Photos: Arcade Fire @ the United Center (Chicago), 08/26/14

Arcade Fire took the stage at Chicago’s United Center on Tuesday for the first of two Windy City stops on the band’s Reflektor tour—one that has been cemented as a must-see concert event of the summer. And it is an event, so much so that the band encouraged fans to sport their fanciest, shiniest formal attire or a costume for the show.

Devo kicked things of with a frenzy of classic new wave, as frontman Mark Mothersbaugh tossed several of the band’s signature “energy dome” hats into the crowd during the group’s biggest hit, “Whip It.” Dan Deacon entertained next, unleashing his zany compositions while conducting fans into mass dance exercises from the center of the floor. And then came Arcade Fire, whose setlist was littered with highlights that only escalated in energy—from their legendary debut, Funeral, to last year’s Reflektor, complete with Bo Diddly single “Who Do You Love?” serving as the evening’s honorary cover song.

We may be stuck in a “reflective age,” but Arcade Fire did their best to we make sure we celebrate it. Here’s to night two.

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Four Loko Social Club Featuring Danny Brown and Special Guest DJs

One of the most rewarding aspects of Lollapalooza is partying past the 10 PM curfew at an after-show. Alarm Magazine and Four Loko have teamed up to assemble an eclectic, energetic lineup at Chicago’s Debonair Social Club that will keep you from hitting the hay.

Friday’s stacked bill includes Danny Brown and DJ sets from Grouplove, The Orwells, Temples, Twin Peaks, and Greg Corner, and Saturday has DJ sets by Gigamesh and Ghosthouse. Debonair house DJ Ryan Paradise also will spin sets on both nights.

The party is free, and with an RSVP, you can skip the line and cover charge from 9 to 11 PM. RSVP here!

Four Loko Social Club

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Video Premiere: Ralfe Band’s “Cold Chicago Morning”

Led by songwriter Oly Ralfe, UK outfit Ralfe Band already has garnered success with music videos, as evidenced by its SXSW-award-winning animation for “Women of Japan,” and we’re happy to debut its newest video, “Cold Chicago Morning.” (Not to mention that we here in Chicago can relate to the title.)

Following the group’s soundtrack work for Bunny and the Bull, Ralfe Band’s 2013 LP, Son Be Wise, reveals a continued maturity to its twee spunk, as evidenced by past singles “Come On Go Wild” and “Barricades.” But the video for “Cold Chicago Morning” attempts to narrate a new, darker path.

Though its leading piano line seems playful and soothing, Oly’s vocals reveal the opposite, opening a nightmare of the mystery and uncertainty of a “cold Chicago morning.” In the video, an innocent girl takes the lead to navigating through these feelings, as if “all of her friends have been blown away,” and hesitantly peers from every corner to spot an intruder.

Its climactic conclusion, full of down-scaling piano and swelling layers, finds the girl rushing back to her room. Even though her eyes only reveal fear, listeners are left with another gratifying video experiment and beautiful addition to the band’s catalog.

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