Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Apr 2nd 2010 10:30AM by Anna Deem
Starting off his set with a cacophony of noise from the five-piece horn section behind him, Kurosky led his band through an energetic version of 'I Can't Swim' from his new album. With 11 total band members onstage, the song sounded twice as loud as it does on its recording. "Hello Chicago, I've missed you," said Kurosky as the band launched into several more new songs, including 'Pink Lips, Black Lungs,' 'Dead Language Blues,' and 'Dog in the Burning Building.' Between songs, Kurosky and bassist Eli Crews told fans to "give it up" for the horn section that consisted of local musicians recruited via the internet, all of whom had only learned the songs during sound check earlier in the day.
Always the engaging frontman, Kurosky waved at fans as they took pictures of him, solicited a server that walked past the stage for a round of drinks for his band and thanked fans for missing '30 Rock' for his show. "We were listening to the oldies station as we drove into town today and that got us really excited to play some oldies for you," said Kurosky, cleverly segueing into the first Beulah song of the evening, 'Emma Blowgun's Last Stand.' The audience nodded their heads and sang along loudly and Kurosky scanned the crowd as the song faded out. "Doesn't it just take you back to 1999 when everything was much simpler?" he asked. The audience roared with approval.
A few songs later, Kurosky gave the crowd another treat with the one-two Beulah punch of 'Landslide Baby' and 'Popular Mechanics for Lovers,' the latter of which was a shouted-out suggestion from a fan who was subsequently pulled onstage by Kurosky. "You request a song, you have to come onstage, that's the rule," he said, handing the female fan a tambourine to shake.
Even after giving fans exactly what they wanted, Kurosky still had more tricks up his sleeve. Launching into a nostalgic speech about how much Chicago means to him, the rest of the band exited the stage as Kurosky told the crowd he was going to play something he had been working on backstage. With only his guitar and voice as accompaniment, Kurosky played a three-song medley of Beulah songs, consisting of 'If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, I Can Surely Win Your Heart,' 'You're Only King Once' and 'Gene Autry.' The stunned crowd hung on every word, their voices overpowering Kurosky's as he stepped away from the microphone and let fans fill in the blanks. As the medley faded out and the set wound down with one more new song, the crowd walked away with shocked looks on their faces, no doubt the result of the once-in-a-lifetime experience they just shared together.