Starting off my night with my usual concert partner, I wanted to get to the Double Door right at 9PM to catch opening act Astaire and see what the vibe would be like inside the club. The evening's show had become a bit of a celebration for the venue, as earlier that day, they won a court case that would ensure The Double Door's survival for at least a few more years (the landlord was trying to evict the club in favor a Banana Republic or Urban Outfitters).
Astair's dimpled and innocent forelady, Erica Driscoll, crooned some catchy songs from which I anticipate to be a promising full-length LP. Touring with Ivy is a good fit for Astaire, as Ivy's Adam Schlesinger and Andy Chase both helped Astaire cement their 2004 EP, Don’t Whisper Lies.
I was brought down from the steamy “balcony” of the Double Door for the last few Astaire songs, wanting to secure a primo spot for Ivy. They have been one of my top-five favorite bands since I was 14 when my boyfriend invited me to a week day Ivy concert, which, because I probably had some home work to do or something, my mom quickly shot down. Nevertheless, my boyfriend went and waited outside the backstage door to get a newspaper print poster signed, which singer Dominique Durand, (and the rest of the band) signed, “To Leslie, with Love.” The cold French stereotype never set in my mind and I have been an avid Ivy fan ever since.
I anxiously lubed my spectator status with PBR and vodka-sodas, not knowing what to expect for my first Ivy performance, while also attempting to cool myself in some way or another. As the waves of heat emanated through the purportedly-air-conditioned venue, I finally saw the band taking the sidelines to make their big entrance. Andy Chase, Dominique’s husband, and Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne took the stage, followed by a perfectly thin and chic Dominique, to begin the set with the gently textured washes of “Undertow”, the first track from 2001’s Long Distance. Immediately setting expectations high with their perfect harmonies and Dominique’s cool intensity, they dove into the set with ba-ba-ba heavy songs from their new album In the Clear - “Thinking About You”, “Keep Moving”, “I’ve Got You Memorized”, “Corners of Your Mind”, and “Tess, Don’t Tell”.
Intertwined were older (but just as good!) songs like the ready to leave anthem, “This is the Day”, the tribute to steamy urban days, “Get Out of the City”, and an Orange Juice cover from the Lately EP and 2002’s Guestroom, “I Guess I’m Just A Little Too Sensitive”. The encore included “L’Anamour,” sung sultrily in Dominique’s native language (and written by one of her favorite French songwriters, Serge Gainsbourg) and “Get Enough”, the best mix song for that-guy-you-love-and-are-ready-to-tell, from their 1995 LP, Realistic.
We had a cluster of #1 fans in the audience. I won’t lie. Frequent claps and excessive hand gestures were aplenty, as well as some smitten glassy-eyes for Dominique. Ivy is still a solid band you can count on for dreamy, layered pop music whenever you feel down, up, it’s rainy, or you feel like a sunny drive to the suburbs - an essential pop band that has not disappointed yet. Glowing from the sweat coating my body and a high from the spectacular set, I emerged into the hot Chicago night, ready to start my summer, which seemed to be getting off on a great foot already.
Source: Leslie Derr