Chicago Is Next : The Demo Sessions

Chicago Is Next is a musical narrative about the next civil war in the year 2039.

Four people have been hiding in the Chicago Avenue subway station of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line to protect themselves from the military maneuvers on the surface.

The show is a sequence of 18 songs/scenes in two acts with virtually no dialog, and the action takes place in a 24-hour period.

PLAY ALL on YouTube

You can listen to the entire show in its present form on YouTube (lyric videos of private demo recordings), and you can download the audio for your phone or other device on Bandcamp.

Think of the YouTube playlist as a podcast or radio play but with subtitles. It’s very phone- and tablet-friendly.

These demo sessions were never intended to be released. Their purpose was only to demo the song to performers, and to outline the story for potential producers.

But as of today in March 2020, Chicago’s current citywide quarantine situation has certain parallels in the storyline. This suggested that perhaps this narrative, even in its unpolished state, could be interesting to a wider group of people who are experiencing a different form of urban lockdown.

Optimal listening

Please remember that these are demo tracks for a work in progress. There are questionable engineering choices as well as outright mistakes in the recordings, but the goal was to get across a sense of the entirety of the show.

Here are some recommendations for a better experience…

Put your headphones on — Or use the best-sounding speakers you have, on your TV or tablet or phone or bluetooth thing or whatever.

Turn the volume up — The vocals are easier to understand with the volume up.

Play full screen at night — The lyric videos are dark mode and perform best at night or in darkness. Besides, the creepy quarantine quality of an abandoned subway station is easier to imagine and inhabit when you’re sitting in the dark with your headphones on.

“Play all” — The entire show on YouTube is a 70-minute playlist. There are two acts, with ten and eight songs per act, respectively. Play all now.

Take an intermission — The break between the acts is clearly indicated in the playlist, so you can pause playback and find a restroom or a bourbon, just like you would in a real theatrical situation for which you were paying real money.


Get started:

PLAY ALL on YouTube — play the show from start to finish.

YouTube – Chicago Is Next : The Demo Sessions — complete lyric video playlist with individual scenes.

Bandcamp – Chicago Is Next : The Demo Sessions — complete downloadable and streamable audio.

Thank you for listening.

Chicago Is Next : The Demo Sessions
Released March 24, 2020

All instruments, samples* and voices: Michael Vitali

*Additional sfx, textures and samples from Apple Loops and Freesound.

Music, lyrics and text
Copyright 2020 Michael Vitali
Ascoli Music (ASCAP)
All rights reserved

The Red Line of the Chicago Transit Authority