Concert Buzz: Clean Bandit in Chicago

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If you have any doubts about seeing Clean Bandit live, those thoughts are incorrect. On Monday night, Emily (my roommate) and I went to see Clean Bandit at Lincoln Hall Chicago. It’s now Thursday and we still have their songs stuck in our heads. Maybe it’s their fusion of classical and electronic music or their ability to sound just as great live…I don’t know! All I know is that I’m addicted.

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Lincoln Hall is located a couple blocks off the CTA Fullerton stop. Emily and I went when will-call started so we could avoid the “shove to the front” tactic in general admission shows. This ended up working in our favor because the show was sold out! We were able to grab a spot in the front.

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Pre-Clean Bandit Concert

Funny story: Emily and I got ready without discussing outfits, and ended up dressing almost identically. That’s when you know you and your roommate are too alike.

Lincoln Hall has a bar in the front, concert venue in the back layout. If you’re 21+, make sure to get a wristband from the front so you can drink without heavy questioning. Clean Bandit was an 18+ concert, so the wristbands were in full force.

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The opening act was Lizzo, a featured artist in Clean Bandit’s album New Eyes. Emily and I both agreed that she has an amazing stage presence. She got everyone dancing, cracked jokes and involved the audience whenever she could. She even had a segment called “Lizzo made me do it” where an audience member goes on stage and dances with her. Our favorite song performed by her was Batches & Cookies.

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Before I talk about Clean Bandit, I have to admit that I only knew two of their songs coming in: Rather Be and Extraordinary. That means I heard New Eyes for the first time live. That’s why I’m so blown away by their talent; they were able to hook me without any studio tricks or re-takes.

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I was especially smitten with Milan Amin-Smith. His skills are ridiculous, and I have always been a sucker for violin players. Also, Grace Chatto was getting a lot of love from the audience. One guy shoved to the front of the crowd just to profess his love for her repeatedly.

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Our favorite songs live were “Extraordinary,” “Come Over,” “Rather Be,” and “Dust Clears.” Everything was on point about their performance. No instrument was too overpowering; each element complemented each other. We did have a prime spot though, so we got the best concert experience location-wise.

This was Clean Bandit’s first concert in Chicago so the energy was high! Turns out, the band really liked our vibe and worked on new songs after? That’s what they said on their Facebook page.

Have you seen Clean Bandit live? What did you think? Let me know! Now I’m off to listen to “Mozart House” and “Extraordinary” on repeat.

-Kelly

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