Elbow, the boys from Ramsbottom, visit Chicago for a captivating night to remember.

On a cold night in Chicago, when all you want to do is hibernate, there’s one thing that can drag you out of your cozy home – a night of great music. So off to the Vic Theatre we went to catch Elbow as they stopped by on their current, brief US tour. 

It’s been a busy year for Elbow. They released Little Fictions in February and their new The Best Of album is due to be released on November 24. After an extensive UK tour, they are now touring North America for the first time in over three years. Despite the wait, the fans were out in force at the sold-out Vic Theatre. 

Guy Garvey looked completely at home and relaxed on stage as he took time out between each song to set the scene, adding his own quirky anecdotes along the way, especially when discussing his hatred of “flappy setlists” on the stage floor.

Since Elbow’s last Chicago show, their drummer of 25 years, Richard Jupp, has left the band and Garvey introduced their new drummer, Alex Reeves to the audience. Reeves certainly made his presence known, especially with the impressive drum line during their captivating performance of “Little Fictions” which received huge cheers and applause from the crowd after it’s climactic finish.

Garvey had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end, getting them to sing (even if they didn’t know the words), sway their hands in unison (and also freestyle) on command.  Whilst his voice is soft and gentle, it filled the theatre and enthralled the crowd. He is the perfect frontman who entertains both musically and on a personal level. His smile was reflected by the majority of the audience, many of whom often raised their drink in the air as a sign of appreciation. 

You might think that a seven-piece band would be overpowering in a 1400 capacity venue, but not tonight Their melodic tunes gently filled the room, with the seldom-seen addition of violins rounding out their sound.

They covered a number of songs off their Little Fictions album, however, they were sure to include several from their hugely popular The Seldom Seen Kid. The highlight of the evening had to be as they performed “One Day Like This” just before leaving the stage prior to their encore, giving everyone a few extra minutes to take in the moment. From the second the violins kicked in, a roar went up from the crowd as they realized which song they were starting to do. Garvey embraced the audience’s enthusiasm as he incorporated their singing into the performance, even getting them to harmonize perfectly. Good team effort all round! 

The night was finished off with their rockiest number of the evening, ” Grounds For Divorce” which felt like the perfect way to round the night off on a high. 

The Best Of album is available pre-order here. For those of you in the UK, you can now hear Elbow on the new John Lewis commercial.  

There are just a few dates left on the North American tour so be sure to catch them if you can.

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Vic Theatre
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Event Date: 08-NOV-2017

About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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