Tuesday, May 10, 2011

06 May 11

"...can you find a wife for my son?"
Jacques' (of Paper Thick Walls) father

Hey, blogspot readers, tonight's adventure was sponsored by the City of Chicago's Vehicle Management Service! No ...not exactly however SouthSide's latest On The Town venue has the most unique location out of all the venues she has visited so far. Tucked away near a Home Depot, a factory and other business, there's a venue known as The Hideout where many of the indie Americana to rock and even jazz bands come to jam since 1996. This place is quite cool and gets crowded fast (so it's best to arrive early if your favorite band ever performs there) because it's standing-room only inside the stage area. The Hideout has an eclectic yet unusual ambience and atmosphere within its walls - stringed lights on the ceiling and fish mounted around the walls ...old photos and other memorablilia in the bar area. Not your typical music venue scene but this place first opened as a tavern back in the 1930s so it does retain some of that nostalgia which was perfect for tonight's show. Rockin' the stage tonight was a lively Americana hoedown by Derek Nelson and the Musicians and a more subdued yet dramatic album release party by Paper Thick Walls. Both come highly recommended by SouthSide.

Don't be fooled by the subtle calm when this band first hits the stage to begin its set, blogspot readers. Derek Nelson and the Musicians kicked off the night with a powerfully heartfelt yet dynamic Americana/folk music show that instantly had this crowd wrapped inside its toe-tappin' sound. Yet it was the harmonizing vocals by Derek and Sarah which garnered SouthSide's immediate attention besides the lively sound and rhythmic tempo and melodies. These two vocalists truly brought the words within Derek Nelson's songs to life thus adding the right amount of instantaneous "feel good" vibe during this opening performance. And judging by the many wild catcalls and excited whistling, blogspot readers, this crowd was ready to party. Their fans were rockin' along ...enjoying the good old fashion hoedown as well as shouting their favorite Derek song between songs. Even while performing a downtempo song off Derek Nelson's first EP, the band's vibrant sound still remained but with the main focus on Derek's falsetto voice. The closing song, Oh Momma was another fine example of Derek demonstrating his dynamic vocal power under a semi-acoustic violin-driven tone. SouthSide enjoyed the retro rock-n-roll sound in Derek's new song, This Time Around, nicely incorporated into the lively Americana tempo. This particular song had an upbeat swing to its sound which (like the other performed) kept the crowd momentum fired up until an abrupt end though leaving them wanting more. Visit Derek Nelson and the Musicians at http://www.dereknelsonmusic.com for more information.

Paper Thick Walls, so eager to celebrate their first album release, took a more subtle, laidback approach to their headlining show, blogspot readers, as heard in the opening song, Yet that in SouthSide's eyes wasn't a bad thing but a smart move to wow the crowd with the live version of A Thousand Novels album. Like the opening band, Derek Nelson and the Musicians, Paper Thick also featured a dynamic duo with harmonizing vocals and natural chemistry wonderfully seen this time by Eric and Kate. However unlike Derek Nelson, this band's vibrant energy came from the heartfelt vocals amidst its Americana/alternative music and storytelling lyrics thus adding a dramatic tone to Paper's performance. Throughout this set, SouthSide did get the distinct feeling of "reading" a very long, well-written novel via the imagery emulated from the vocalists - Eric's deep raspy voice complimenting the chanteuse-like softness of Kate's. And don't think Paper only had an overly "serious" set either ...there were moments in which the band had this crowd excitedly rockin' along to their lively tempo and rhythmic swing ...sometimes having them waiting on bated breath for that Paper Thick bust of sound to permeate throughout the room. It's suggested that fans should listen to track 1 - old weathered wooden deck, track 3 - orange tree and track 4 - nyquil (definitely not a song about the cold medicine). SouthSide recommends listening to the title track - a thousand novels (track 5) and track 7 - portrait to first acquaint yourself to Paper's sound as well as hear how Eric and Kate harmonize drawingout the natural chemistry between them while singing. Oh in case you're wondering about the quote (at the beginning of this review), that's from an actual conversation SouthSide had with Jacques' father while Paper Thick Walls was setting up. Sorry, Jacques, SouthSide's already taken. Visit this rockin' band at http://www.paperthickwalls.com or http://www.myspace.com/paperthickwalls.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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