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This Will Destroy You, Pure Ecstasy, & Sleep ∞ Over played the Bottom Lounge (pics, setlist)

words by Parker Langvardt, photos by Grant MacAllister

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On May 28th, This Will Destroy You played the warehouse-like Bottom Lounge, below the elevated trains on Chicago’s industrial Near West Side. Inside, the exposed rafters and ducts audibly shook with the deep bass produced by the drum machine of openers; Sleep ∞ Over. The slightly delayed rattling of metal didn’t annoy, but rather added a welcomed sharpness to the pure and soft texture created by synthesizers and soft vocals. Guitar harmonics swelled and distorted as a result of heavy effects, and there was a tasteful amount of reverb on their voices. The lights were kept very dim, and a video was projected onto the band and the wall behind them in the absence of a screen, casting shadows on the vague but intriguing visuals.

The bassist and male keyboardist of Sleep ∞ Over joined a drummer and guitarist to perform as the atmospheric Pure Ecstasy. The vocalist sang through an excessive amount of reverb that made between-song banter unintelligible, presumably with the intention of smoothing his whiney timbre into something the crowd would be more likely to enjoy. The drummer played appropriately minimalist beats, deadening his drums by covering them with what looked like his grandmother’s blankets.

This Will Destroy You began their set with an ambient drone, leading into textures of thunderously distorted bass, and furiously strummed guitar. The band performed passionately, and even guitarist; Jeremy Galindo, who sat during the entire performance, threw his body into his playing. Drummer; Alex Bhore rolled on two gigantic crash cymbals with yarn mallets, building walls of noise with the tornado siren-like guitars, shaking bodies to the core before dropping off to an ominous drone. While the opening bands were somewhat sedating, This Will Destroy You’s ethereal qualities let me breath deeply once again.

About half of the songs played, were off of their new LP Tunnel Blanket, along with the track “There Are Some Remedies Worse Than the Disease” from Young Mountain, “Burial on the Presidio Banks” from their self-titled, and an unreleased song called “Cosmic Fold.” They finished their set within 70 minutes and played “Quiet” as their single encore. Despite the excellent performance, it left at least a half hour more to be desired.

Head below to view more pictures, and This Will Destroy You’s setlist.

Sleep ∞ Over
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Pure Ecstasy
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This Will Destroy You
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This Will Destroy You – Bottom Lounge 5/28 Setlist:
Little Smoke
Glass Realms
Communal Blood
Burial on the Presidio Banks
Black Dunes
There Are Some Remedies Worse Than the Disease
Cosmic Fold
•••••••••••••••••••••
Quiet

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