CHICAGO’S Prog-Rockers DISTRICT 97 to Release New Live Album “Screenplay” Including Unreleased Live Performance Featuring Late ASIA, KING CRIMSON Singer JOHN WETTON

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Chicago ever-busy prog-rockers DISTRICT 97, will be releasing a new live album, entitled “Screenplay”, featuring well over 2 hours of music across 2 CDs on March 26. Pre-orders are available here.

The album comprises all of DISTRICT 97’s critically-acclaimed “Screens” album performed live at Europe’s prog rock mecca, Boerderij Cultuurpodium, in October 2019. Additionally, the collection boasts a wide variety of additional live material spanning DISTRICT 97’s back catalog and covers ranging from John Lennon to YES.

Also included is a rousing unreleased live performance of “21st Century Schizoid Man” featuring King Crimson/Asia/UK legend John Wetton, as well as collaborations with other artists such as Dave Kerzner and Fernando Perdomo. Plus, there are two secret “encore” performances.

As a special bonus, a brand-new song recorded in quarantine called “Divided We Fall” is included on the new album.

‘…The world has changed in ways we never could have foreseen since we released Screens in October 2019. Touring has been rendered impossible, and thus we have been unable to share this music live with many of our wonderful fans. Before COVID-19 struck, we embarked on our UK & European Screening Tour. The centerpiece of each night was “Screens” performed live in its entirety. Fortunately, our show at Holland’s legendary Boerderij Cultuurpodium was beautifully recorded, and we are thrilled to present it now as part of “Screenplay.” There’s much more to this collection though: live performances of other DISTRICT 97 favorites, tributes to our musical icons, a brand-new song recorded in quarantine, and even a couple ‘encores’ (if you applaud long enough). Until we can be physically together again, please join us for “Screenplay”…’ says the band leader Jonathan Schang.

“Since I joined this band in 2008, one consistent bit of feedback I’ve received is that our live shows capture our essence as a band in ways that studio albums are not as able to, given the visual component of seeing us perform live mixed with the spontaneous musical ideas bouncing around on stage. We have been diligent about recording our live shows over the years and have been sitting on a mountain of live performances that we cannot wait to share with the rest of the word. Each song is an organism unto itself and in each performance, we bring with us the culmination of the tour thus far and lessons learned about each song in the process. We throw in tiny moments to keep each other on our toes, try new interpretations based on our current emotional state and communicate on stage in ways that are seemingly mystical at times. Being a band for as long as we have created a certain freedom to branch out on our respective ledges and see what happens when we put a twist on the familiar. I believe that our fans are in for a treat with “Screenplay”, both for the live performances and the brand-new song we recorded remotely as the pandemic rendered us isolated from one another.” adds the band singer Leslie Hunt.

“Screenplay” Track-listing:

CD 1:

  1. Forest Fire
  2. Sheep
  3. Sea I Provide
  4. Bread & Yarn
  5. Trigger
  6. After Orbit Mission
  7. Shapeshifter
  8. Blueprint
  9. Ghost Girl

CD 2:

  1. Divided We Fall
  2. Jealous Guy
  3. Snow Country
  4. Takeover
  5. The Actual Color
  6. A Lottery
  7. Termites
  8. Presto Vivace
  9. Back in N.Y.C.
  10. Travels with Myself-And Someone Else
  11. Fainting in Coils
  12. Long Distance Runaround
  13. Red
  14. 21st Century Schizoid Man (Live w/ John Wetton)
  15. Out on the Tiles

DISTRICT 97 is undoubtedly the most musically adventurous rock band in the world to feature an American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist. Since 2008, this quintet from Chicago has melded an adventurous, uncompromising instrumental prowess with the look, sound, and stage presence of vocalist Leslie Hunt. Through world tours and a stream of studio and live releases, the band has garnered a worldwide fanbase; collaborating with iconic singer/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia, UK) and drawing praise from Bill Bruford (drummer of YES/King Crimson/Genesis), Mike Portnoy (drummer of Sons of Apollo/Transatlantic) and other rock luminaries along the way.

DISTRICT 97 rehearses doggedly to refine their compositions, ensemble-playing, and stage presentation; their standards for excellence have only grown more rigorous with the passage of time. Their latest album “Screens” (released October 2019) and its accompanying live shows set a high watermark of composition and musicianship.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the band from innovating. Their Virtual Screening Tour and the stunning “Ghost Girl” animated short film have kept them at the top of the current prog rock heap. Watch the video below.


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