crowd and they're just not going to get into it like your regular crowd. Rather than focus such time and energy (especially for the limited time of a 45 or so minute set), the De La show seemed to lack in performance. That being said, it was still a decent show, and an opportunity to see these masters perform live.

The real treat of the evening, however, were The Flaming Lips. Hot off the release of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robota, the band and their entourage appeared in full barnyard-creature attire amidst a backdrop of four immense disco balls, a huge video screen, and enough confetti to put your high-school prom to shame.

The set opened with "Do You Realize??," the first single from Yoshimi, which sent the crowd of Lips fans into utter hysteria. The set continued with esquisite renditions of past and present Lips favorites, "Race for the Prize," "The Spark that Bled" (complete with Wayne Coyne's disgustingly bloody head), "The Test," "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1" (get a load of the Japanese girl murder-spree video that played during that one!), and of course "She Don't Use Jelly." The most interesting song, however, was the heartwrenching cover of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head." (Who ever knew that song could be emotional?)

The Lips' set was proof again they're the best band in America right now, and it was obvious they were loving the hell out of it Never before have a I seen a band so damned happy to be there. They're touring with Beck this fall, so go see them if you haven't.

As stated before, due to illness we were unable to see Cake's performance. But from what we could tell, not many people did. Unfortunately for the band who put this wonderful tour together nearly 1/3 of the crowd had left by the time they took the stage. Oh well... perhaps it's time to rethink putting yourself as the headliner on a tour simply because you put it together.
08-Sep-2002 8:00 PM

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