Friday, June 25, 2010

19 Jun 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's back at the Elbo Room for another rockin' Saturday night of fun and music. The newly revamped upstairs lounge was host to another addition of Brad Cole's Acoustic Circus. This singer/songwriter extravaganza featured performances by Jenny Bienemann, Sarah Donner, and T-Bird Magera. Visit for next month's circus lineup and/or more information.

Meanwhile downstairs...

SouthSide took a journey on a the eclectic music side to review performances by Pandorum (jazz/world music fusion), Always The Villain (rock/alternative) and The Plastic Boots (electrified country/western rock). She highly suggests checking out Pandorum for its wondrous yet soulful ...heavily classical-inspired jazz/world fusion within a rock sounding repetoire. To put it very plainly, it was instrumental music which needed no lyrics to make you feel inspired. It would be the type of music if the great composers (i.e. Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Beethevon, etc) were alive and rockin' the new millennium with their wizardy of electronica sound. And with the lighting effects running in sync (thanks to Pep), Pandorum's songs such as A Change of Seasons and Madrid seemed to explode to life each time a note or riff was played. Also SouthSide has to make a special mention to Hannah Ford on drums. She was smokin' hot rockin' the kit that kept the music poppin' within its vibrant rhythms. SouthSide did enjoy Pandorum's cover of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time but felt the vocal singing took away the awesomeness and beauty this instrumental cover presented to the audience. For more information, visit

Tonight, they weren't the bad guys with rockin' music like theirs. Always The Villain rocked the Elbo Room crowd with their self-titled CD Release show. SouthSide was told before the performance began that it was nearly an hour from start to finish when performing all 13 tracks. What surprised this reviewer was the complete turnaround in ATV's rock sound from the last time she saw this band a year ago. They didn't quite lose the "man balls" rock (as she like to dub their music because the hardcore guitar sound would grab you by the balls) feel and tone heard within their songs. Oh no, it's still in there but not much of a focal point in their core rock genre. The "new" ATV has a slight pop sound (due to the addition of keyboard rhythms) yet retains an alternative rock groove with an edgier feel (due to the guitars) in the music. So, blogspot readers, ATV at any time any moment can switch from pop/alternative to a hardcore man rock at the slightest whim. Not saying it's a bad thing but it shows this band's willing to be more diverse within their music and song. And this self-titled CD Release performance demonstrated just that. SouthSide suggests checking out track 2 - Andy (for its keyboard rhythms which doesn't overpopulate it into a poppy song but the guitars keep this song within its edgier tone Billy's vocals project plenty of vocal angst) ...track 4 - What It Is (louder ...angrier than ATV's previous songs before this one rocked the crowd with its energy and vibrant sound off the riffs) ...and track 11 - Twilight (not about sparkly vamp wannabes not with the bluesy sound off the harmonics found in this song the downtempo feel in the music gave it a darker tone and sound *shivers* - real vampire-like music). SouthSide highly suggests checking out Always The Villain as well as snagging a copy of their self-titled CD. For more information, visit or

SouthSide found The Plastic Boots and its electrified country/alternative sound quite interesting, blogspot readers. This trio exploded onto the Elbo Room stage with bursts of vibrant energetic sound with their opening song though needing a smoother finish at the end. This reviewer enjoyed the soulful vocals rockin' the microphone in which was fueled by the music itself - plenty of passion and fire to be heard and felt from both band and vocalist. This exciting combination kept the audience momentum riding high and hungry for more after each song. TPB had the type of music/songs that made you want to groove to their electrified country two-step slide especially during the instrumental bridges. Plus, there were moments in which the guitars fed this lively audience a dirty guitar vibe off the riffs ...just how this reviewer likes her country music sometimes. And it wasn't just straight country either, there was a bit of blues and western to appease the eclectic fan of both. Overall, SouthSide highly suggests checking out The Plastic Boots for its rockin' electrified country sound that will have you demanding for more. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

18 Jun 10

Hey, blogspot readers, let's get ready to rumble!

You have front row access to WGN's Breakthrough Battle of the Bands at the fabulous Elbo Room Lounge! This was a two-round knockout "fight" between pop/alternative Aubyn Beth and 80s pop/rock Workout Music. Both - very strong contenders in the local scene however there can only be one crowned as winner.

Whom did the fans and judges pick? The final decision will appear at the end of this review.


Round 1

Aubyn Beth ( exploded onto the Elbo Room with a BANG however the vocalist did not. While this band had a vibrant rockin' sound, her voice seemed to be too soft and didn't match the music quite well. It could have used more umph to make it pop as Aubyn's sound did.

Workout Music (, as seen previously at Elbo Room and other venues around town, came ready to make everyone sweat while rockin' to their 80s inspired pop rock music. And this reviewer literally means the word "sweat" when it comes to this local band. There was plenty of energy heard (and felt) from Workout's songs that it created wild fan momentum (watch out for flying confetti and glow rings) during this round.

SouthSide's Analysis:
This round definitely went to Workout Music not only because they came out strong but fast with a one-two punch of rockin' music for this audience. Aubyn Beth had a good beginning however SouthSide wasn't really feeling that pop/alternative rock sound. It didn't have much juice to get her interested.


Round 2

Aubyn was ready this time and didn't hold back any "punches" in this round. SouthSide noticed the band seemed more relaxed and comfortable on stage as well as in front of the camera taping the competition. However, Aubyn still didn't have that spark of energy to include the crowd into their music. It wasn't finally felt until their last song, Get Out, in which the female vocalist had umph in her vocals that this reviewer expected in the first round. Now she was poppin' and sizzilin' along with the band while projecting a bit of emotion into the lyrics.

Workout continued the party without missing a beat, blogspot readers. Performing songs like Work It Out and Save You Not, this band kept their fans singing and dancing along with them as well as hogging camera time. Despite missing the trademark bubbles, this reviewer enjoyed the paper substitute which fueled more bubbly fan momentum. Workout even took SouthSide's previous suggestion to heart and added more cowbell to their songs (yes, she's a cowbell fanatic ...thank Blue Oyster Cult and Christopher Walken for that). Whew, it was certainly one sweaty workout for fans ...and the best one SouthSide has reviewed so far.

SouthSide's Analysis:
It was a strong showing from Aubyn Beth however it wasn't enough to clinch. Workout Music nailed this one without having to put much effort into their second round set. Had Aubyn's vocalist popped with a more energetic song in the first round, then there would be a need for a definite tie-breaker to decide on a winner.

Congrats to Workout Music for becoming WGN's Breakthrough Battle winner. They closed out the competition with Don't Stop and the ever popular fan fave Ain't My Jeans.

Blogspot readers can watch footage and highlights of this battle at

Until next time, support your local scene,

12 Jun 10

Hey, blogspot readers, history was made Saturday night at the Metro! And SouthSide was there to witness it! Local rockers Echo Son and Lucid Ground made their debut performances as opener and headliner respectively. Prominent members of the music scene (i.e. Arma, 72 Hours, Chester, etc.) were also there to share in this momentous event with them. However, first Katz Company and Otter Petter opened the lineup rockin' the stage with their sets.

SouthSide enjoyed the fun energetic summertime music that Katz Company ( and Otter Petter ( or brought to the stage. Both bands presented their audiences music of a lively pop/rock sound yet Otter Petter was more on a rock/alternative level than pop. This reviewer liked the vibrant groove and danceable rhythms in their songs such as Don't Delay by Katz and Rest of the World by Otter. She highly suggests checking out both bands this summer in which you can find Otter Petter rockin' the stage on July 24 at Six Flags Great America (in Gurnee, IL).

The moment had finally arrived for Echo Son ...excitement was riding high for this band. Yet they rocked the Metro like seasoned pros. Echo's debut performance had lots of energy ...some screamo (mainly for vocal emphasis on the lyrics) and a nonstop vibe in which kept this audience rockin' along with the band. In SouthSide's opinion, it was one of their better shows she has reviewed. They truly released their inner rock demons throughout this set especially during Black For Gold (dedicated to BP - SouthSide will let that BP reference slide ...for now). Besides performing other songs such as TSR (Tramp Stamp Runaway) and Chi-Town Girls, Echo debut a couple of new songs, Call Me and Hear Me Now, for tonight's show. Ladies, watch out for the smooth vocals (by front man Brynn) on this that seduces the listener deeper into their sound. This was the moment where the subtle sexiness and body language (only for this reviewer) reigned supreme even while pumping some vocal angst over the microphone. SouthSide also liked Hear Me Now for its wicked guitar riff intro before taking a downtempo pace to allow the vocals to shine. Though there was fire and passion felt in this song, she didn't like that music completely overshadowed the vocals during the chorus. Still it was an awesome song ...and expects to hear of these two in future shows. SouthSide highly suggests checking out Echo Son when they rock stage at North Beach. For more information, visit or

Coming off a fantastic video premiere last month, Lucid Ground was set, pumped and ready to rock out the Metro lineup. Featuring songs like Shaken Crown (check out their video for this song), Salvation and Further Down, these rising rockers gave it all in front an audience of family, friends and fans. What SouthSide liked about this band (besides its retro rock tone) was the way Karl (Lucid's front man) pumped his emotions into the band's lyrics. Even while the music took a downtempo pace, his voice shined emulating heartfelt tenderness as well as projecting some hardcore angst ...sometimes at the same time. And the music, blogspot readers, perfectly compliments his vocal style. Though sporting a three guitar rock sound within this band's set up, one would expect something more edgier and hardcore. Yet, Lucid keeps their music at a mid-range between the rock/alternative level but who knows perhaps they will surprise fans with something harder like a metal album. SouthSide highly suggests checking out this rising rock band making lots of noise within the local scene. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

11 Jun 10

...have I ever told you guys 'I love you'... ~ Digital Mindy

Hey, blogspot readers, nothing like an all-day celebration to put SouthSide in a party mood. Chicago has yet to stop celebrating since winning the Stanley Cup and don't expect anyone to stop anytime soon.

Tonight, the Cubby Bear was rocked by performances from Digital Mindy, The Branded and Kazy with Rotovox opening the show. Fans enjoyed the hardcore music and blazing lighting effects that complemented this set. This band's sound had the heart-pounding feel of thundrous metal rock off the rip-roaring guitar riffs especially during the instrumentals. They wowed and thrilled the audience with an electrifying show keeping everyone vibin' to the Rotovox momentum heard in each song. SouthSide enjoyed the hard hitting rhythms ...the rise and fall of crescendoes that burst into explosive sound ...the epic-ness of their songs like Erosion that she could bang her head to. Also listen very closely and you might hear some Led Zeppelin influence within a song or two inside the intro. She highly recommends checking out Rotovox at their next show. For more information, visit or

Meanwhile, it was a rough night for The Branded during their Cubby Bear debut. Though it wasn't as stellar as their world premiere a month ago, the guys were able to pull off a decent show for their fans. This performance contained a few new surprises ...some old standards as well as bumps and bruises in which SouthSide is sure they will fix before their next outting. What made this a rough night for The Branded was the stage set up - it seemed a tad rushed and disorganized that one of the televisions didn't work properly for most of the set. The song lineup remained the same as if they were performing at the Elbo Room. SouthSide was expecting something more than the same set playlist which follows The Branded's EP song list. Plus the vocals were not up to par. On the bright side, she did enjoy Chris Shen's (The Branded's bassist)commercial as a Tiawanese singing sensation, Willy Sherman before performing Dirt. Overall this band still rocked the stage with other songs like Let Me In and the ever popular Drug Pizza despite Brian (The Branded's front man) flubbing on the lyrics. Expect more The Branded programming happening at a venue near you soon. For more information, visit or

Though priding itself on being a different kind of rock band, the late start to Kazy's set had SouthSide (and fans) a little impatient. Still this dark emo band rocked the Cubby Bear with its energy and electrifying sound. With song titles like Blown, Choke and Breathe, Kazy performed under the dramatic flare found within its themes, emotional angst as well as lyrical rap/hiphop and vibrant hardcore music which features an electric violin (usually not found in a band like this one), blogspot readers. Think of them as vampiric but nothing like that sparkly Twilight stuff these rockers are hardcore to the max. Fans should check out their INXS cover, Need You Tonight, where Kazy flipped it out of the pop/rock zone into something more haunting ...dark and very ultra hot. There's a bit a sexiness heard in Rich's (the front man) vocals on the lyrics to this song some added sensuality when there's an electric violin playing as the hidden guitar. *fans self* Yes it was that hot. SouthSide suggests checking out Kazy at their next show. For more information, visit or

They just want to be Popular! And yes, they are, blogspot readers. It was great seeing Digital Mindy back on stage performing as headliner to close out this Friday night show. SouthSide also liked the new members joining the band like the keyboardist which frees up Nick to solely concentrate on vocals as the band's front man. He certainly did put a lot of himself onto the lyrics that brought out more emotional angst heard in the vocals. Performing songs like Conclusion, Pretty Prentious Drama Queen and Mr. Agitator, SouthSide has never seen Digital Mindy rock the stage with this much energy before ...she even could see that the band was having a fun time too. The fans near and around the stage were soaking up every last drop of the Digital Mindy momentum especially during Popular and their Nine Inch Nails cover of Closer. It got very freaky for this reviewer being sandwiched between The Branded and Inn Cinema. It was an exciting comeback for this local band and she highly suggests you check them out when they rock the I AM Fest at House of Blues in August. In the meantime, visit them at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

06 Jun 10

...let's do this sh*t, motherfudgers... ~ Illusions Fate

Hey, blogspot readers, this is Vyolet and Sunday ...and we're seizing control of this On The Town review! Our busy mom, SouthSide, recently took us to an all-ages show held at Reggie's Rock Club. The lineup featured punk/metal/screamo performances by Vera Cruz (Paris, France), Atomize and Illusions Fate with Amorallous opening.

The local band from Pilsen neighborhood called Amorallous didn't impress either us with its screamo/metal set as tonight's opener. SouthSide noted saying "...the front man and his vocals were too soft spoken enthusiasm in getting the audience excited for their music ...sounds nervous to be rockin' the Reggie's stage..." We the test audience agree with her assessment of this performance. Sunday and I found this band to be very boring while they performed on stage they sounded like any other emo/alternative group. There was nothing unique or interesting about them. The music was bland however the screamo guy was the only thing likeable about Amorallous (as well as the only person we could actually hear over the music). Sunday says "...they weren't cool..." - wow, that's coming an eight year old too. I say "...even the hip emo kids didn't want to mosh to their music..." plus "...I finished a new song with chorus ...that's how bored I was..." Sad to say, blogspot readers, Amorallous didn't pass our inspection. For more information, visit or

Atomize had the hair swirling and rockin' momentum for plenty of head-banging action during their performance. We, the test audience, felt every hardcore riff from the energetic music unlike the band before them. This band rocked with a loud nonstop BANG ...the front man put a lot of himself into Atomize's sound which generated excitement for us during this kid-friendly show. During songs, Get The F*ck Down and Get The F*ck Out, Sunday and I watched the wild moshing happening below us while the band thrilled the audience with its thundering guitar sound. During Lifeless Entity (featured on their myspace site), this song had us rockin' to unexpected changes luring everyone deeper into the extreme metal rhythms. Sunday had a fun time and says "...the band was amazing..." I (Vyolet) say "...they were pretty awesome ...kept my heart pumping like crazy and I liked the energy of the band..." SouthSide agrees what we say about Atomize and highly recommends checking them out whenever they're rockin' the stage again. For more information, visit

Oo la la, the French have invaded Chicago, blogspot readers! Vera Cruz exploded onto the stage with bursts of energy and music that instantly fired up the venue. This trio were wild and crazy ...and we, Sunday and I, like wild and crazy. We also liked the nonstop rock momentum which had our heads banging to Vera's metal/screamo sound. We were totally loving the rockin' vibe from the angst heard in the front man's vocals to the moshing with the audience near the end of their set. C'est magnifique, according to SouthSide. I agree saying "...J'adore Vera Cruz ...not enough words to describe the uberastic band rockin' the stage ...they remind me of [another similar band] System Of A Down due to their political/emo tone in of Vera's songs..." This test audience totally recommends checking out this band whenever they're rockin' the stage while on tour. For more information, visit

...possession is 9/10 of my cock...

Finally, Mom (SouthSide) had a chance to cover a full review on Illusions Fate as they celebrated the CD release of The Ghost of Maya. According to her, she liked the vibrant metal/screamo tone of this band's music that came with thundering guitar riffs in each song. Joel (front man on guitar/vocals) impressed her with his emotional angst poured into the lyrics to get that hardcore screamo effect heard at the right moment for vocal emphasis (for example, The Dying Anthem). Yet when the tempo and sound was taken down a notch, his natural vocal range shined with some heartfelt tenderness yet still retaining his deep throaty screamo. Also she says take notice of Illusions' metal sound which may seem a bit laidback ...not usually typical for this type of band. However for this band, metal fans will be able to hear the fire and energy within their songs. She suggests listening to Lost In Space (for its psychedelic/alternative rock sound) ...Stain (for the wicked guitar intro and solo at the instrumental) ...and The Dying Anthem(SouthSide's favorite song). Now our turn about Illusions Fate - Sunday only had one word to say about them "...AWESOME..." meanwhile I say "...the highlight of my night ...had me dancing so hard that my neck aches from head-banging to their music ...better than most of the mainstream music I'm so accustomed to..." Also I would like to add "...Dying Anthem was a rockin' hardcore beat ...enjoyed the dark-tastic lyrics ...expect lots of phenomenal energy and 'in your face' fun from a Illusions show..." Yes, blogspot readers, they definitely passed our inspection and come highly recommended. For more information visit

Okay, Mom can have her blog again ...we, the test audience, shall return soon with another On The Town review by us.

Until next time, support the local scene,

Friday, June 11, 2010

05 Jun 10

Hey, blogspot readers, not even a warm stormy night can stop SouthSide from rockin' with bands. Tonight, the beat took her back to the Elbo Room for funk/R&B by Funktion and eclectic country from the futuristic Cowboy & Indian. Before joining fans downstairs, this reviewer spent quality time at the upstairs lounge. A fun and lively acoustic performance by Dustin Welch was entertaining the bar scene crowd. Traveling the road from Texas, this singer/songwriter was making his way to Wisconsin for a music conference. This reviewer enjoyed his double set of vibrant acoustic/rock which also included a couple of Americana songs whenever he played the banjo. The banjo rhythms added a country/hillbilly sound that could also be heard in his sweet Texan accent vocals. However while playing the acoustic guitar, Dustin truly brought out the fire ...angst and sometimes tenderness to the lyrics. The words had a clear vivid imagery under his vocal style making those (who were listening) feel the emotions as he was. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Dustin wherever his travels take him next. Or simply visit or

Meanwhile downstairs...

It was a mixed bag of music performances rockin' the Elbo Room main stage all night long with one performance SouthSide honestly cannot recommend. She had problems during Four Finger Five's set that it left her confused and exhausted from the long-winded instrumental bridges. This band from Michigan had a strong beginning of R&B/soul yet somewhere in the middle it became twisted ...lost and way off rhythms with sudden electric rock chord changes that didn't seem to make sense to their opening song. And this wasn't the only time SouthSide noticed the strange genre/chord switchups to FFF's songs. It happened throughout the entire set, blogspot readers. Another prime example, another song began with a lively reggae/ska sound then it jumped to a Pink Floyd-esque chord change pumping hardcore guitar riffs somewhere in the middle and finally back to its original reggae/ska beat in a subtle downtempo groove over the lyrics about peace and war. It was war alright while trying to listen to FFF's instrumental bridges that were too long on the ears and quite unnecessary since every member of this trio went on their own music trip before re-joining together again to close out the song. This is great and all that however try to do it without boring SouthSide to sleep. She knows it was meant to excite and titillate its audience when actually the repetitious strumming of the same chord (off the electric) can lose their interest super fast. FFF oversaturated their vibrant music with so much that this reviewer couldn't enjoy or feel what was vibin' off their whatever-it-was rock sound - believe this reviewer, there are no words to describe Four Finger Five's sound. For more information, visit

Funktion rocked the Elbo Room about four months ago which truly impressed this reviewer with its vibrant funk/soul/rock sound. For tonight's set this band took more of a somber approach instead of a rockin' bang. This didn't get SouthSide excited and/or vibin' to the Funktion groove when opening to Next Time. Still she enjoyed the eclectic variety of genres as well as instruments represented to get everyone into their music. For example, she loved the sweet docile tones of the flute floating within Make You See ...getting funkified to a reminiscent sound of P-Funk during Funk Year ...or rockin' to lyrical rap/hiphop and a HOT saxophone solo during Do For You. SouthSide's favorite song, Step Into It, had everyone trying the Funktion electric slide along with the band. This also had (finally) the audience feeling the electrifying groove they came see and hear from the stage. It was that spark of vibrant music explosion this reviewer had to nearly wait and expected from this band though feeling it was done too late into the performance. Funktion performed their latest Elbo Room set way too safe ...that laidback beginning somewhat killed it for this reviewer. She suggests lost the somberness and open with a BANG as heard in the closing song, Better Dayz. SouthSide does recommend checking out Funktion at their next show wherever they're funkifying the stage again. For more information, visit or

And now for something completely different ...and not from this millennium either, blogspot readers. SouthSide means different as in it wasn't what she was expecting from Cowboy & Indian but that doesn't mean she didn't like and/or enjoy the set. Their music had this pop sound (from programmed beats) under a country tempo and rockin' bass. Or better yet - this was how Brett (on bass) described the duo's musical style "...experimental/country from the future..." SouthSide was not only mesmerized by the Cowboy vibe but also by the powerful female vocals of Indrany. Her voice reminded this reviewer of Stevie Nicks - deep ...raspy but full of heart and passion. She lured the audience with her docile yet vibrant siren's voice into their music in which one could visualize the imagery of the lyrics if they merely close their eyes. That's what SouthSide did for part of their performance while enjoying the gentle bass and techno/electronica rhythms. It was the type of music that kept this reviewer hungry for more of the 80s pop inside the Cowboy country sound. SoutSide suggests listening to Time and Money as well as Lift and Draw (an awesome downtempo song almost acoustic-like with only a bass playing solo - no progamming). The highlight of this performance was the sultry taste of Indian folk dance movements during the instrumental - adding fire and passion to the closing song. It certainly warmed up the chilly basement lounge, blogspot readers. This duo thoroughly impressed SouthSide by captivating her with sensual music and vocals ...highly recommended. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

04 Jun 10 the beginning, there was only the band... ~ Chester

Hey, blogspot readers, the weekend has arrived! And once again, SouthSide's busy rockin' the beat at the Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) for the Lowlight Productions Showcase. Put together by Karl Hafner (of Lucid Ground), this showcase featured six hot upcoming performances making noise around Chicago's local scene. Other prominent members of the scene such as Oui Si Only You, Kazy, Riot Inside, Echoson, Model Stranger, Lucid Ground, The Branded and many more showed their support for tonight's artists performing. The all-star lineup included Arma, Chester, Visionaire, Red City, and The Prep School Tragedy with Adriana Ramirez (and special guest) rockin' the stage.

The audience was treated to a lively acoustic performance by Adriana with special guest, Matt Mullen accompanying her. SouthSide enjoyed her powerful vocals and "from the heart" lyrics heard within her music. She rocked the stage performing originals such as Stop Caring, I Kissed Your Face and I Like To Know You which had an energetic tempo keeping many fans dancing to the beat. Adriana shined vocally while covering a newer Belinda Carlisle cover - it brought out the power within this singer/songwriter's voice(sans the guitar) while Matt played the guitar. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Adriana Ramirez at her next performance whenever she's rockin' the stage again. Fans can befriend her on Facebook.

Next, Arma and Chester wowed the audience with their opposing spectrum of psychedelic/metal rock sound. During Arma's performance, fans felt each and every guitar chord waifing throughout the venue while watching Taylor (front man on vocals) groove to the vibe on stage. And when that vibe does hit him, he gyrated ...danced (think Jim Morrison of The Doors) all over ...and you will feel like doing the same too as their music flows in your veins. SouthSide highly suggests listening to their new songs Vista (lots of thundering, heart pounding guitar riffs and percussion then ending with a powerful instrumental bridge) ...Co-existence (watch for sudden change ups that take your music experience into a whole new level of sound sometimes not knowing where the notes will take you is part of the Arma journey) ...and Borders (don't let the somber opening fool you - just a prelude to the explosion of crescendoes heard within the guitar riffs). For more information, visit or

Meanwhile, Chester didn't have a zombified act tonight but they did dress and rock like rock stars on stage. These bunch of hard rockers dazzled and amazed with lots of head banging music for its fans. This reviewer liked the addition of another guitar which gave their sound a deeper edge to its metal music causing a mini mosh pit to form in front of the stage. Jordan (front man on vocals) truly pounded the mike with some hardcore screamo as well as a bit of lyrical rap during one song. SouthSide highly suggests listening to Chester's Good Day To Die (killer guitar sound) ...Home (thundering, head-banging metal rock) and Walking Into Traffic (which closed out this performance with a BANG though being more sentimental than their other songs). It was a fun rockin' time watching these guys performing again. For more information, visit

Now SouthSide enjoys the funkified music of Visionaire. However she felt something was lacking and/or didn't pop during their Cubby Bear set. Still she grooved to the lively funk fusion that incorporates some R&B/soul/rock and everything else to make their music sound so nice. And music like that did get the crowd dancing and moving to the funky rhythms. Yet as SouthSide mentioned earlier something didn't pop and it was one of the female vocalists (the short one). Her vocals didn't have enough umph to be heard where this reviewer was sitting. She could barely hear her above the music that it seemed ESean (MC on vocals) carried most of the vocal weight. This reviewer doesn't know if she was nervous but she should relax and groove to the Visionaire vibe. Also their Rage Against The Machine cover, Housin' may be a fan favorite however SouthSide felt it's overdone since it was heard at every show she's reviewed. Plus there were times when she couldn't hear the saxophone off the monitors. This reviewer suggests listening to Living It Up, Running With Scissors and Stand Up. For more information, visit

...we're Red City and you [fans] f-in rock...

Now it was time for SouthSide to get the Led out with Red City. This band blew her away at the Elbo Room a month before and she wondered if lightning could strike twice at the Cubby Bear. For this performance, Wags (front man on vocals) had plenty of room to put more of himself into Red's rockin' sound. And like Taylor (of Arma) while hitting that rock zone, watch out, blogspot readers - Wags certainly tapped into the essence of Led Zeppelin. Believe SouthSide when she says this about the young vocalist ...according to him, this is what he lives for - rockin' hard for the fans. Even while the awesome sound of Red City took a downtempo pace, their front man absolutely shined as he poured out the sexy charm in his voice. It seduced as well as lured the audience deeper into the band's sound especially when he hits the raspy wail over the mike. And let's not forget the band behind the front man either. Whew, what an energetic, high velocity performance they had while rockin' the stage! SouthSide had chills crawling down her spine feeling each pulsating vibe off the guitars. Everyone near and around the stage was definitely experiencing the same ...the hard hitting chords of a gradual crescendo rise ...thundering rhythms of the drums and that was before Wags wowed us with the voice during the closing song. Red City blew our ears away until the very last note. Check out the spirit of rock-n-roll as it lives on with this band each and every show when they rock stage. For more information, visit or

This was no prep school SouthSide has ever attended ...or seen live on stage. High School Musical this was NOT! It was a tragedy and this reviewer loved it, blogspot readers. Opening with her favorite song, Seduqtion, The Prep School Tragedy faculty and cheerleaders rocked the stage with an energetic feel of punk/electronica/pop/metal (and whatever they could toss in there) mixture. Besides this song, she also suggests checking out Be My Abortion, Thought I Toldja (another SouthSide favorite) and Step Into The Night for its energized beats and rock rhythms combined. At times throughout this performance, hardcore TPST fans were thrashing and moshing all around the front area of the stage. So be careful or you too will be caught up in the throes of their wild dancing. And it got equally crazy and wild on stage too while Tran Q and Ignited pumped excitement to the audience. SouthSide liked the fact that TPST was all about having fun and putting on a rock show for the Cubby Bear. The painted zombie faces and cheerleaders as well as a variety of rock genres (i.e. crunk, lyrical hiphop/rap etc)kept the performance lively and unique. This reviewer loves shows like this one - the eccentric and unusual. Though being the raunchiest show ever reviewed so far in 2010, not to worry, blogspot readers, SouthSide highly recommends going to class at The Prep School Tragedy where fun and rockin' music is always in session. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

02 Jun 10 just got blasted... ~ The Action Blast

Hey, blogspot readers, there's excitement in the air tonight! Chicago's drenched in Blackhawk (hockey) fever since they're going for the (Stanley) Cup! Go Hawks!

SouthSide's rockin' the beat at the Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) for the Jamboree Battle of the Bands. This competition pitted four local bands for the final slot in Q101's Jamboree 2010 happening Saturday. Fans rocked the ballot box by voting between Seven Day Sonnet, A Hero Named Hope, The Action Blast and David Costa. The winner will be revealed at the end of this review.

As a favor to the band, Oscar (of Kazy) stepped in as guitarist for tonight's A Hero Named Hope performance. This local band exploded onto the Cubby Bear stage with a BANG of vibrant energy and sound. However, SouthSide had a difficult time enjoying this opening set. She couldn't hear any of the vocals above the rockin' music which at times sounded as if they were straining their voices to be heard on the mikes. The only time she was able to hear was when the music took a backseat for a moment after the instrumental bridge. Though AHNH's sound was on fire, SouthSide was left somewhat confused. There was a mesh of multi-genres represented (from pop to metal/screamo) that it was hard to distinguish what this band wanted to be. Even during one song in which the screamo/lyrical was off thus messing up the drum timing. Despite being a short performance tonight, SouthSide (along with the test audience) will be reviewing a full AHNH performance when they rock the Metro stage on June 25th for MOB Fest. For more information, visit

This next band had plenty of action that was blast to review, blogspot readers. The Action Blast rocked the Cubby Bear crowd with head-banging music fueling the metal monster inside everyone. SouthSide enjoyed the energy flowing from their sound as well as a touch of screamo at certain moments for vocal emphasis. TAB definitely had this audience feeling what was being rocked on stage via the lyrics and music throughout this set. Even taking the momentum down a notch, this reviewer stayed within their energetic head-banging groove ...and it kept her hungry for more. SouthSide also liked the charismatic charm of TAB's front man workin' the stage hard while pouring out the emotions during each song. This reviewer suggests checking out Only Seconds off their current CD which blasted her away with its guitar sound. Despite this being a short set, she's looking forward to a fuller performance to review next time. For more information, visit

This next band not only combined rap/hiphop with rock but also religious and political themes. David Costa's performance was quite interesting for this reviewer even though she's not a fan of rap/hiphop. This band exploded onto the stage but the music was overpowering that it drowned out the two lyrical MCess. They were certainly spreading the "message" however there were moments when the the religious tone oversaturated the rockin' music. And by the time David Costa reached the middle of the set, most of the crowd wasn't really feeling what they were vibin'. It wasn't the religious experience SouthSide was expecting as stated by Local 101 host. She did enjoy the political themed song about the current state of the economy in which a dollar isn't worth much. She also recommends listening to the title track of their upcoming album, Starving Artist (due out later this summer). Despite liking the fusion rockin' the venue, SouthSide found David Costa a bit too preachy ...true they had mad skills on the mike but it would be better if they also sang some of their lyrics. For more information, visit

...we're Seven Day Sonnet ...and we're here to end you f-in night right...

It's been a long time since this reviewer last rocked with Seven Day Sonnet. And after seeing their (short) Cubby Bear performance, all she could say was - WOW! This band rocked out the Q101 Jamboree competition with a solid BANG of hardcore guitar sound. Benji and the guys lit up the venue by opening their set in a powerful stance of screamo and loud guitar riffs. Fans enjoyed the hard-hitting rhythms being pumped from the stage that SouthSide felt what vibin' from the music. The guitars thundered and roared while Benji poured out the emotional angst over the mike thus sparking that momentum to the fans. Yes, blogspot readers, Seven Day ended the night with explosive energy and passion especially during fan favorite Jamie. SouthSide suggests listening to The Butcher off their current CD. This song rocked their arses off pounding the guitar riffs into each chord which had heads banging to the beat. Yet this was merely a taste of what this band was capable of while performing on stage. SouthSide highly recommends checking out a full Seven Day Sonnet show whenever they're rockin' the stage again. Be prepared to be energized by the guitars and Benji's vocals. For more information, visit

Winner of this competition was David Costa which totally surprised SouthSide as well as everyone else there. She feels it was really between The Action Blast and Seven Day Sonnet. And you can quote her on that.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

29 May 10

... tonight's show was brought to you by the word "it" and the letter
"a" ...and by subscribers like you

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the beat on a Saturday night with Sonic Pistol! And you should too!

This local band rocked ...thrilled its audience with awesome head-banging music that fuels the metal monster in you. There was plenty of explosive guitar sound in which SouthSide literally felt vibin' from the monitors. Even the twittering riffs will dazzle the ears and get fans moving to the rhythms especially during Mister Hand (a song NOT about masturbation). Yet surprisingly it wasn't all metal rock by Sonic Pistol, blogspot reader. They shocked this reviewer with an alternative/rock song titled Disappear during their opening set. It was quite interesting to see as well as hear a metal band tackle a song/genre way out of their "normal" element. Believe it or not - this absolutely worked for Sonic Pistol. The guitars within this song took the momentum and tempo down allowing Kurt (Sonic's charismatic front man on vocals) to shine. Redline was also another fine example of how versatile this band's music can be. When listening to this song, think 80s hair rock than metal. With music like this, SouthSide found something noticeably lacking - the audience. In her opinion, it seemed they weren't truly feeling the excitement and/or the rockin' instrumental bridges heavily laced with fire and energy that Sonic was pumping into the basement lounge. They have everything a potential rising band needs to be seen in the local scene but not the one thing it needs the most. They need to find a way to get their fans more involved as well as grab the attention of first-time listeners.

Besides having a cool rockin' sound, Sonic Pistol has one more thing in which SouthSide liked about them. She enjoyed the featured attraction of Kurt and his raspy vocals full of angst (and sometimes screamo). He was a pleasure to watch as he poured his emotions ...his heart over the mike thus making the audience feel what he was feeling off the lyrics. Yet watch very closely and sometimes you don't really need to hear the lyrics during certain songs because his body language does the singing for him and the band. This reviewer found it easy to "read" what the song was about by observing his facial expressions and/or the way he would "act" on stage. For example, she enjoyed the live version of Load in which Kurt truly poured out the emotions and charm fans. His "acting" brought the words to life thus turning the song into a dramatic piece rather than an ordinary rock song. Or listen to Sonic's new song, 9 Miles To Empty, where SouthSide clearly heard the angst in his voice while singing "...walk this mile with me..." He was really letting us have it on this song his all that he melted the microphone from the outpour of hot emotions. Disappear was another fine example in which you almost feel (and hear) him crying during this ballad.

Overall, blogspot readers, it was a rockin' bang of a performance by Sonic Pistol. Though needing more to stimulate their audience (instead of at the end of each song), this band certainly knows how to put on a rock show - it has the versatile style and music and the front man who pours out his heart as well as the charm. SouthSide highly suggests checking out this band at their next show. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

26 May 10

...what the flood, man...

Hey, blogspot readers, happy hump day!

SouthSide's around town on a Wednesday night hanging with her good friends, Seratonin Telegram. They recently rocked the Elbo Room stage with one hot performance full of energy in its music and deep vocal emotion on the lyrics. This was one Seratonin set in which Chris (front man on vocals and guitar) truly poured out the fiery chops into each song. Whew, SouthSide had never heard him work the mike like that before and she hopes he continues this trend at their future performances. Such vocal style certainly stirred up the bursts of momentum and vibe felt within Seratonin's eclectic rock sound especially during opening song, No One Gets Ahead.

Fans will enjoy how this local band experiments with different rock sound and music genres ...sometimes combining certain genres at the same time with their music influences. There will be moments when Seratonin tickles the ear with a bluesy/jazz tone or get your head banging to its psychedelic wave. For example, check out their song - When The Flood Comes For You Pt 1. Listen closely to the somber guitar opening this song and you might get the distinct feeling of a pending rainstorm of sadness and sorrow is headed your way. Then, listen to the lyrics - will feel the same emotion despite the energetic bursts (lightning and thunder) during the chorus. By the time you reach the instrumental bridge, there's an explosive boom of heavy "rain" off the guitars as well as hearing the "rain" of angst/frustration from Chris on lyrics. The image alone, blogspot readers, doesn't really describe what SouthSide's favorite song sounded like live on stage. Also check out Villian With A Thousand Teethh for its Sugar Loaf's Green-Eyed Lady riff heard throughout this song but with a Seratonin twist or Checks & Balances for its Pink Floyd influences heard off the electric guitar. The highlight of Seratonin's performance came when the band performed 68c. The eclectic clash of music led up to the pseudo-rock/blues/alternative/emo sound which also fired up the angst (off Chris on lyrics) for this song. SouthSide felt every ounce of the pounding beat flowing in her veins that literally had her feeling sorry for the person whom pissed Chris off.

This reviewer highly recommends checking out the eclectic rock fusion of Seratonin Telegram - expect to hear plenty of vibrant music as well as unconventional genre combinations. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,