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Spend 'Amateur Night' With A Real Professional

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 9, 2007 7:40PM

jon_brion.jpegWe first witnessed the cockamamie genius of Jon Brion at the second Intonation Festival. Pouring rain be damned, the guy captivated 15,000 people that day, many of whom knew him only as “the guy who worked on Kanye’s records.” Chicagoist left the festival grounds that day with that rare inspiration feeling that reminds you of just how powerful it is to witness true musical aptitude when it meets unbridled creativity.

Fast forward to the winter of 2006 and many, many strings pulled to get into Brion’s show at the itty bitty Hideout. We’ve never been so sardined into a space before, and the fact that we couldn’t get our winter coat off all night (and it had to be 85 degrees in the music room) or get to the bar for a beer seemed inconsequential in the face of what was witnessed. It’s hard even now to describe this guy’s mastery of what it means to entertain; there are plenty of folks, from Keller Williams to Andrew Bird, who use looping to create layered sounds on their own, but Jon Brion does it to create an entire band. He writes, he produces, he performs, and he blows minds - all better than just about anyone else in the game. We'd bet we're not the only ones who left the Hideout that night thinking we’d just seen the best live musical performance we might ever see.

Intonation will again be presenting the evening, which comes complete with pre- and post-concert receptions, open bar, and dancing.

Jon Brion plays the Harris Theater at Millennium Park, Monday, December 31, $85, all ages