Review: Iceage Wraps up US Tour at Lincoln Hall
Once again I’m enduring a spring night that feels a lot like a gloomy October day, which coincides with the occasional drizzle of rain and a gentle nudge from the windy city. A truly accommodating backdrop to Iceage’s last tour date at Lincoln Hall supporting last year’s album Beyondless. Lincoln Hall has assembled in my opinion the best concert format, the three-band bill. Not entirely sure where to give credit but everyone involved deserves it. We get a local band (No Men), tour support (Nadah El Shazly), and the headliner (Iceage), it’s even better when you can get home from a show before 12am. I’m not one to complain; I just like my sleep. Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Danish five piece known as Iceage since I saw them last year at House of Vans, which resulted in the most Chicago scenario with everyone drunkenly crowd surfing and nodding along with Goose Island like it was a Twin Peaks show.
There are what seems like thousands of local bands in Chicago but No Men doesn’t disappoint, where they lack in quantity they make up in quality. They’re a loud catchy three piece that in some regard reminds you of Sleater Kinney but also Ty Segall. It’s easy to prop any band so high up but it’s the respectable thing to do with No Men. Luckily you can catch them at the Logan Square Arts Festival this summer to see what all the hype is about.
Things seems to take a major shift to a calmer and more soothing atmosphere when Nadah El Shazly takes the stage. At points in the set you can hear the tenderness in her voice, while at other times you can get lost in the notes of the multi-talented Egyptian singing instrumentalist. At some points stagnant and boring I quickly remember I will never have the ability to sing and also play music. I pass the time between the previous set and the final set by people watching the wide demographic of concertgoers from college kids down the street from DePaul to couples out on the town for the night. Surprisingly I’ve yet to see or hear a non-coherent fan who’s had one too many.
The massive projector screen finally rises up before we see the giant white and gold Iceage logo. Singer Elias Bender Ronnefelt takes the stage last before the band breaks out into “Beyondless.” It’s met with vibrant red stage lighting to match the album cover and the band’s aggressive song. Their deafening performance gets the crowd going but Elias really draws in the crowd more and more after each song with his body lurking over the crowd with everyone grasping for the microphone but none like “The Lord’s Favorite.” It could be mistaken for a classic rock song you may in here in a midwestern 24-hour diner or hit from a post punk band.
Between watching the mosh pit swallow the front of the room I happened to see Sky Ferreira who shockingly didn’t perform her feature on the album, “Painkiller” with her boyfriend Elias. She watches from the side stage with the same face from her Pitchfork cover story, excited but annoyed all at the same time. Iceage delivers another career spanning set similar to most of the sets they’ve played over the past year here in the U.S. The Danish punks will return to Europe soon rounding out their summer with dates in Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, and Japan. We don’t know what’s to come next from Iceage but they have given us a memorable year with an even more memorable album.