Bloc Party, Longwave | Aragon Ballroom | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Bloc Party, Longwave Recommended Member Picks All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., March 28, 8 p.m. 2009

It’s pretty easy to argue that Bloc Party’s 2005 debut, Silent Alarm, was the high point of the dance-punk craze that peaked a few years ago. It met the quota for Gang of Four-style pointiness but combined it with an emotional heft rare in the genre—the melancholy wail of front man Kele Okereke clicked with the group’s deceptively catchy thump to give the music a cathartic, dance-your-bad-feelings-away groove not dissimilar to what you get from Donna Summer’s better jams. Bloc Party have escaped the artistic dead-end that claimed most of their scene contemporaries, but they’ve suffered for their success—in fact, after hearing their songs in what seemed like every single DJ set for a year or so, the snobbier elements of their fan base deserted them before their sophomore album even dropped, and the band’s minor mainstream headway hasn’t done anything to win those people back. With any luck, though, some of them will hear Bloc Party’s third full-length, last summer’s Intimacy (Vice). The clever toy piano arrangement on “Signs” and the paranoia-edged raviness of “Mercury” ought to earn those tunes a second listen from the snobs—they’re too good on their own terms to write off just because they’re not the next “Helicopter.” A remix version of the album is due in May, with tracks rebuilt by Armand Van Helden, Mogwai, Gold Panda, and others. Longwave opens. After the show Okereke DJs at the Kinetic Playground and guitarist Russell Lissack and drummer Matt Tong DJ at the Underground. —Miles Raymer

Price: $28.50

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