MILKY CHANCE Review @ The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL

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Milky Chance Review @ The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL

April 25, 2015

Review by Dan Scheiman

 

Originating from Germany, Milky Chance is a unique folk duo, with reggae and rock influences along with an electronic foundation, that has been greatly successful. Coming from across the sea with a few European music awards under their belts already, I imagine their one-of-a-kind style will get them even more awards over the next few years. The original duo of Philipp Dausch and Clemens Rehbein were accompanied on this tour by Antonio Greger, a versatile musician and a masterful harmonica player.

 

I had assumed I was in for a calm and relaxing night, but judging by both the fans’ and the band’s energy as soon as they came on stage, I could tell I was mistaken. Immediately the giant stacks of speakers on both sides of the stage began to rumble and the crowd squealed. The signature electronic kick that drives most of Milky Chance’s songs was now transformed into an immensely powerful, almost forceful, back beat beneath every track. I always felt the dance-like vibe on their studio albums but the live production was something completely different. The entire venue was sucked in on the very first track as everyone began to move in unison with the relentless beats.

 

Lead vocalist and guitarist, Clemens Rehbien, put forth a fantastic energy as well as a confident stage presence. At times I would catch glimpses of his facial expressions as well as his playing, all combined with his intense hair style, that were reminiscent of a young Jack White.

 

The communication between all three members and the crowd was so intimate and personal, it didn’t seem like we were at as big of a venue as we were. The dynamics of each song could range from a pulse-pounding dance break, all the way down to where you could hear the person next to you whisper as the band played some soothing folk melodies.

 

Nearing the end of the night, the light show, along with the performance overall, seemed to gain a whole new ferocity.

 

With some similarities to artists like Sublime, Modest Mouse, Andrew Bird, and Hozier, I see great things on the horizon for these gentlemen. Not sure if they intend on keeping the project as a trio or not, but the addition of harmonica and an extra guitarist seemed to be a brilliant decision in my eyes. The extra expression and passion from the harmonica gave the band a perfect finishing touch. The balance of such a light and pleasant folk feel, with a driving and bouncy dance beat has already proven to be wildly successful. I cannot wait to see what is coming next from Milky Chance.

Photos by Nicci Allen

Dan Scheiman
Dan Scheiman With an entirely open and unbiased obsession with music, Dan decided to take the opportunity given to him to share his thoughts for On Stage Review. Having been to hundreds of concerts of a variety of styles and genres over the years, he's no stranger to live music. He has been playing bass guitar for over twelve years now and has been dabbling in vocal work, drums, and piano for almost as long. Growing up listening to metal and industrial then transitioning into jazz and classical, and now having a particular love for funk or anything that grooves; his perspective comes from a well-rounded musical background and some amateur experience as a musician. He has too many favorite bands to list, but some of his favorite live experiences include: Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree, Papadosio, Tool, The Ocean, Animals As Leaders, Lettuce, and of course, Victor Wooten.