Jeremy Enigk, El May | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fri., April 17, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: $20, $18 members
Most emo bands don’t place a huge priority on classically “good” vocals, but Jeremy Enigk helped make Sunny Day Real Estate one of the genre’s most influential groups because of his uncanny singing. Enigk can stir up whirlpools of euphoria and sadness with the fine grain of his whispers and the aggro majesty of his screams, and his expert grasp of emotional gray areas—full of subtle, gnawing feelings that are hard to qualify and explain—make up for the moments when his lyrics fall short. Sunny Day’s second album, 1995’s LP2, actually succeeds in part because there’s no lyrics sheet, which only encourages listeners to make whatever they want out of Enigk’s vulnerable, muddled vocals. Sunny Day’s been an off-and-on project since its 1995 breakup, and Enigk’s dropped a few solo albums since the band’s first dissolution. Each has flashes of brilliance, but his best is 1996’s enchanting, visceral Return of the Frog Queen (Sub Pop). On it Enigk strips Sunny Day’s rocket-size riffs down to their acoustic skeleton, augmenting each song with fragile, beautiful arrangements provided by a 21-player chamber orchestra. Frog Queen arranger Mark Nichols is working with Enigk on his forthcoming album (a PledgeMusic preorder campaign has been launched in conjunction with this solo acoustic tour). For tonight’s show Enigk will draw upon material from his entire career, and I hope that includes “One and One Is One,” a crushing, phantasmic song he recorded for the star-studded 2003 indie film The United States of Leland. Honestly, the track provides more heart-wrenching drama than the film itself. —Leor Galil
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