Festival season is long gone, but it is during Chicago’s infamous winter months that a steady influx of new and established talents make their way to Chicago from across the globe. The waning months of 2013 are no different, as weekly show announcements continue to impress. This past Thursday (11/7) was a testament to Chicago’s refusal to slow down. The Metro played host to French electro-house producer, and purveyor of all things cool, Kavinsky. The bar has been set.
Kavinsky (Vincent Belorgey) garnered instant notoriety and a cult-like following for his haunting track “Nightcall”, featured on the soundtrack of the 2011 crime drama, Drive. As is often the case, Belorgey’s journey began long before he was discovered by the masses. Inspired by thousands of films he encountered during his youth (Belorgey himself was an actor for a number of years); he decided to focus on music in 2005 and created his zombie alter-ego, Kavinsky. Although Belorgey has released three EPs on esteemed label, Record Makers, it wasn’t until his debut album, OutRun, that Kavinsky’s story took full form. As evident in the album’s nostalgic yet fiercely energetic undertone, Belgorey masterfully tells the story of a Ferrari driving, heart-broken zombie (Belorgey drives a Testarossa model Ferrari himself, poor guy). The album listens much the way a film is watched, with frenzied chord progressions representing intense fight scenes and ghostly melodies portraying a main character alone in this cruel world. While “Nightcall” thrust Kavinsky into the spotlight, OutRun’s captivating storyline and overall strength insured that the spotlight only widened.
The Chicago stop on Kavinsky’s first headlining world-tour brought back a host of emotions that were first felt when Daft Punk climbed into their glowing pyramid at Lollapalooza 2007. Clear parallels between Daft Punk and Kavinsky are easy to see. After all, it was Kavinsky that opened for Daft Punk on the French duos 2007 “Alive” tour. When Kavinsky stepped onto stage at the Metro, the crowd was pulsating in curious anticipation.
A dark aura of mystery and a thick cloud of smoke engulfed his silhouette, as Kavinsky stepped onto the uniquely assembled stage at Metro, draped in his signature red letterman jacket. Two screens lined the stage and met at the back of Kavinsky’s simple DJ booth, giving the illusion that the audience was traveling down a dark highway in the passenger seat of Kavinsky’s own Ferarri. A constant stream of immensely powerful flashing white and red lights further transfixed the audience as Kavinsky stood still upon the stage, gesturing only briefly with his right hand to effortlessly follow the flow of the adventure he was orchestrating. Tracks including “Nightcall”, “Odd Look”, “Testarossa Autodrive”, and “Roadgame”, left the diverse crowd breathless and wide-eyed. Those that made it into work on time the following day were few and far between.
Listen to Kavinsky’s debut album, Outrun.