I've got a whole city to hold down

May 03, 2004

Weekend reviews

Blondie (HOB, Sunday): “The band cashes in on New Wave nostalgia,” says Josh Klein in the Trib.

Mary J. Blige (Arie Crown, Saturday): In the Trib, Bob Gendron says she was “a 90-minute hurricane” that “transformed rejection into empowerment and painful struggle into spirituality.” Sun-Times freelancer Brian Orloff called the show “consistently entertaining and sometimes salacious.”

The Art Ensemble of Chicago (Mandel Hall, Friday): “As majestic, sonorous and charismatic as the band had been 32 years earlier, perhaps more so,” claims the Trib’s Howard Reich. The S-T’s Kevin Whitehead was much less impressed, calling the group “creatively exhausted.”

Nelly Furtado (Vic, Friday): Sun-Times freelancer Anders Smith Lindall says “Furtado was trying to strike a balance between the compulsion to push her sound in half a dozen directions at once and the comfortable allure of just being a pop star.”

Graham Parker (Martyrs, Friday): The gig "demonstrated [that] age can be a renewable source of inspiration instead of a road sign for self-parody and irrelevance," says the Daily Herald's Mark Guarino.

And then there was the Coachella festival, which Greg Kot describes as “an idyllic oasis of sight and sound.” If you attended, we’d like to hear your report in the comments below.