The Soft Moon
Criminal Tour 2019 - with HIDE and Thoom
Also DJs The Pirate Twins
Thalia Hall Chicago
JBTV Alumni Luis Vasquez and his band The Soft Moon start their performance at Thalia Hall in Chicago with an all out assault on all things heavy percussion and beats with the song “Deeper”, a majestic stab of scattershot rhythms and wicked vocal, the perfect song on a cold and dreary winter’s evening in Chicago.
Have witnessed The Soft Moon performing live a multitude of times by now, and without question, Luis Vasquez and his band- Luigi Pianezzola on Bass, Matteo Vallicelli on drums and electronic percussion, just keep getting better and better and better.
Most of Luis Vasquez’s songs revolve around pain and sorrow and anger, but undeniably the songs are mostly cathartic, especially when performed live, with an enthusiastic rumble and might which revs up the crowd, no matter what day of the week it is.
The show itself delved into Luis Vasquez’s most recent release “Criminal” with the painstakingly gorgeous and frenzy of a song “Burn” being front and center the third song in.
I bring this song up for a reason. “Burn” along with “Far”, from the album “Deeper”, are staples of all things that consist of “Industrial Swing”, a term that’s a throwback of Wax Trax! days of old, a blend of dance, with heavy beats and might.
Songs like these two never get old, and make you thirsty for more and more.
A Soft Moon show is a performance diving into wicked disorientation, not knowing what comes next speeding along, with no sympathy if you can’t hold on for the ride.
The strengths of this band are clearly evident, mostly in the musicianship and jovial fun between Luis, Matteo and Luigi, but also in the presentation, down to the lighting, and not having Matteo’s drum kit buried in the back, but stage right and visible.
If ever there was a show to cleanse the soul and make you feel whole, and that you’re back on track, and that for the most part all things are well and good, its a Soft Moon show.
This photographer and reviewer simply can’t get enough, and doesn’t mind singing the praises of Luis Vasquez and his band the Soft Moon.
Opener HIDE, a Chicago industrial / electronic duo consisting of vocalist and all around mesmerizing performer Heather Gabel and Seth Sher providing all the necessary beats and samples, are unrelenting in their performance, down to lighting only provided by floor standing white strobes, blinding when on for that brief second of time, and completely dark on stage when not.
A multi-sensory experience without question from beginning to end, punctuated by the steely and fierce Heather Gabel, who prowls the stage in cathartic fury that has to be seen to be believed.
Heather takes nothing for granted performing live, a menacing presence when visible through the blinding strobes and heavy fog, like a praying mantis just waiting to devour you in one big gulp.
Hide are a momentous live act, perfect for these times we’re in, with everything oh so unpredictable, and everyone walking around angry, ready to snap at any given moment.
We need to hear more from HIDE, sooner rather than later.
Opener Thoom started the show off with intoxicating samples and beats with scorching vocal, followed by Middle Eastern rhythms and exotic otherworldly dance moves.
Chicago’s very own DJ’s The Pirate Twins ( Scary Lady Sarah & William Faith) provided the perfect mixes before and in-between the sets.