Thursday, March 5, 2009

19 Feb 09

Hey, Fearless fans, it’s the annual Rock Star Mafia showcase at Elbo Room! This showcase was designed to generate more fan interest in Chicago’s local music scene. And as you know, SouthSide’s all about supporting independent bands – near or far. Every Thursday night during the month of February, bands rocked the stage to be a part of a compilation CD. On February 19th, the lineup featured an eclectic range of music from techno/powerpop to classic rock and metal. The audience enjoyed sets by Ask You In Gray, Before The Sun, Basement, Three Years Hollow and Iron Vein. This reviewer recommends checking out Basement and their Animals cover of The House of the Rising Sun. Though she did enjoy Three Years Hollow, SouthSide noticed that huge woofer and amp sound overshadowed the vocals and percussion. Next week, she’ll cover Fearless band, Chester, during the final showcase.

“…imagine yourself flying in a space ship …then you’re done…” Ask You In Gray

These two guys brought a fun and poppin’ powerpop performance to open tonight’s lineup. Ask You In Gray had this reviewer dancing to their dual keyboard rhythms and programmed beats. They simply rocked the stage with pop lyrics and sound. It was reminiscent of the 80s pop music but with a modern space age feel. However the touch of emo during certain songs kept this grounded in reality. The audience delighted in the varying melodies which gave each song performed a different personality. For example, most of AYIG’s songs didn’t have that “happy go lucky” feel in the lyrics. There was some spite and angst too but with a techno beat. Yet the duo had energy and some fun freestylin’ dance moves to keep this audience grooving along with them. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this new wave of powrpop music by Ask You In Gray. Fans encouraged to join in fun whenever this duo performs again. For more information about this band, visit them at or

“…I got your meat locker, b*tch…” Before The Sun

If you enjoy your guitar rock loud with a classic sound, leave the earplugs at home and check out SouthSide’s friends, Before The Sun. This band packed what SouthSide dubs as “man balls” of rock music. There were no wimpy simple instrumentals or lifeless riffs, Fearless fans. It was fast, hard hitting cords and full of wicked instrumentals that grabbed you by the balls. This type of music truly pleased the audience during their set. Be certain to watch out for those sudden changes. They defined the tone of their songs taking you to one end of the spectrum and back. For example, listen to Fire in the Sky. It began with a Led Zeppelin feel and tone before quickly moving into guitar pounding rock. On the flipside, if you like your rock with fierce angst and frustration in the vocals, Before The Sun had that too. In Your Gawd or Haunted, Mike, the band’s front man, had the audience feeling the angst in his voice. Sometimes there was spite and despair slapped into our faces too. Yet no Before The Sun show would be complete until SouthSide heard her favorite, Wicked City, performed. This reviewer highly recommends getting your rock on with this band. For more information about Before The Sun and their music, visit them at

“…And I’m Mini Me…” Michael of Iron Vein

Iron Vein promised this reviewer a good performance. Good was an understatement in SouthSide’s book. It was HOT! After opening with Revenge, this was a band that came ready to rock! They didn’t need much to grab the audience’s attention merely allowing the music do all of the showboating for them. Thrilling them with lots of metal rock and instrumentals and having a good time on stage was simply enough too, Fearless fans. Now add vibrant song intros which got the blood pumping and rhythms fans could sink their teeth into. You barely have a tiny sample of what Iron Vein’s performance was like. SouthSide wasn’t use to ballads appearing so soon on a playlist but was impressed how that strategic move worked for this band. They weren’t dull or lifeless since there was spunk and energy to be found keeping the audience momentum high. She also noticed that their music didn’t blast your eardrums with a cluttered mess of riffs and changes. It had a subtle presence in their songs yet moving quickly before you even realized it was even there. This reviewer could go on and on about Iron Vein’s stellar performance at Elbo Room however she highly recommends checking them out yourself. For more information about Iron Vein and their music, visit them at

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.



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