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Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts Entertainment Chicago Illinois
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Justice Review

Thursday Oct 25, 2012.     By Jeff D. Min
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

photo: Jeff Min
It’s unseasonably warm out, and the streets are busy. Milwaukee Avenue in particular. It cuts across the city like always, a familiar street at an unfamiliar angle running its hand from one end of Chicago to the next. It touches the Congress. Justice is performing. It’s packed—easy to spot cause of the people pouring into the streets. All types: socialites, scenesters, hipsters, movers, shakers, and everything in between—ages and races be damned.

Inside, the Congress is packed—the floor smothered in beer, sweat, and dirt. It's wonderful. People are everywhere anxiously waiting. Above, on the balcony, curious VIPs lean over the railing enjoying the faces. But it’s hard to focus, each face is indistinguishable, one right after another until finally it loses all continuity, a blurred mosaic. All of them are waiting patiently.

The music softens, the lights dim. The crowd erupts. “Justice! Justice! Justice!” they shout. The closest voice is soft and dainty, a young girl rigid with excitement. Her voice gets lost in the chants, and she sounds bigger than she is.

The stage is silent. There’s a DJ booth, and on each side is a wall of speakers. Silent still, but the looming presence of those massive columns are loud and palpable. You can feel it. A stagehand removes the tarp from the yacht-sized DJ booth, revealing the Justice cross. The crowd erupts, stealing the oxygen from the air.

The cross illuminates and so does the crowd, a gorilla monsoon of joy. The shouts are indiscernible, but understood all the same. Nothing quite like it. And Justice wastes no time. They devour the crowd, ravenous. Grinding synthesized beats against ears, thundering bass smothering breathe, and drops defying gravity. The hit of each beat rattles the core, sound waves reaching from front to back. Every inch of the Congress is absorbing Justice in their own personal way. Up front faces blur, some incoherent and barely alive, others elated with joy as if they were staring into the heart of the sun. In the back people are dancing; flaying their arms, whipping their hair, lost in their own euphoria.

photo: Jeff Min
photo: Jeff Min

Justice transitions from one song to the next with smooth serpentine like grace. The crowd is engaged. Surprising because the light show is subpar compared to others. Still they move to Justice and are locked in as if caught within the fixed gaze of a skilled hypnotist. From front and center to back and in the deep recesses of the Congress people dance. Even outside as fans file out, there’s an air of excitement that resonates. Justice came and stamped themselves within the minds of their fans. At this point the name of their album comes to mind. Audio, Visual, Disco.

photo: Jeff Min


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