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    Pete Wentz' Black Cards Celebrate in Chicago

    Fall Out Boy may be "on hiatus," but onstage Thursday night at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel, Pete Wentz -- now of Black Cards -- remained unmistakably Pete Wentz. That is, he talked at great length between songs, even admitting before the closer of his band's quick six-song set celebrating the grand reopening of his Angels & Kings bar: "I have a bad reputation for talking over lead singers." But the hometown crowd packed into the cavernous room wouldn't have had it any other way. Even newcomer Bebe Rexha, Black Cards' singer, seemed to know to hold back and let Wentz do his thing.

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    Alice in Chains, Deftones, Mastodon Roar to Life

    At first glance, the opening night of the Alice in Chains/Deftones/Mastodon tour proceeded in reverse order of relevance: Openers and prog-metal titans Mastodon are still coming off the high of last year's Crack the Skye; Deftones, the only good band ever associated with the onerous nü metal scene, need to recapture some momentum with the new Diamond Eyes; but Alice in Chains? The one-time bastion of Seattle's hard rock-grunge scene seems as out of place in 2010 as Teen Spirit deodorant. And let's not forget that Alice in Chains regrouped three years after the death of vocalist Layne Staley - and a decade after its last studio album - with a new singer, William DuVall. Replacing a singer is perilous at best; generally it's the hallmark of has-beens still clinging tightly to something that slipped through their fingers ages ago. Generally.

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    5 Notable Moments of the Pitchfork Music Fest

    Now five years old, Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival shook things up a bit this year, adding a comedy stage for a day and ditching the "Never Look Back" opening night where bands played seminal albums in their entirety. Not that the three-day event was without nostalgia: Sunday night, '90s indie-rock icons Pavement played their first local show in more than a decade, and Raekwon's Saturday afternoon set definitely dipped into the well of Wu-Tang Clan classics. That aside, this year's festival focused on the here and now, with performances by a who's who of au courant artists, from Sleigh Bells to Titus Andronicus to Big Boi to Dâm-Funk, sometimes with head-snapping shifts in dynamic. Blissful indie-poppers Beach House followed by the pummeling post-punk abrasiveness of Lightning Bolt?

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    Motion City Soundtrack Perform All Three Albums!

    Motion City Soundtrack are understandably feeling reflective. Not only is it the end of the year-the end of the decade-but the pop-punks from Minneapolis make their major-label debut next month with My Dinosaur Life after two albums on Epitaph. It makes sense that they'd want to look backward before moving forward. And considering the obsessive-compulsiveness frontman Justin Pierre often exhibits in his lyrics, it also makes sense that Motion City Soundtrack would go all out: three shows on consecutive nights at Chicago's new Lincoln Hall, each devoted to one of the quintet's three prior albums. It's the kind of move canonical artists make in their twilight; just three months ago, Steely Dan played three of their albums at the regal Chicago Theatre.

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    Freak Out: Devendra Banhart Kicks Off Tour!

    His hair long (but not excessively so), his face slightly obscured by five o'clock shadow (but not fully-bearded), and wearing jeans and a T-shirt underneath an open long-sleeve button-up, Devendra Banhart sang roughly half of his new What Will We Be (Warner Bros.) during a 90-minute set at Chicago's Vic Theater Monday night that doubled as a nice overview of his work to date. Songs from 2005's breakthrough, Cripple Crow, bookended the night ("Long Haired Child" opened; "Chinese Children" closed), with a few from 2007's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon and a couple deep cuts sprinkled in-between. This being Banhart's first tour supporting a major label record, he's perhaps feeling nostalgic for his one-man-and-a-guitar beginnings. Early on, his backing band disappeared so he could revisit a couple vintage chestnuts in solo fashion: "The Charles C.

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    U2 Dazzle the Senses at Chicago Tour Opener

    If U2's latest, No Line On the Horizon, didn't get people talking, the band seemed on a mission to make damn sure their U2 360° Tour -- which debuted Stateside in Chicago Saturday night (Sept. 12) after romping through Europe all summer -- did just that. Check out 10 awesome shots of the band's 360º tour here. Of course, how could it fail with its centerpiece: an enormous claw-like structure pierced with a towering, glowing spire hulking over a rotating stage and 360-degree screen.

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