Nero Kicked Off Tour Superbly At Concord Music Hall

Nero kicked off their fall North American tour in Chicago last weekend, and it was one of the most anticipated shows that the city’s Concord Music Hall had seen in a while. Chicago sees a lot of regularly touring and local DJs, so often times shows lose their luster, but Nero was a breath of fresh air. The group hadn’t come to the area in a few years, so die-hard fans were itching to get their fix, and they did.

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The beautiful Alana Watson started off the show, immediately demanding the stage. Her sheer black cloak attached to her at the wrists, every move was as dramatic as her voice. She opened with a single from their latest album and left the stage for Daniel Stevens and Joe Ray to take over behind the decks, their silhouettes taking the back drop against a bright white LED wall. Their sound was undeniable and easily recognized. With such a unique balance of their own brand of synth and UK dubstep, it was incredibly refreshing to hear the true Nero once more. The crowd was hungry for more, and they got their fill, the energy was undeniable. Alana came onto the stage only during the songs with vocals, allowing Stevens and Ray to lay down the bass. Bouncing back and forth between dance heavy tracks and epic ballads, Alana had a few outfit changes. The changes in wardrobe reminded one of a pop star, and the entire show was truly a performance. The DJ duo moved from silhouettes behind a video wall to full bodies at their equipment in the front of the stage, with Alana in the center. When “Promises” began, Chicago lit up their phones to document the famed single off of Nero’s debut album. The group worked together flawlessly, Alana looking back at her accompaniment for cues and a few looks that seem to say, “Hell yeah!” After dropping several new tracks, the show seemed to end too quickly. Concord was still buzzing even after Nero’s final tune, the crowd left aurally in awe.

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What has made Nero so unique from all the other electronic acts is their ability to embody both the electronic/DJ and band aspect of a live show. The group took turns playing both sides of the spectrum. Alana came onto the stage and took over the area as well as the crowd. Through the outfit changes, the theme of a black cloaked Valkyrie with sheer wings, her booming and flawless voice carried through Concord Music Hall, hypnotizing the audience. If Nero comes around your area this fall, be there. Dates listed here.

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Ashley Cizek

Went to school at UW-Madison, graduating with a BA in psychology. I hula-hoop, I write, I enjoy sunlight.

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