|Bonnie "Prince" Billy|
Eleventh Dream Day took the stage in the Monday afternoon sun and began what inevitably became a coming out party for Chicago--coming out from wherever we all go to get through the winter. It was a collective celebration, full of summer dresses, cut-off shorts, beer and Raybans, and Eleventh Dream Day's minimalist rock 'n' roll was the perfect way to start the party. The guitars carried up from the pit and rattled into the sky a pronouncement of our ended hibernation. The mix was great; one of my favorite aspects of the Pritzker Pavilion is the vocals carry well and are more audible than many outdoor venues. Chicagoans floated onto the lawn, the crowd continuing to grow throughout the entire set, and there was an overall feeling of both relaxation and exuberance. I can't recall the last time I saw so many smiles in public.
When Oldham, (a.k.a. Bonnie "Prince" Billy) and the Cairo Gang took the stage the crowd had settled and appeared ready to be absorbed in the rock and sway of his effortless voice. And so the band embraced dusk and called in the twilight with beautiful harmonic summons. They were a perfect selection for an evening filled with gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy it. Indeed, Oldham himself consistently expressed his appreciation for the chance to take the stage and serenade the thousands of appreciative onlookers. By the time the band returned to the stage for an encore, night had fallen and the gorgeous lights changed seemingly at his command, and when they had finished the smiles stayed.
Next Monday, Bloodshot Records' own Justin Townes Earle will be headlining this truly unmissable series.