Bleachers spent the past weekend in Chicago playing two sold-out shows at the Riviera Theatre and the Vic Theatre as part of their Gone Now Era tour for the album “Gone Now,” which was released back in June. Lead singer and mastermind behind Bleachers, Jack Antonoff stated in a series of tweets that the city of Chicago was important to him and the formation of Bleachers back in 2013, as well other bands he was a part of.
The crowd that packed into the Vic Theatre, dressed in denim jackets and Mets T-shirts, were excited to see Bleachers but those who arrived early were treated to two incredibly talented openers. Amy Shark, an Australian singer-songwriter who released an EP titled “Night Thinker” earlier this year, combined her vocal talent with her wit to engage the audience. After her 20 minute set, Bishop Briggs took over. As she jumped and ran back and forth across the stage, her energetic, dark pop style – similar to Lorde and Melanie Martinez – got the crowd moving with her hits “River,” “Dark Side” and “Wild Horses.”
As the lights dimmed and Bleachers took the stage, the spotlight shined on Antonoff wearing the outfit he wore on the cover of “Gone Now” as the band opened with “Dream of Mickey Mantle” while red balloons flew above the crowd followed by “Goodmorning.” By this point, Antonoff had changed into a windbreaker and baseball cap and took center stage to greet the Chicago crowd.
What makes Bleachers such a great band is how much they have fun onstage, as Jack spent parts of the set talking to the crowd to show his appreciation, telling stories and even giving a shout out to the restaurant they went to at 1 a.m. (shout out to Pequod’s Pizza). The band even sang happy birthday to one of the drummers as a cake was brought out, which was then ripped apart after being handed to the crowd.
Toward the middle of the set, Antonoff performed an acoustic medley alone on stage of the songs “Shadow,” “Like a River Runs” and a cover of the Fun. song “Carry On” – a tribute to the band Jack was a member of. Ironically enough, Jack wore a shirt that had an inside joke written on it from his time in Fun.
The energy was brought back up with “Foreign Girls” and “You’re Still a Mystery,” which included two drum solos and a battle of guitar and saxophone. Bleachers closed the night with their two singles “I Wanna Get Better” and “Don’t Take the Money.” The set lasted exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes, ending promptly at 10 p.m., yet during that time Bleachers delivered an incredible performance and gave Chicago a weekend to remember.