Wednesday, October 12, 2011

09 Oct 11

Hey, blogspot readers, the busy weekend ends with a special On The Town review. Back at Elbo Room, SouthSide's there to welcome Swallows (MN) to Chicago and checking out their headlining debut performance. Also, sharing the stage with this organic rock/alternative band was Dr. Dolphin, Mama Dempsey and Yellow Jacket. This reviewer caught the end of this local band's performance and recommends rockin' along to its energizing yet vibrant guitar rock. She enjoyed Yellow's music that contained a classic rock-n-roll sound with a hint of blues (think Cream during its heyday) but with a modern twist to which the momentum will make you groove to the righteous beat. Carlo, front man on guitar and vocal duties, truly rocked the room vocally when performing Desert Light (written while serving in Iraq and was dedicated to the troops still serving) and a Hendrix classic (a rockin' soulful rendition that melted the mic). Besides putting on an awesome show, Yellow Jacket was also raising money for Play For Life Internationl ( in which the band was donating 20% of their earnings to this organization. For more information about Yellow Jacket and where they'll be performing again, visit

Dramatically haunting yet vibrantly melodic ...soulfully organic rock alternative sounds from Minneapolis - that's basically how SouthSide would describe Swallows after seeing their Chicago debut performance. This quintet of musicians captivated the audience with elements combining a sense of mystery and realism heard in the lyrics, harmonzing rhythms and intense momentum whether the tone was dark and moody or not. The organic side to this band's music came from the usage of ordinary household items as instruments like a small garbage can, a metal pipe and a kitchen strainer. These items used simply enhanced the percussion side the bass cello rhythms further deepens Swallows' haunting mystery during certain songs like The Devil's Hate and Come To Me. And the organ - at times added some soulful blues as heard in Medusa. A good example of all instruments working wonderfully together yet on somewhat opposing ends of melodies and/or rhythms would be Long Long Shadow that had a certain steady Native American tribal feel (off the cello and drums performing together). SouthSide does want to mention how front man Jeff (vocals/guitar) emotionally moved her with his intense vocal performance throughout this set. Looking over her notes, it was hard picking a moment when he didn't project a realistic tone or emotional expressiveness off the lyrics. His simplistic mantra-like chant "'ll come to me..." (during Come To Me) or the forceful "...I won't back down..." (during Medusa) were almost hypnotically enticing to the ears under his raspy falsetto voice. This reviewer recommends listening to the earnest plea of longing to go home in Home and the emotionally yet powerfully heartfelt falsetto of " over me..." in Eventide. Visit for tour details and more about this band.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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