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LIVE: Red Bull Sound Select's 30 Days in Chicago Celebrates the Halfway Mark with Parquet Courts and Built to Spill

Red Bull Sound Select celebrated the halfway mark of their 30 Days in Chicago this past Wednesday night with co-headlining sets by Parquet Courts and Built To Spill. Goodwill Smith and Meatwave opened the night.

As Chicago concert goers filed into the legendary dive in Ukrainian Village to see Built to Spill and Parquet Courts, the first 50 attendees were handed a token to receive a free copy of The Empty Bottle Chicago: 21+ Years of Music / Friendly / Dancing, just one of the perks of these Red Bull sponsored shows happening across the city this month. Upon entering, everyone also had the option to pick up some Red Bull Sound Select swag, including ear plugs.

The stage was set following Goodwills Smith's set, the clock struck 9PM, and Chicago’s own Meat Wave took the humble stage. Immediately the trio cranked up the volume to 100 percent, projecting out their energy with maximum noise, making those who took the earplugs grateful for their decision. At the beginning of Meat Wave's set, the venue hadn’t reached full capacity, but from the get-go, the crowd vibed with the fast-paced punk music, nodding their head in time and getting engulfed in the music. The three piece also vibed off of one another onstage, reciprocating the energy radiating through the crowd. The setlist included a fair mix of Meat Wave’s 2017 album The Incessant, like the title track and “Run You Out,” as well as the 2015 album Delusion Moon. By the end of the exuberant set, the crowd had completely packed into the intimate venue to watch the remaining two sets.

Built to Spill hit the stage next, immediately captivating the crowd with their intricately layered indie rock tunes that span multiple decades. Frontman Doug Martsch and his bandmates remained in sync with one another throughout their entire show, displaying such noticeable chemistry from their years of experience making music. During their hour long set, fans' eyes remained glued to the stage, watching as Martsch would manipulate and bend the tone and mood of their songs through the dials and pedals he had set up next to him on stage. This factor of Built to Spill's live show made us feel like we got a glimpse of the art in the making, like seeing a sculptor work in front of you or getting a look at the inside of a clock to see all the moving parts working together. Live, Built to Spill only builds upon their own songs, creating cinematic and sweeping jams that hypnotize the entire room. The fact that the group were a last minute addition to the original line up for Day 15 made the show so much more special. 

Next up, Parquet Courts took the stage to close out the special evening, performing a mix of songs from their handful of albums, but the set started strong with tracks taken from 2016's Human Performance. Crowd favorites stood out as the aforementioned album's title track and "Dust," which both topped the setlist, instantly reeling in the audience. Besides playing a solid and diverse set list, the four piece from New York also mixed humor into their headlining set, quipping at each other or telling funny anecdotes between songs. Early on in the night, A. Savage pointed out the negative side effects of Red Bull, thanking them for sponsoring the show, but encouraging the audience not to drink it. The group also recalled that their first ever show in Chicago had been at The Empty Bottle about five years prior, which added a bit of nostalgia into the evening. Every show booked in celebration of Empty Bottle's 25th anniversary has had a special piece of history embedded into it, and this show was no exception. 

As Parquet Courts set began to wind down, Red Bull also provided the crowd with complimentary pizza slices, supplying the concert goers with a perfect midnight snack. To experience the eclectic mix of music that Red Bull Sound Select has to offer for the remainder of the month, head here. You can also check out Empty Bottle's upcoming performances here. 

Gallery of Meat Wave, Built to Spill, and Parquet Courts, 11.15.17