Real Estate Keeps it Mellow @ the Vic

I’d seen Real Estate in concert before—at Pitchfork Music Festival, as the sun started to descend. It was the perfect forum for such breezy tunes. Cut to this past Friday night, when Real Estate sold out the Vic for an indoor show. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, or if it would be the same. Frankie Cosmos, the stage name for Greta Kline—opened up the show. At just 23 years old, Kline commanded a wisdom far beyond her years, but was also able to communicate that feeling of wistfulness and growing up within each of her songs. The band ran through songs off of their newest album released in 2016, Next Thing, with ease while the crowd remained entertained. My favorite moment occurred when Kline stopped following her song in a frenzy: “Um, did the people on the guest list get in?! I forgot to put their names down. Ah, you! The ones who drove really far? Great! Hey, anyone else who is on my guest list, please let them in!” The fact that she made it through a whole song while likely thinking, oh my God, I let my fans down is a triumph in itself. But they made it, and the show went on without a hitch. Real Estate’s set was very In Mind-heavy—and that’s fair, as it was released two months ago. They opened the show with “Time,” a lilting ballad, and moved on to “Stained Glass.” When I thought, this is going to be a show with only songs off the new album, isn’t it, the chord of “Green Aisles” rang out. We were then treated to a myriad of crowd-pleasers off Atlas and Days. The set rounded out with seven-minute-long “All The Same,” much to the delight of the crowd. The bound was perfectly in sync, and Martin Courtney’s voice sounded impeccable as always. With a three-song encore, I found myself in a totally meditative state. It was here when I realized that the light show really complemented the set (yes, I know, it sounds weird to me as I type, but I promise it was a good thing). Lights spanning the crowd, turning the Vic into a disco hall, and otherwise adding to a band that doesn’t have much movement onstage created the perfect setup. Real Estate is never going to be a band with flashy effects, backup dancers, or showy gimics—and that’s more than okay. My only complaint about the show is that I was so relaxed that I left, went home, and got ready for bed before midnight on a Friday. But I’m not complaining—maybe we all need more nights like that. Thanks for the reminder, Real Estate.
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Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks is a native Chicagoan with a penchant for words, music, art and this magnificent city of Chicago. Raised on The Beatles and learning the violin at age 9, Sarah’s passion for music began early in life. Her musical obsessions include Wilco, Otis Redding, Neko Case and Real Estate, but they truly change daily. She can be found at a concert, trying a new restaurant, or running along the lakefront path.