The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
TUL's Take: Islands @ Black Cat

So it's finally official, we're going to Lollapalooza. The Upstate Life took the plunge this morning and bought tickets via their website in order to avoid the impending price increase. Speaking of which, Chicagoist has reported that not only will the price of a three-day pass go up from $130 to $140 tomorrow morning, but organizer Perry Farrell is expected to announce some additions to the already impressive lineup at a press conference the very same day. Rumored artists to be added include Beck, The Strokes, and a reunited Smashing Pumpkins, but I honestly wouldn't hold your breath just yet. Odds are it will include one big-name headliner with several, smaller indie bands tacked on.

The Upstate Life wouldn't mind if Islands was added to the bill as their show last night at the Black Cat was particularly enjoyable if not unique. I was pleasantly surprised how well they sounded despite some audio problems the band encountered throughout their set. They almost had as many members as The Arcade Fire up on stage in order to create their multi-instrumental template. In addition to the basic guitar, keyboard, and drum setup, the band also featured two string players (one of whom also played recorder during "Swans") and a bass clarinetist. Of course, some douchebag had to yell out "Tuff Ghost" during a break between songs which got Nick Diamonds visibly pissed off, and rightfully so. Hey dummy, this isn't The Unicorns, so don't try to piss off an artist who's out here trying to create a separate entity from that of his former group. Anyway, the best performance of the night went to the band's rendition of "Rough Gem", perhaps the catchiest song off of their album. Oh, and could someone please fill me in on the title of the song Nick D wrote about regarding his supposed confrontation with the Nature Boy Ric Flair? I wonder if the "Whooo!" chants the crowd gave after he told the story were psychologically scarring.

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