PHOTOS: Real Estate at the Metro in Chicago


New Jersey indie rockers Real Estate kind of defy category. Some of their songs sound like surf rock while others resemble neo-psychedelia.

Either way, the band put out what will sure to be one of this year’s best records – “Atlas” – earlier this month. The five-piece has a special affinity for Chicago since it recorded “Atlas” at Wilco’s Northwest Side loft.

Thursday at the Metro in Chicago, Real Estate showcased its off-the-charts musicianship. Lead singer Martin Courtney is a near virtuoso on electric guitar, but it didn’t come off as flashy or over-the-top.

Quite the opposite, his playing was humble and unpretentious. Clean guitar lines weaved in and out in an angelic display of chillout precision. It’s mind-boggling how these songs fit together. Elegant, intricate and grandiose. Their calmness is therapeutic. 

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Bloc Party Worthy of Superstar Status

London Rockers Slay Chicago Crowd

London indie rockers Bloc Party unleashed their now-classic debut “Silent Alarm” seven years ago. Bloc Party were supposed to be the next Radiohead. And while they never became megastars, the band has released four solidly consistent albums that rock. 

At the Riviera in Chicago Friday night, Bloc Party proved they are indeed deserving of superstar status. With a stadium-sized sound that echoed throughout the room, frontman Kele Okereke nailed his guitar riffs with machine-like precision. 

From the stellar “This Modern Love” to the power-chord laden “Kettling” – the best track off the band’s latest “Four” –  this is a band that boasts an intense sound that leaves you wanting more. The perfect kickoff to the fall music season. 

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