Labor Day may have come and gone, but festival season is far from over. In fact, three of this year's best lineups are still on the horizon: Riot Fest starts September 12th, Common's AAHH! Fest is on the 20th, and Hideout Block Party and Onion A.V. Fest kicks off tomorrow. Nestled on the Hideout's strip of industrial no man's land between the Kennedy and Goose Island, the festival-cum-block-party isn't nearly as sprawling (or pricy) as Lolla or Pitchfork, but routinely boasts a lineup that competes with both. If that's not reason enough to buy tickets, here are three more.
It's your last chance to see Death Cab with Chris Walla.
You probably already know Death Cab for Cutie, which means you know why you should see them Friday night (especially if you're planning to turn darkly inward this autumn), but what you may not know is that A.V. Fest will be 17-year guitarist/producer Chris Walla's last ever U.S. show with the band. Do your inner-teen a favor and watch Walla mark the end of an era. Friday at 8:30.
See Sylvan Esso while it still exudes underdog charm.
I've trumpeted electro-folk act Sylvan Esso's praises in the past, and so has pretty much every other music blogger—which means A.V. Fest might be your last chance to see the band in a quasi-manageable setting. The rising North Carolina duo have taken over the gloomy/eerie/minimalistic niche that Death Cab for Cutie abandoned two albums ago. If that's any indication of the stadiums Sylvan Esso's heading for, you best catch it Saturday afternoon. Saturday at 4:00.
The War on Drugs just released their best album yet.
It's called Lost in the Dream, and it might just break your heart. Tracked, scrapped, and re-tracked during a year of psychological storminess for singer/songwriter Adam Granduciel, the album has drawn comparisons to an array of '70s and '80s heavyweights (most notably Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Mark Knopfler). But Lost in the Dream's crowning achievement—its utter lack of irony—is all Granduciel. Saturday at 8:45.
The Hideout Block Party and A.V. Fest kicks off tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at 1354 W. Wabansia. Full schedule and tickets ($39-65) are available here.