Stereophonics at The Vic, Chicago, 9/28/2013 Live Review

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The Stereophonics were genuinely chuffed at the response they got from the Chicago audience.   Another band that headlines festivals in Europe but gets little to no airplay here in the states.  The Vic wasn’t sold out but it was full of diehard fans.  Many Welsh ex-pats that carry the pride of Sterophonics like their homeland flag.

In all honesty some of the between song banter, for which there wasn’t much, was a bit hard to decipher.  But the songs were easy to understand and easier even still to sing along with.  Kelly Jones packs a lot of power into his God-given frame.  His voice the sandpaper quality.  His guitar the extra crunchy.  His favorite band AC/DC.  In the same vein as AC/DC, Stereophonics for the most part have the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it attitude to their catalog.  One thing that sets the two bands apart is that Stereophonics will sneak a ballad in on you, something that AC/DC would never think of.  In fact, their brit-pop ballads are what keep the audiences large, that and the fact that they can throw an Oasis-sittin- next- to -your- buddies- on- the- train- sing- along at you.

They have been doing this for many years but the new album released on their own Stylus Records,  Graffiti on the Train , their eighth is fantastic.  There are the great ballads (Indian Summer) with the great anthems (We Share the Same Sun) all brought out to play at The Vic Saturday night.  What stuck out to me was the live birth of new songs (Violins and Tambourines, In a Moment) which bring the band into arch-nemesis territory.  Radiohead territory.  Yes, there are definite touches of Radiohead in “Violins and Tambourines” and “In a Moment.”  “Been Caught Cheating” fit in perfectly for the Chicago crowd, it being the birth of the blues.  A wonderful bluesy song that Mr. Jones wrote for Amy Winehouse and her unfortunate choices in dating partners.  Sadly she didn’t live to hear it.

Kelly does have a decent band out with him.  Most notable the drummer, who at first glance, mustachioed and frizzed hair, might cause you to chuckle.  But the way he hits the drums like a monster is not laughing matter.  Bassist, Richard Jones, tried his best to look and play like Paul Simonon and who can fault a bassist for that.  When not thumping the bass, he urged the crowd to start hand clapping which fit in well with many of the anthems and got the crowd interactive.

The sing along with the crowd and Kelly with his acoustic was beautiful as stated by the singer at the end of “Maybe Tomorrow.” That song still amazes me at the amount of soul they emit. We all left the Vic pondering the math of matches and trees.  A night well spent. A great album to still enjoy and grow with.

Stereophonics Set LIst, The Vic, Chicago, IL 9/29/2013


Local Boy in a Photograph


Graffiti on the Train

We Share The Same Sun

Indian Summer

Have a Nice Day

Live n Love

Vegas Two Times

Mr Writer

In A Moment

Nothing Precious at All

Maybe Tomorrow

Roll the Dice

Violins and Tambourines

Been Caught Cheating

Just Looking

The Bartender and the Thief


Bill Davey’s Daughter

I Stopped to Fill My Car Up

A Thousand Trees


The encore was a bit weird and I am seeing this with a lot of bands lately.  The band rocks out and rocks off the stage.  The crowd erupts in cheer. They are screaming to have their band back out.   The band comes out with a whisper.  A one man ballad.  Soft as can be.  Only to build back up, but why the lull? The band’s in the toilet practicing their lines.  The ballads should stick to the main set. Encore all rock.  I would love to draw out a set list for any band needing help in this area.

Great Show! Thanks to The Stereophonics for coming to Chicago on a  Saturday night.

A CROWD FAVORITE thanks to MESH616 on Youtube

About Spool Going Round

If you like my blog and have access to programming and would like to do a radio/internet show together, please contact me. My name is Mike. I am an on-air radio DJ. I fell in love with radio in Chicago and then took that passion to someplace where I could actually get on the air. My travels took me to Seattle, WA, Eugene and Portland, OR and Washington D.C., where I was able to have my own morning show. I've had crab cakes with Warren Zevon, sat backstage and interviewed Sting, had Melissa Etheridge sing to me from the front row and I loved every minute of it. That passion for music still burns strong in me and I love to talk music and be turned on to music. Sharing new music with people is what got me interested in radio in the first place. It is wonderful to be able to talk music with you. "Go ahead you're on the air..." Read more:
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