My Musical Adventure with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart & Christina Perri
It goes without saying, but it was still raining in Chicago last night. Nevertheless, I gassed up the trusty Shure mobile and headed out to stop number one of my music filled adventure, soundcheck at Lincoln Hall with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Walking into the bar/dining room of the building, the music of Pains was pouring through the music hall’s closed doors while the band worked through hits like “Heart In Your Heartbreak” and “The Body,” while front of house engineer Al Harle got the mix just right.
After everything was in its right place, I got a chance to meet the New York based quintet, talk microphones and ear monitors, and have legendary photographer Paul Natkin take some magazine cover worthy shots.
The Pains took the stage later that night for their second sold out performance at Lincoln Hall, and the masses packed it in. Kip and Peggy from the band capture vocals using Shure’s Beta 87A and PSM 200 in ear personal monitors to hear it all back.
Be sure to catch Pains the next time they’re in your town. I know they’re playing Lollapalooza in Chicago this year, but hopefully I won’t have to wait that long to see them again!
To continue my journey, Paul and I headed over to the Vic Theatre to meet up with Christina Perri who was in town to open up for James Blunt. Driving past the venue in search of a parking spot, the masses were already lined up to get in and jockey for position. The closest spot available put us a few blocks away, right outside of the Groovin’ High record store (that’s a place that sells vinyl discs that have music on them, they have CDs too), a rare gem as record stores go. Paul knew the place and the owner and told me to take a look at the sign in the window…
The place was closed, it was 5:50pm on a Thursday in a bustling north-side Chicago neighborhood. An old man behind me had mentioned that he has been coming by the store several times that week to make a purchase and the place was locked up. I guess the whenever I feel like it hours were in effect this week.
Anyway, we made our way to the Vic and down below the stage area to the dressing rooms where we were greeted by Christina’s tour manager who mentioned that once the line went down, she would escort Ms. Perri off of the bus and into the building.
About fifteen minutes later, Christina Perri was introduced to us and she thanked us for coming to see her and check out the show. She seemed really excited to be playing Chicago (it was her first time), in support of her debut album Lovestrong which releases May 10th here in the states. She was cool, calm and confident as she spoke to us about her upbringing in Philly and her new life in LA, upcoming tour, and being on the road so far with James Blunt. After politely posing for a few shots with Paul, we left her to do her vocal warm-ups in her dressing room. Once the door was closed, you could hear varying frequencies of bleeps and blurps and vocal climbs as Christina Perri readied herself for the crowd waiting upstairs.
Shortly after our backstage visit, Christina took the stage and immediately engaged the crowd as she ran through the songs from Lovestrong, including the hit “Jar of Hearts,” which most of the crowd connected with at the first note. The girl has got some pipes on her, nothing that her SM58 can’t handle, but man she can sing! Oh yeah, she plays guitar and piano, too. The show sounded amazing, thanks to the FOH skills of Adam Jackson (Owl City), and Christina’s band kept things in the pocket while she put her talent on display. Christina will be back in Chicago this summer, so go check her out and be sure to pick up the new album next week!
Talk to all very soon, it’s a busy month for the Chicago music scene. I will lots more to share in the weeks to come. Stay tuned…