When Wil Foster (Rock Candy Photo) reached out to me at 9AM last Tuesday morning to hit up a show that night, I was apprehensive. But, the allure of catching a gig at the famous Double Door and, as Wil put it, of a “dark and creepy cool” night, triumphed.
The Double Door has been a Chicago institution since 1994, hosting a diverse line-up of live acts, from punk, rock and metal to hip hop, funk and soul. It was the perfect venue for my first-ever synthpop experience, with IAMX.
IAMX began in London in 2004, the solo project of Chris Corner, formerly of Sneaker Pimps. IAMX, now on its sixth studio release, Metanoia, has made its mark on the synthpop community and gained an international cadre of fans. The music is fierce, the lyrics powerful & the vocal talent captivating. What sets it apart, however, is the live show.
And oh, what a show. Corner embraces fashion and art to create a dynamic, engaging and challenging performance. Fog at live shows is nothing new, but when paired with the mind boggling number of lights and digital screens filled with art and imagery (the likes of which can be found in his videos), the atmosphere explodes.
Added to the actual set is the fashion. Corner himself is striking, haunting in a headdress and body paint as he commands the stage, in stark profile to the lights and the fog, but if you manage to tear your eyes off him for a minute, the accompanying musicians are just as unnervingly beautiful. The two women accompanying him rocked the Mother of London “Tural” belt set – sexy, intimidatingly cool and a little dark – just like IAMX. I’m dying to have one for myself – practicality in my day job, be damned.