Glitter was thrown, hands and phones were stretched high in the air, and everyone was dancing the night away. The vibes at the W Hotel in Chicago last night were swanky, trendy, and electrifying. All thanks to the talented U.K. trio Years & Years.
Years & Years performed their first show in Chicago last night to a small, intimate crowd at the W Chicago – City Center as a part of their ongoing concert series W Music: Live. The band came out strong, immediately grabbing everyone’s attention with beats that basically demanded you to dance. The electronic trio has been getting bigger and bigger in the U.S. and you could tell they had a good cult following show up to their first Chicago show.
We chatted with a few fans at the event and they all couldn’t hold back about their love for Years & Years. “I’m in a puddle on the floor right now!” is how one fan, Jon Fav (@thefashionistud), explained his excitement that Olly (the lead singer) grabbed his Akira ring during the set. Another fan, Alex Harrison, said “He reached out for my hand! They were really amazing and you could tell they are real artists.” All the fans at the event truly had such touching things to say about Years & Years. They are a really refreshing electronic act. One that makes you dance and sing like you’re a little kid again.
By the end of the set the crowd was in for a big treat. The lead singer, Olly, gleefully announced to the crowd: “I’m playing one last song. It’s King. Get wasted or something.” To say the crowd went wild would have been an understatement. Everyone threw their hands in the air one last time to dance out whatever energy they had left. The show was a wild whirlwind of fresh, electronic vibrations.
Before their wonderful show, I was lucky enough to exclusively sit down with Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy, and Emre Türkmen in their swanky hotel room at the W. I noticed this was the first time the band has been in Chicago so obviously I had to ask them about what food they’ve eaten so far… they didn’t disappoint us Chicago. Check it out below!
STP: Welcome to Chicago! I hear it’s your first time here? What kind of food have you gotten here so far?
Y&Y: I think we went to Portillo’s? (laughs)
STP: No you did not! That’s the main place you have to go to in Chicago, so I’m glad you did!
Y&Y: Yeah we got the hotdogs and hamburgers.
STP: Nice, so tomorrow you’re playing a sold out show at Park West. It’s a great, small venue in Chicago. Do you normally like playing those types of venues or would you rather play a big festival?
Y&Y: Well, they all have their own thing. Festivals are cool because you get to play to so many people that you wouldn’t otherwise play to because they come for the festival. Or they are all there for Ed Sheeran. (laughs) But it’s really cool. I mean when we started we used to play to 50 people. And sometimes those can be far more intimidating.
STP: So you’re going to be on tour in the US for a while. What cities are you most excited to visit?
Y&Y: Actually this (Chicago) was a big one because we haven’t been here before. These are usually places we haven’t been. But we really like San Fran, and we’re excited to see Denver. What about the Grand Canyon, where’s that? …Not in Denver? (laughs)
STP: Well I’m sure you can see it on the way! Are you guys taking a bus the whole way?
Y&Y: Yeah we’re taking a bus.
STP: Have you done that before, or have you mainly taken planes?
Y&Y: Yeah a lot of planes. So many airports, we can tell you which toilets have the nice dyson hand dryers in them. (laughs) We don’t like the Xlerator ones, they’re too noisy!
STP: Couldn’t agree more! So, you guys have been blowing up recently. You even got to play the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. How was that? Is Jimmy the coolest?
Y&Y: Yeah he’s very lovely. A lot taller than we thought. We also got to play Late Night with Seth Meyers too!
STP: So no calls from SNL yet?
Y&Y: We wish!
STP: I feel like you’re going to get it sometime soon. You’re the perfect type of band for that.
Y&Y: (All chiming in) Well I’d hope Jim Carrey was hosting! Or Alec Baldwin, he’s the best. Or Chevy Chase!
STP: Are there any big pop stars that you’d want to collaborate with someday?
STP: (laughs) Shut up!
Y&Y: You don’t believe us? Yeah Pitbull and Craig David.
STP: But for real?
Y&Y: Well… (all thinking) would we ever collaborate with anyone? (asking each other)
STP: True, your music may just be too pure to collaborate on!
Y&Y: Thank you!
STP: So what is your favorite social media platform to use while out on tour?
Y&Y: Writing letters. (laughs) No actually we like Vine. People get really really creative on Vine.
STP: Speaking of creative, your album Communion came out a while ago. It’s really fantastic and I think everyone should hear it.
Y&Y: Thank you!
STP: Unfortunately, my boss Jess never heard of you before today…
Y&Y: How dare you Jess! (laughs)
STP: So the song I introduced to her was “Kings” since that was the first song I was introduced to. But what song would you recommend to someone who never heard your music before?
Y&Y: “Real” or “Memo” or probably both because one’s quite dancy and the other’s not.
STP: That’s a good mix! Well the first time I heard of Years & Years was because a friend of mine posted your video of “Kings” on Facebook and said “Watch out these guys are going to be big!” Do you guys get that a lot?
Y&Y: I don’t know! I don’t think so. I think it’s all pretty shocking. (everyone nods) I mean to come to the U.S., where we’re not from, and a bunch of people pay money to come see us play, it’s all quite humbling.
Thanks to W Hotels for giving us an exclusive interview with Years & Years as a part of the W Music: Live series. #WMusic
W Music: Live is a series of regular music programming which offers guests insider access to what’s new and next in music. Encompassing amplified and acoustic performances as well as DJ sets, W’s music programming has included performances by: Janelle Monae, Cee Lo Green, Ellie Goulding, Fitz and The Tantrums, Foxes, Jesse Ware, Banks, AlunaGeorge, The Magician, and more.