Simon Doty’s Universal Language Tour at Spybar Chicago [REVIEW]

Simon Doty returned to Chicago for a headlining show at Spybar on April 21, and he proved once again why he’s one of Anjunadeep’s brightest stars.

When I first dove into the world of music journalism, I submitted a sample writing about “Tattoo” by Simon Doty. There’s always so much being made and produced that it’s really easy to get hooked on the next best thing, but “Tattoo” takes up hallowed ground in my psyche – and I’m happy to announce that I have a lot more music joining it from the tracks I just heard Simon play at his headlining show at Spybar.

The night started as it normally does, with me convincing my roommate and a friend to come to the show with me. We made our way to the venue early having done the requisite work to get in the right mindset. But in reality, we were not prepared for the entire production.

First up was Lucy in the Sky, and because I’m not very original I have to say that she put on a diamond of a show. Please don’t let that bad joke ruin what was legitimately a very good set. With only 3 DJs on the bill there were some extended sets at hand…and Lucy in the Sky was an absolute show stopper. Realistically, the opener is the one who sets the tone for the whole show, and Lucy did her job perfectly. So perfectly, that the next one to grace the decks – NAX – didn’t have to work very hard to carry that same euphoric and addictive baton that she passed on. 

NAX was definitely something else, and it was a massive surprise to hear some of the tracks he chose for the evening. A lot of it was music I never thought I would hear from anyone who wasn’t headlining. It just had that quality about it that comes from a true tastemaker, and NAX understood the assignment here. He flowed from one track to the next in a way I haven’t seen a lot of other people do, and it was during his set it really set in (sorry) that every moment of this evening was special for anyone lucky enough to hear what was going on. I gained a couple new artists to watch, and it was a blessing to hear all of this class before the person I was actually there to see!

Which brings me to Simon Doty. What an absolute gem of a producer and DJ, really and truly. From the easy smile that graces his face, to the way he goes nuts when he delivers an absolute gem of mix into his next track, he just has all that you want to see when you go to a club on a Saturday night. Of course, he played all of my favorite tracks: “Tattoo”, “Have You Ever”, “Follow Me” from his Universal Language album, and “Touch the Sky”, released after his last set in Chicago in 2022.

I had previously referred to Simon as a rising star in the game. But I was so far off the mark there, because Simon is a star ascendant. He’s here, right now. In a very big way. And I can tell you, he’s not messing around. He is a incredibly talented musician on a talent filled roster over at Anjuna, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. I know that I’ll be keeping a very close eye on everything he does from here on out.

Author: Andrew Ploeger

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