words by Zach Pollack, photos by Josh Darr


Los Angeles' own Active Child, launched into their opening set at a prompt 8:00PM. It has been a hot minute since we've heard from these gentlemen, but nevertheless the packed crowd at Lincoln Hall seemed to wholeheartedly accept their presence.

Frontman Pat Grossi unleashed devine falsettos, while his hands floated effortlessly over the strings of his harp. Originally started as a bedroom project, Active Child's live show these days consists of supplemental members on bass and drums. Largely featuring tracks off of their 2010 debut EP Curtis Lane, Active Child was a great compliment to the later stylings of James Blake.

Currently in the midst of his first-ever US Tour, London-native, James Blake made his Chicago debut on Sunday night (5/15) at Lincoln Hall. After nearly a year of industry buzz, his debut self-titled LP came out on February 8th in the US, via Universal Records. With band members Ben Assiter and Rob McAndrews in tow; the trio kicked things off with the LP's opening track "Unluck."

The sold-out crowd remained silent, and attentive during songs; cheering loudly with admiration at their closure. Blake nervously cracked, "You guys are really quiet...but I know that can only mean good things!" Despite the somewhat soft nature of his music, he translated extremely well live; commanding the audience's attention.

The most enthralling piece of his performance was an improvised, full-band jam at the tail end of the track "To Care (Like You)." Blake closed out the set on his own, playing what we can only deduce is a new song (appearing as "E----- T-----" on the setlist).

Although his Chicago debut had come to a close, the night had just begun for the London dubstep producer. He headed over to Beauty Bar to perform a DJ Set sponsored by his UK label A&M Records. James Blake will return to Chicago for day one of the 2011 Pitchfork Festival.

Head below to view more pictures of his Lincoln Hall performance, plus the setlist.

Active Child
James Blake
Give Me My Month
Tep and the Logic
I Never Learnt To Share
Lindesfarne I
Lindesfarne II
To Care (Like You)
Limit To Your Love
Wilhelms Scream
E----- T-----

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