Goodbye Tomorrow :: Live (Review)

What a way to cap off 2015: in general as a concert-goer, and for my favorite new artist of the year — Goodbye Tomorrow.

The anonymous collective from Chicago broke out in a big way this year, releasing their first album signed to the indie label Rostrum Records and landing on seemingly every Best New Artist list from Rolling Stone, to SPIN, to Pigeons & Planes.

Entering their year-end Live Beta Test Tour, only hitting the three biggest markets in the country (L.A., Chicago, and NYC… tomorrow night 12.22), the natural question became: how will an anonymous artist, first thought of as just one person and then eventually a group, perform without their faces being seen?

Answer: Well, you can tell from the latest in amazing photos from @WhoDough above. Goodbye Tomorrow performed behind a stage-wide, floor-to-ceiling screen which contrasted their silhouettes over a selective, ever-changing set of visuals. Those visuals were the next extension of their instagram and videos, namely “JAY Z” and “The Way”, and were in sync with the music, lyrics, and down to the movements of each person.

In fact, though Goodbye Tomorrow truthfully boasts that Goodbye Tomorrow is Everyone, the performance featured a trio: the rapper/singer in the middle, a producer/DJ/singer/hype man on the left, and a keyboardist on the right.

The combination of all of the above elements created a true, never before seen experience.

* * * *

Outside of the obvious above, this wasn’t an ordinary hip hop show because Goodbye Tomorrow created an engaging film score to bring their album to an entire new level, again in combination with the visuals.

The intro, though we later found out in talking with the artist didn’t even go as planned, appropriately hyped up the crowd and Goodbye Tomorrow with some slow, eerie sounds setting the stage for “JAY Z” and the group’s Jay Z to appear for the first time. The energy and anticipation was palpable, then quickly turnt up after the die-hards in the first row started mobbin’ to the first song. (In fact, we found out a group of fans drove all the way from Iowa for this show!)

The recently released “2 Many” soon followed and the rapper was able to match the song’s break-neck pace and lyrics, and deliver it with clarity, especially in an engaging first verse. Seeing this song live jumped the song to another level, and it wasn’t the only one to do just that.

The set continued, with no intermissions or pauses to intro the next song… just a continuous flow of sound. The keys made each hook bigger and I would have loved to hear even more melodies in solo form to take home some of the outros of the many fan-favorites from AJTTMOANB. Said fan-favorites included “Pray 2 God”, “100K”, “NoOne or Nothing” (sans G Herbo, but with the singer also on the hook) and “eXplosions”.

All of these performances contained, honest to God, gooesbump-inducing visuals that perfectly aligned with the artist, music, and lyrics.

Example: My phone video won’t do the sound justice, but the last verse of “eXplosions” ends with the line “Socially I’m with the S.Q.U.A.D., dreaming of Prague, praying to God”. The screen went completely dark for a few seconds, then turned back on for the “praying to God” part, where the rapper delivered the line in that pose.

Photo: Sgt. Tibs (Frame 1)

Photo: Sgt. Tibs (Frame 1, side angle)

Photo: Sgt. Tibs (Frame 2)

Photo: Sgt. Tibs (Frame 2, side angle)

These moments were a refreshing reminder of why I go to experience live music in the first place. After noting the multiple moments like these where I got chills, I just shook my head at the potential of the Goodbye Tomorrow show when it emerges from “beta” form. Imagine a raised stage above the crowd, with an even bigger screen, bigger visuals. And that’s just off the top thinking compared to what these guys have continually come up with in their brand to date.

New York readers, I strongly urge you to catch the closing date tomorrow night (Tuesday, 12.22) hosted by Pigeons & Planes. This was truly crazy. And fitting that it came to the hometown on the same night Star Wars premiered. Some of the crew immediately jetted to the midnight premiere after the set, hah!

If none of the above convinces you, perhaps some video will. We’re cutting some up soon so stay tuned for that too..

Photo: @InvisualMP for @gowherehiphop

Photos above/below: @InvisualMediaPro for @gowherehiphop

p⃗eÅ͓ce⃔ nøt ¢͢om͒p͎r̈øm⃔ise͛!̣

A photo posted by @goodbyetomorrow on