...unity in diversity...
Hey, blogspot readers, music and art under roof ...it's I AM Fest 2010! Held at the legendary House of Blues, this rockin' one-day festival featured a wide variety of what's happening in local music as well as the unique and colorful in the art community. Sponsored by elbo Room and presented by Livenation and House of Blues, SouthSide and her daughters enjoyed browsing through the many artwork displayed by Gabrielle Lizette DuBois, Corryn Jackson and Jennifer Cronin. This reviewer asked a couple of artists how did they like this concept of bringing art and music together. Rachel Farr (wife of Bambi Raptor's guitarist, Gary)thought it was a "...great opportunity ...not many local fests do this..." Plus Polina Z, who worked with Andrew Coate before on a similar fest like I AM Fest, said she loves it. Blogspot readers can view Rachel's unique crafts and art at www.madameplatypus.etsy.com as well as contact Polina Zionts about her art at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was a minor change to this year's I AM Fest. Unlike last year which featured twenty-five live bands rockin' on two stages, 2010's featured a well-rounded lineup of ten bands. Two bands on the lineup were runner-up and winner of the recent battle of bands to be included in the fest. From alternative and instrumental/hardcore to dark electronica/rock and PB&J-making disco/pop, there was definitely something for everyone at the House of Blues. The Fest immediately got underway with a fiery bluesy/alternative rock performance by Eureka's own, The Bob Clymers (www.myspace.com/thebobclymers). SouthSide recommends listening to the haunting song Nightingale, in which the rhythms and instrumental will chill you to the bones. Next was this year's winner of the battle of bands, The Alaya Conscious (www.myspace.com/thealayaconscious). They wowed SouthSide's oldest with their instrumental guitar rock sound. She enjoyed how the music took her from one extreme to the next sometimes happening within the same song. Meanwhile Digital Mindy (www.digitalmindy.com or www.myspace.com/digitalmindy) rocked this all-ages show by performing new as well as classic favorites such as Popular and Mr. Agiator. SouthSide personally loved their new song, F*ck the World - very dark and it rocked with plenty of electronica/hardcore energy. Her daughters are still gushing about meeting the two principle members of Mindy - Nick and Jon Santiago.
Kelsey Montanez (www.myspace.com/kmontanez)behind a full band had a unique set in which three local artists created live art while she rocked the stage. This reviewer was impressed not only by her alternative/pop sound but her vocals. Check out her song, When I'm In Town that had this energetic feel to the music to get you dancing while listening to the lively rhythm. When the set was over, the artists created plenty of wow factor with their abstract works (SouthSide like the Venus with a boombox painting). Bambi Raptor (www.officialbambiraptor.com or www.myspace.com/bambiraptors), on the other hand, took art to the next level by appearing on stage as artwork themselves. Sporting colorful swirls of art on their bodies (probably to fit each member's unique personality), they also had more local artists painting while they performed. Check out their songs Gunslinger (the angriest of most Bambi's songs) and Greenology (for the rockin' reggae/ska sound) as well as Cos Play. The abstract art created during their set was also a major wow factor for this crowd. SouthSide liked the interchangeable sun/moon portrait. Jack In Space (www.myspace.com/jackinspace321)somewhat mellowed things down a bit after Bambi's set with some cool instrumental music. Think of this band as the "calmer" side instrumental rock with a Pink Floyd-esque sound which will float your ears away into the dark side of the moon. Even while semi-acoustically, Jack rocked the crowd on all levels during their performance. Check out their tribute to Sam Rockwell cleverly titled Sam Rockwell.
The Flavor Savers gained a new fan on Saturday after their House of Blues performance - SouthSide's eight year old daughter. She loved their ultra-cool dance moves and their hip costumes. Plus she was rockin' along with them to their suave disco moves ...yes, blogspot readers, they were the best dancers of the I AM Fest. She (the eight year old) says "...they were fun..." This band brought a lot of sexiness back to the stage especially during the song Daffidillo. Also check out their songs Mustache Ride and People. Find these songs and many more at www.flavorsaversmusic.com or www.myspace.com/flavorsavers. One a personal note, Romeo won the National Air Guitar competition this year representing not only the US but Chicago in the international competition. Meanwhile, Laser Love with The Heated Heat (www.laserlovemusic.com or www.myspace.com/laserlovemusic) continued the party atmosphere with trampolines and Chef Love creating delicious PB&J sandwiches. Everything a fun band needed to rock out this audience as they performed songs Mr. Belevediere and You're So Gangsta. SouthSide enjoyed this set better than what she first experienced last year. Laser had a tighter performance and was more focused on the music. Also check out their hilarious song, Cap-Sac.
Backed by the band, Treaty of Paris, Ryan Powers (www.ryanpowers.com or www.myspace.com/callisto)rocked the stage with an alternative/pop performance. Compared to last year's acoustic set, SouthSide feels both musical sides to this artist are equally great. She enjoyed one particular song in which he dedicated to his Mom and Dad. It was very touching ...heartfel and perfect for the occasion like I AM Fest. SouthSide also suggests listening to Ryan's song The Juggler. Closing out this year's I AM Fest was Matthew Alfano and his band Mason's Case (www.masoncase.com or www.myspace.com/masoncase). His performance totally rocked out the House of Blues with lots of energy and guitar/alternative music. Whew, this artist certainly had the audience fired up even while taking the sound down to a semi-acoustic feel. Compared to his acoustic headlining show last year, SouthSide liked this headlining set better and hopes he brings the full band again for future shows. It was just that damn good, blogspot readers.
Overall, I AM Fest 2010 was (in one word) SPECTACULAR! SouthSide cannot wait to see who rocks the stage in 2011. In the meantime, she highly recommends checking out all of the bands mentioned in this review. The music and fun didn't end at the House of Blues either. There was also an afterparty held at Elbo Room which featured performances by Sutured Psyche, Sonic Pistol and Dr. Kevorkian and The Volunteers. Despite not attending this fun party, this reviewer heard it was a packed house and the bands rocked out the stage in style! Now that's definitely another successful I AM Fest ...see you next year...
Until next time, support your local scene,