We had the great pleasure of attended a date of the Jacked Tour featuring Afrojack when it came through Chicago at the Congress Theater. You can check out our review of the show after the break.
Another Saturday, another amazing tour of electronic dance music to roll through Congress Theater Chicago. This was the case on November 17th when Afrojack’s headline “Jacked” Tour came to town with support from Shermanology, R3hab, Quintino, and Dean Cohen. I was excited to see Dutch/Electro House producer Afrojack for the first time since I caught him earlier this year at Chicago’s first annual Spring Awakening Music Festival. The act I was most excited for (and it didn’t disappoint) was R3hab, who I had missed a couple of times in town due to scheduling conflicts.
Entry into the Congress Theater for this particular show wasn’t as painful as it usually is. Security seemed calmer than usual, and they weren’t as brutish and mean like they have been with all my past visits. This set a good precedent for the evening, even as I arrived 30 minutes late into the show. I was disappointed to have missed most of Israeli producer Dean Cohen’s set. He clearly wasn’t allotted much time to play and must have been pushed on stage as soon as doors opened to the theater at 8pm. Evening walking in late to the party, Congress Theater was not even half full. This seems to be the norm for most people at EDM shows; skipping the openers and arriving later for the headlining act.
Joining the party late and missing the first act was acceptable for me, because I got there in time to catch the entire set from Dutch Dance Music producer Quintino. Despite the lack of crowd, this man brought so much energy to the start of this party. With pounding bass and catchy dance rhythms, Quintino had even the most boring of concert-goers in a dancing mood. Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” “Jello” by Far East Movement, and Daft Punk’s famous “Harder Better Faster Stronger” were all instantly recognizable samples that were mixed into Quintino’s set. My favorite tune from the set was without a doubt the Quintino remix of the Cedric Gervais “Molly” song, which references the street name of the drug MDMA. Quintino raged on with his tunes until about 10:00pm, after which he left the stage with a burst of bass and a bang from the fog cannons that flanked the stage.
Up next on the decks was another Dutch producer from the Netherlands named R3hab. Pronounced “Rehab,” this was the artist I was most excited to hear from this show just based on what I’ve heard and seen from him online. R3hab was the obvious favorite of the night for me because his style of house music was not like the others that were on the bill. R3hab had just the right mix of elements in his music that placed him in his own category of house without straying too far into some other obscure sub-genre. The bass was pounding, the samples from big-time artists were aplenty, and R3hab’s jumping around on stage all culminated in the perfect EDM experience that night. Nero’s “Promises,” and the R3hab remix of Skyler Grey’s “Coming Home” were two of my favorites of the set.
According to the Shermanology website, they are “…a bold and beautiful three-piece originally from the Netherlands but making waves across clubland on the international circuit.” With a live singer on stage this group is a little different than most EDM acts around. Singer Dorothy Sherman occasionally sang a few vocals along with the pounding background dance music, but for the most part she just danced around on stage, waving a tiny fan to keep herself cool. It was finally about the time that Shermanology was blasting through their bass tunes that Congress Theater finally contained a substantial crowd. Shermanology certainly left an imprint on the Congress crowd, and everything was all warmed up for the final guest of the evening.
With dimmed lights and and a countdown on the LED board behind the stage, the seconds ticked down till Afrojack’s arrival. With the usual theatrics of a world-class producer, Afrojack launched into his two hour set that spanned from midnight to 2am. With a massively stacked set that consisted of new material, remixes of songs by Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, and Gotye, and a rousing remix of the YouTube sensation “Gangnam Style,” Afrojack’s set was a well diversified bundle of chaos. With the addition of the fog cannons on either side of the stage, Afrojack also incorporated confetti cannons towards the middle and end of his portion of the show. Joining the superstar’s arsenal of tools were some majorly cool lasers that weaved patterns of light through the crowd and onto the back wall of the theater. With quite a few 2012 single releases under his belt, Afrojack’s tunes varied from new to old while he spun personal music as well as a number of remixes from other artists. I unfortunately had to leave the party a few minutes early due to transportation issues, but I am quite sure that the night was closed out with literally a bang. One thing’s for sure when you go to an Afrojack concert; the party will get wild with not only some good music, but the extra pieces to the show like the lasers and the massive amounts of fog make it one memorable adventure.
Information about the review…
Tour: Jacked Tour
Artists: Afrojack, Shermanology, R3hab, Quintino, Dean Cohen
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: November 17, 2012
Venue: Congress Theater in Chicago, IL