For our final year-end list, we’re focusing on what we enjoy the most at Pursuit Of Dopeness: live shows. If you look up our recaps you will see that we saw tons of shows throughout the year from our favorite local acts, emerging artists from all over the country and bonafide stars. This list reflects just that, compiling our 12 favorite live shows/concerts we saw in 2013 including the likes of Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and Kids These Days.
See the full list below.
Caleb James – The Jones Live at Reggie’s
Young Caleb celebrated the release of his The Jones project in style at Reggie’s this summer. Caleb went ahead and brought out an auto-tune mic for a portion of his set, helping make this one of our favorite sets of the year. Caleb went through his whole project that night and had the crowd’s attention all night. Without a doubt, we had a good time being in the audience for this one.
Chance The Rapper – Social Experiment Tour at Riviera Theatre
We’ve seen Chance The Rapper perform live since before we had even formed Pursuit of Dopeness, so seeing just how much this guy has changed and improved his live shows throughout these last couple of years has been a great look at the evolution of Chance “the performer.” We couldn’t possibly miss his Social Experiment Tour when it hit Chicago, and we even got tickets to both shows, seeing one down in “the pit” and the second from the stands for the “full experience.” These shows are two of the best we’ve seen from Chano thanks to his solid set list and an improved stage presence, plus the addition of an all-star band of “who’s who” in the Chicago scene featuring the likes of Peter Cottontale, Nico Segal, Stix, and Nathan Fox made the concert one to be remembered for years to come.
Red Bull Thre3Style Chicago- Live at Reggie’s
Early in February, Red Bull took over Reggie’s for their Thre3Style Chicago MidWest Sub Qualifier. The event featured some of Chicago’s best DJs including Boi Jeanius, Slugo, Trentino, PHNM, and MadJazz as contestants and Big Once, Pumpin’ Pete, and Four Color Zack as judges and performers. Needless to say, the stage was set for a great night right from the start and this was definitely a must-attend event for any kind of music head. Trentino ended up taking the prize that night, and eventually would go on to come in second place for the world finals recently. We had a great time and are looking forward to next year’s
Jake Bugg – Live at Metro
I first heard of Jake Bugg early this year when the young Brit started breaking out in America. Seeing him at Lolla among the crowd of thousands was good and interesting but something about seeing him perform at the more intimate confines of the Metro that simply felt so much better. Bugg played most of his self-titled debut album, his songs sounding just as emotive and great as you’d hear them through headphones.
J. Cole – Dollar and a Dream Tour at House of Blues Chicago
J. Cole went out on tour to help promote his release of Born Sinner this summer. His stop in Chicago took place at the House of Blues. Cole performed tracks off of almost all of his projects. It was definitely worth the price of admission ($1).
Kanye West – Yeezus Tour at United Center
Kanye is in fact, the best in the game right now and the Yeezus Tour was the perfect way to prove it. Kanye performed the majority of his album Yeezus along with other classics like “Homecoming” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” It had been a while since Kanye went on a solo tour, but it was worth the wait.
Kendrick Lamar – Lollapalooza
Kendrick Lamar really had one of the best years in Hip Hop and music in general this 2013 after the release of his good kid, M.A.A.D. City late last year. This was our first time seeing Kendrick perform backed by a live band and it really stepped up his performance. Check out the video up above for proof of that. It was hands down one of our favorite performances of the entire festival.
Kids These Days – SXSW
For our first year checking out SXSW, we didn’t have much of a game plan but we knew there were some of our favorite Chicago acts in town that we couldn’t take a chance on missing. One of those acts was the genre-bending Kids These Days, who were playing a set at The Belmont. Kids These Days’ relied heavily on their last project Traphouse Rock, whose songs sounded even better live. Sadly, this was the last time I’d see this band play live together since later in the year they would break up to go their separate ways, but at least they put on a show well worth the trip down to Austin, TX.
Kinto Sol – Live at The Shrine
Kinto Sol came through to Chicago in May of this year to take over The Shrine. With Esohel X Ricky Dubs, Scheme X DJ Scend, and Serpientes Y Piramides performing before them, they were in good company. The whole lineup performed and absolutely killed their set. The show overall was definitely one of our favorite due to the organization, lineup, performances, and of course sound.
Metallica – Orion Fest
Metallica showed exactly why they are one of the most legendary bands in recent history this year at their own music festival, Orion Music + More Festival. The fest featured acts like The Orwells, Foals, Rise Against, Deftones and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the main headliners took the weekend by storm playing a surprise set on Day 1 at the small stage where they performed their debut album Kill ‘Em All front to back. The second night they closed the fest in Detroit with a career-spanning set playing all the hits new and long-time fan could ever hope for (except for “Fade To Black” for some reason”).
Nas – North Coast Festival
One act that we were really excited to see at North Coast Music Festival was Nas. Going through all of his hits and classics brought back plenty of memories. Nas’s music is the type of music that you remember where you were when you first heard certain songs. As we chilled out and vibed out with the crowd, we felt a sense of unison with the crowd as we recited ever lyric with the crowd. Although Nas did have trouble with his breathing that night, the crowd quickly picked off whenever he fell short. Nas will always be an act to watch live.
ShowYouSuck & Auggie the 9th – Live at The Hideout
This show is the one time we didn’t capture footage for or wrote a recap for, but simply went and enjoyed as fans. It was our first glimpse of Auggie performing his new project GAWS and Show performing Dude Bro, both on their own. It was weird seeing them perform separately, but they definitely putting on good sets individually.
You can see a video here, but for some reason it has no sound.