RE:VISION CHICAGO Review @ Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
with Alex & Allyson Grey, Papadosio, Desert Dwellers, Thriftworks, Jason Brammer and Sam Flores
April 11, 2015
This was sincerely one of the most marvelous live performances I have ever seen. Papadosio is one of the biggest and most unique jam bands in the music festival scene right now and this was the most intimate setting I have witnessed them in by far. Normally, Papadosio is playing giant outdoor festivals and accompanied by live painters on stage and in the crowd, but for this particular show they were graced with the presence of Alex Grey and his wonderful wife Allyson as 2 of their 4 live painters.
Alex and Allyson Grey are brilliant artists and spiritual visionaries that have been assisting millions of people around the world in opening their eyes as well as their minds to the true beauty of the world around them. Alex is probably most commonly known for his work on the last few Tool albums as well as is Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York City.
They began the evening discussing the the evolution of mankind, purposeful artistic expression, and the psychedelic experience with a very warm and welcoming audience. Early on, many people congregated on the first floor where there was an art show set up for other artists to sell their work, exchange ideas, and discuss the show that was soon to come.
Papadosio has a way of starting off their sets that really welcomes the crowd to relax and open up to the music. As they eased the fans into their first few tracks with some dreamy synth work and harmonious guitar playing, you could feel the intensity of the crowd begin to swell. With the music building up and a surge of energy flooding the venue you could see the painters begin to sway and move with the music as well. This beautiful combination of visual artwork, surreal music, poetic lyrics, and a huge group of people dancing in unison is an experience that is truly beyond words.
This band has an extremely wide range of abilities and they will usually portray the entire spectrum at every show. As the rhythm section continued laying down some unbelievably tight and luscious grooves, the band began to add more and more psychedelic layers to each track. You can tell with Papadosio that there is a threshold between them playing written music and expanding into a completely open and mind bending jam session.
At some point in all their shows, the entire band seems to let loose. This is when the magic tends to happen. The last half hour or so of this band’s sets are 1,000 times more intense than the beginning. It is this exact crescendo effect that makes people flock to their shows.
As the lighting on stage became more intense than it was all night, the crowd was able to see all the paintings that were in progress with a whole new perspective. Behind Papadsio was a huge screen filled with wonderfully complex digital artwork and gorgeous visualizers.
As the intensity was getting to its peak, they broke into an obvious crowd favorite, “The Cue.” The fans went absolutely crazy as soon as the track began. Lead singer Anthony Thogmartin interjected to thank the crowd for everything as well as all the live painters.
Alex Grey and his wife turned to the crowd with some of the most genuine and heartfelt smiles I have ever seen, bowing to everyone in thanks. The aura that surrounded everyone on stage was incredible. This show was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am ecstatic that I was able to be a part of it.
The only way to fully understand the awe inspiring brilliance of this band is to experience it firsthand. I recommend getting yourself out to one of the music festivals that Papadosio is playing. It is a potentially life changing experience. Thank you Papadosio and everyone else involved for this rejuvenating experience.