Since Slowdive‘s breakup in the mid ’90s, fans have been listening to the shoegaze band’s three glorious albums and hoping to someday hear these songs live, particularly those from their last release, 1995′s Pygmalion, which they didn’t tour to support. The band reunited to tour this year, stopping at Chicago’s Vic Theatre last night, and what many have dreamed about for so long was no disappointment.
Their 90-plus-minute set held the audience captive while they played favorites including “Alison, “Machine Gun,” “Blue Skied an’ Clear,” “Crazy For You.” They also took on songs they didn’t get to during their previous Chicago performance, at July’s Pitchfork Music Festival — most notably, a very solemn “Dagger,” which featured a lovely interchange of vocals between lead singers Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell.
Openers Low have their own share of impressive accomplishments and devoted fans, but, unlike Slowdive, have not gone on a long hiatus between records in their 20-plus-year career. At each show they bring a different set of songs to the stage. This time, they delved into a lot of older tracks like “Lazer Beam,” “Last Snowstorm of the Year” and even “Starfire” off of 1999′s Secret Name, which I’ve never seen or heard them play live over the last 13 years and at least that many performances. It was refreshing to hear surprises in only a 45-minute set.