From an intimate Studio X set at the Cubby Bear on Friday afternoon, to a sold out show at the Vic Theatre that evening, Real Estate delivered two pleasantly memorable and diverse performances for fans on behalf of 93XRT. The cohesive ensemble proved their versatility through discussing their most recent record, In Mind, with 93XRT’s Ryan Arnold on stage at the Cubby Bear, and delivering a 16-song set list for animated fans at the Vic.
One of the most listenable albums of 2017, In Mind features more of the atmospheric indie rock aura that has continued to propel Real Estate to the height it has gradually garnered since their eponymous release in 2009. As Ryan Arnold mentioned to lead singer Martin Courtney on the Studio X stage before the band highlighted a handful of tunes from In Mind, the album is a beautiful listening experience from start to finish.
Even more impressive than the pleasure of listening to In Mind in its entirety is the way Real Estate is able to showcase individual tracks on the album in different contexts with as much effectiveness as their studio recordings. “Darling,” the lead single on In Mind, was just as solid and sentimental live at the Cubby Bear and the Vic as it has been through frequent airplay on 93XRT. This transcendent quality isn’t seamless for all artists. For a band that is as capable of closing out Coachella as it is performing songs in front of intimate crowds, Real Estate’s versatility increasingly stands out.
Although Martin Courtney has received individual praise in recent memory and from his 2015 solo debut, Many Moons, the way in which all of Real Estate’s members answered questions and addressed each crowd on behalf of the band at both performances further proved that Real Estate remains an individual yet multifaceted entity. As the lemony yellow lights occasionally masked the band on stage at the Vic Theatre, Real Estate allowed attendees to get individually absorbed by their sound without needing to be glued to the stage presence of each band member. Fans seemed to appreciate being lost in Real Estate’s atmosphere as many gently swayed through the set.
“Chicago always stands out,” bassist Alex Bleeker said as he thanked attendees at the Vic Theatre. While the Windy City repeatedly makes an impression on Real Estate, the way the band sentimentally resonated through each 93XRT set made for a memorable Friday.