Miller Genuine Draft’s third and final Blind Date concert took place Friday night at Chicago’s historic Vic Theatre with one of the world’s biggest techno acts, The Chemical Brothers, warming up the stage for the legendary David Bowie.
A small group of lucky music fans (and Miller patrons) were
flown in from around the continent and taken under a veil of
secrecy in buses to the venue for an evening of good food, plenty
of flowing Miller products and of course, great music.
At 8:30 p.m., a black curtain displaying a single illuminated
question mark parted, and the Chemical Brothers kicked off the
Straight from Manchester, England, the Brothers were in town to
“work it out” for a group of about 900 people in a theater that
normally holds 1,400. For nearly an hour they threw out intense
block rockin’ beatsaccompanied by wild, swirling lights and crazy
looping images flashing across a screen draped behind the pair.
After spinning discs and mixing grooves with loud,
heart-pounding bass beats, the duo threw up their hands to a
hyped-up crowd and waved good-bye, setting the stage for the Thin
Following a short set break, Bowie made his entrance to the
punchy sounds of “Jean Genie.” Acoustic guitar in hand, he rocked
the popular 1973 tune to a neat closure and announced with an
honest grin slapped across his face: “We’re going to do some old
songs, and some young songs.” For the next hour and a half, the
show was just that — an even mixture of classic Bowie tunes and
drum ‘n bass selections from his latest release,
Primed by the Chemical Brothers’ mind-blowing show, the audience
accepted Bowie’s electronic efforts, but were clearly more ecstatic
when they caught the first bass steps to “Under Pressure,” and the
signature guitar riffs in the classic classic rock tune
“All the Young Dudes” (produced and written by Bowie, but
originally recorded by Mott the Hoople). Still, the gut-wrenching
rendition of “I’m Afraid of Americans” and the harrowing and
heartfelt “Battle for Britain,” both from Earthling,
showed that Bowie only grows more soulful with time.
During the night, Bowie pulled out two Velvet Underground covers
— “I’m Waiting for the Man,” and “White Light/White Heat.” He also
ripped through “Man Who Sold the World,” the title track off his
1970 release later reincarnated on Nirvana’s final album, In
The show closed out Miller’s Blind Date concert series, which
kicked off in Los Angeles on June 4 with Bush and Veruca Salt. Show
No. 2 had surprised Miller guests watching the Foo Fighters and
Supergrass at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium.