REVIEW: Clean Bandit gave ‘Real Love’ to fans—and they gave it back


Esther Bell

Clean Bandit played at The House of Blues, 329 N Dearborn St., on May 2.

By Kendrah Villiesse

Packed in the concert hall, fans sipped their beers and waited for the music to begin so they could start to dance the night away.

There was no place you would rather be on May 2 than at Clean Bandit’s sold-out Chicago concert. The trio performed at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., on the last night of their five-week tour.

The crowd waited patiently for the U.K.-based band to approach the stage after the openers, Zara Larsson and Starley, started out the show. While waiting, one fan was so excited he managed to pass out in the pit, causing security guards to stormthe area trying to help.

Opening with “Come Over,” three girls started the night by walking onstage only using the LED light pole to see. As the lights rose, the audience could see the band in their black and red color-coordinated outfits.

The group consists of the three original Clean Banditmembers: Grace Chattoand Luke and Jack Patterson. Touring members also accompanied the group, whoincluded Yasmin Green and Kristen Joy who were singingwith Stephanie Banedetti playing the violin. The group was so in sync that it made you wonder why the unofficial members were not originally part of the group.

Performing songs from their albumNew Eyes, released May 2014, this was Clean Bandit’s first time performing in Chicago after three years. Fans showed the international group how much they missed the electro-infused pop band by screaming the lyrics to the songs and participating in the group’s tour photo.

Clean Bandit also premiered itsnewest single, “Should Have Known Better,” which has not been releasedofficially yet, Joy told the crowd. The song started as a slow ballad about relationships but then progressed to become a fast-paced electronic dance song.

“It is my personal favorite. This is a special treat for you guys,” Joy said as the audience went wild.

During the middle of the set, Zara Larsson walked on the stage to perform “Symphony,” a collaborative single with Clean Bandit released March 7.

The show quickly transformed from a mild “nod along to the beat” concert to a raging nightclub after itsperformance of “Heart on Fire,” as audience membersheld up their beers and danced around the sweaty and packed floor.

Clean Bandit took the orchestralinfluences to a new level with featured solos from violins, clarinets and saxophones and putting an electronic twist on the instruments, especially in itsperformance of “Cologne” and “Dust Clears.” Chatto also rocked the electric cello while singing throughout the set.

Throughout the show, audience members put their phones away and danced along to the music that was blasting throughout the auditorium, something that rarely happens and was refreshing to experience.

Finishing its performance with “Real Love,” the band proceeded to leave the stage as the audience screamed and chanted “Encore!” Chatto and the Pattersons then returned to the stage to look at the wild crowd in front of them.

“The other guys have told me they will do a couple more numbers if you make some noise for them,” Chatto said.

The members returned to the stage after hearing the audience roar and proceeded to play the hit “Rather Be,” which is largely the tune that got them famous. Just before the song hit its final beat, Chatto managed to sneak in “Chicago, you really have been amazing,” as the stage went dark.