Monday, December 5, 2011

02 Dec 11

"...I love your hat's a very beautiful festive hat..."
Kevin Crafton to SouthSide during his Elbo Room performance

It's beginning to be a rockin' holiday season around town, blogspot readers! Friday night, SouthSide kicked off a busy weekend full of holiday-themed fun and music starting at Elbo Room. There she was spreading seasonal cheer to the management and staff while enjoying the Raptor antics and Bambi rock/pop sound on stage. Though this would be the band's last performance for a while, it was also a special show for her friend Bambi Ramptor debuting new songs (with one featuring Kenny on lead vocals) off their soon-to-be released third album. Before their set, this reviewer was told to expect something different during this outting ...something not their usual Bambi music and sound, blogspot readers. A little more artistic as well as creative and (perhaps bordering on the) contemporary side compared to their other hit songs like Cosplay, Greenology, Away We Go or FAQ from their two previous albums - Conception and Adolescene.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out singer/songwriter, Kevin Crafton (IN) and his new song Washington Promises (from his new album coming out soon). Written WAY before the Occupy whatever became a fashionable movement of the decade, this song definitely captured the 99%'s political views of what's currently happening inside Washington D.C. ...the very issues that's affecting everyong - no matter what side of the percentage point you are on which were passionately expressed within Kevin's falsetto voice off the lyrics. You clearly heard the raw frustration vented towards the politicians and their never fulfilled campaign promises of "change" amidst the vibrant acoustic sound. She also recommends rockin' your feet to his upbeat tune Alright Alright which pumped some excitable momentum as well as melodic retro rock feel inside the riffs wafting throughout the crowded basement lounge. That toe-tappin' rhythm was quite contagious, blogspot readers. Meanwhile upstairs, good friend Kelsey Montanez was rockin' the crowd as she opened for headliner A Thousand Julys. And though missing her acoustic performance, SouthSide highly recommends checking out this dynamic female singer/songwriter - one of two breakout artists within Chicago's local scene who can emit some powerful diva-tude of emotions from their songs. She will make you feel things that you never thought were there, blogspot readers. As this reviewer told Kelsey's stepmom, Liz, she sees a lot of wonderful things happening for this artist in 2012 watch out.

"...we've ALL seen the party room, Brian..."

If SouthSide had known it was a "formal" affair, she would have worn her (The Alley) tux t-shirt too to match with her friend Bambi Raptor, blogspot readers. This band was dressed to kill their loyal Raptor fans and audience with another rockin' performance that featured a few surprises and old favorites before taking a well-deserved hiatus from the dtage. Opening the show to FAQ and its energizing electro/pop sound, Roger (front man on vocals), Kenny (bass/vocals), Nick (drums), Gary (guitar) and Doug (guitars/effects) were ready and poised to rock out the main stage of Elbo Room with a momentous BANG! Bambi performed fan favorites such as Griffin (the Kenny emo screaming frustration in between Roger's calm falsetto voice on chorus ...also watch out for Nick's illuminating drumsticks) and Greenology (a fun ditty about nature within a pseudo reggae/ska guitar riff but not truly about that type of nature, blogspot readers). However, what really excited SouthSide tonight was the anticipation of hearing Kenny take on the role of lead vocals with the band during new song B.B's. This gave Roger a rare chance to amongst the audience while Kenny entertained the crowd with his unique yet monotone vocal style (with some screamo angst laced into chorus). His voice style totally worked this particular song amidst a sort of contemporary pop/rock music ...not the usual Bambi sound but this reviewer wholeheartedly enjoyed this new creative side to the "growing up" band. Other new songs featured in this performance included Alchemy and VPL (for some reason according to the band it's about Pinnochio ...who knows what lurked in the minds of these Raptors while penning this song). Plus there were surprises like a video shoot with working bubble machines for Border Patrol (which will be out in a couple of months) that totally energized their fans into a frenzy especially in front of the stage and a dedication to baby Jericho (the new Bambi Raptor coming soon to Gary and Rachel - Congrats, you two!) I'm Not Listening. And what would a Raptor show be without the fan sing along to Cosplay that features a small comedic bantar between Roger and Kenny. Yet the fun didn't end there until they were granted their first encore to which fans requested Alaska to close out this hot show. For more information about Bambi Raptor, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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