...in 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 www.armamusic.com or www.myspace.com/armamusic.
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 www.myspace.com/gochester.
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 www.myspace.com/visionaireband.
...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 www.redcity.tk or www.myspace.com/redcitychicago.
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 www.myspace.com/theprepschooltragedy.
Until next time, support your local scene,