Live Review: Jake Bugg at The Riv 1/18/14

photo by Spool Going Round

photo by Spool Going Round

Little did I know that after listening to Jake Bugg’s first album 2 years ago that after seeing Jake Bugg live for the first time I would awake with my ears ringing. This due to a few factors, one being Jake’s stunning ability as a performer to go from heartfelt soft spoken ballads to a more aggressive punk rock-snarl as found on such new songs as “What doesn’t kill you.” He can easily move between Johnny Cash and Johnny Rotten.

The other factor contributing to my morning buzz (mainly ear) is due to my own mini-British Invasion. I have heard all the stories and seen video of The Beatles and the screaming birds (chicks).  Proof of the female adoration; At one time during Jake’s set a pair of black panties became airborne and landed perfectly on Jake’s mic stand.  More proof of the female adoration; The bird next to me had that high pitched The Beatles-at-Shea Stadium-scream that was so piercing to the ear drums. I was concerned about our boisterous Chicago crowds and especially on their Saturday night loud mouth soup.  I love people who appreciate music and show that appreciation publicly but there are appropriate times. Let us not be disrespectful.  Like within a song performance. First few notes, scream. Scream during an instrumental change or guitar solo. DO NOT scream while the artist is singing. This is what the bird next to me was doing and is what changed the mood from celebratory, to at times, annoying. We will not go on about her tan-ness in the middle of a Chicago winter or how that made her stick out like a turd in a punch bowl.

A taste of that crowd electricity and some inappropriateness on YouTube video from Kennedy Smith

Back to Jake. It is easy to see how great Jake is at the written word and the presentation of his words to a large crowd by the crowd that came out to witness this performance. I, of course, was there. On my left was air talent from WXRT there singing, clapping, and playing air guitar. On my right the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel. He stood and clapped his appreciation staying the full set. There is no way you could leave. It was Saturday night and his and our city of Chicago was alive with excitement and none of us had to get up for work in the morning.
Jake Bugg Set List –The Riv, Chicago, 1/18/2014

  1. There’s a Beast and We All Feed It
  2. Trouble Town
  3. Seen It All
  4. Simple as This
  5. Storm Passes Away
  6. Two Fingers
  7. Messed Up Kids
  8. Ballad of Mr Jones
  9. Pine Trees
  10. Broken
  11. Simple Pleasures
  12. Green Man
  13. Kingpin
  14. Taste It
  15. Slumville Sunrise
  16. What Doesn’t Kill You


  1. A Song About Love
  2. My, My, Hey, Hey, (out of the blue)
  3. Lightning Bolt

Every song in the set list was perfectly performed.  During “Two Fingers” the crowd raised hands and with two fingers out saluted the talent.  Many fingers however were facing the wrong way for this song.  “Broken” was probably one the most goose-bump filled of the night when the standing room response was breathtaking at its conclusion.  The song that I had enjoyed on record but became completely amazing live to me was “Simple Pleasures.”  In fact the songs on acoustic guitar were as great as expected but when he went electric and even threw in some tasty guitar solos that got me screaming like a bird viewing the new British Invasion.

Mostly I am a rocker and it is always a concern if pop is taking over or if new bands are only doing computer generated dance music. Last night renews my great faith in rock n’ roll.  As Jake with electric guitar went into the opening of Neil Young’s “My, My, Hey, Hey (out of the blue)” it felt good, really good, familiar, yet new.  After singing the line ” ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE,”  I knew he was right.   Thank you Jake Bugg for keeping guitar rock ‘n roll alive into 2014 and beyond.

When you see Free Download next to a song from Jake Bugg it would be best to click it.


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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4 Responses to Live Review: Jake Bugg at The Riv 1/18/14

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  3. Pingback: Jake Bugg sings in Chicago (2014) - RVM [Radio.Video.Music]

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