Tuesday, January 10, 2012

05 Jan 12

...need some A/C in this [place]... ~ Midwest Hype

Hey, blogspot readers, Happy New Year! It might the end of the world (according to the Mayan calendar) but SouthSide's going to rock it like she did in 2011. Welcome to 2012's On The Town first review with her. Tonight, this local scene queen and party girl kicked off another long year of rockin' adventures within Chicago's vibrant indie scene and more at Schuba's. This popular Lakeview venue/Irish pub was the place to be for hot soulful sounds of funk-tastic R&B/Groove/Jazz/Ska fusion performances by Funktion (MI) and Otis opening for Midwest Hype's DayGlow Record Release show.

Opening this night of partying and fun was the funky vibe mixed inside the lively rhythm and rockin' horn section (providing a bit of cool jazz during certain songs) by SouthSide's friend, Funktion. Immediately this ensemble of hip musicians electrified the stage with a vibrant wave of cool rhythms and melodies that had the crowd grooving to the beat. It was SO smokin' hot Schuba's didn't need to keep the heat on for the rest of the performance, blogspot readers. Matter of fact, the heat was turned way down for the rest of the night. Everyone was thoroughly warmed up while listening to Funktion songs like I Ain't Cheatin' and Bounce (which featured a lively dance move amidst the lyrical hip hop/rap verses). The band turned up the heat a notch when performing a couple of new songs Work Ya Body (more dancing to the sizzling R&B rhythms and groove that will keep the body "bouncing" to the beat of this downtempo song) and Trigger (SouthSide loved the funkatized space theme flowing through this rockin' song in the electricity had this crowd truly feeling Funktion's disco funk - think Parliament Funkadelic but with a little jazz and soul). This reviewer also recommends taking a fantastic voyage while getting funkified to the band's soulful groove hear within the instrumental bridge of Change and despite not performing it - listen to Step Into It (another lively dance number in which Funktion's smooth R&B/funk feel and sound will definitely have you stepping into the groove with them). For more information, visit Funktion at http://www.funktionmusic.com.

Continuing with tonight's music theme, this next band featured more of that funktastic hip soul/ R&B sound however with a touch of jazz and sultry female vocals (by Jessica). Otis impressed SouthSide with not only intricately fitting all seven members comfortably on Schuba's rather small stage but also the vibrant sound and melodies which lit up the entire venue. It was a hot combination, blogspot readers, when having music and a powerful yet soulful voice rockin' the stage together like Otis had. This reviewer was extremely happy for the heat not being on and for the fans being on because it was a little steamy inside with the crowd dancing to the music especially during the band's second song. After opening the set on an upbeat note, Otis took the tempo down a bit to highlight not only its slow R&B/Groove but how dynamic the band's chanteneuse could be when upping the charm and vocals. And there was another time when she displayed a sultry voice that defined the tone and mood of an Otis song. While performing new song, Lately, Jessica and the band really slowed things down but keeping sparks of energy within the horns and groove thus turning on that sultry charm and soulful style on the lyrics. It was the perfect song to rock a Steppers' move or two amongst the other dancing couples. SouthSide also recommends rockin' a groovy move or two while listening to Limits and closing song Slave Ship (which had this crowd really bouncing on the floor ...and the instrumental piece Break Out which features plenty of lively melodic music by the band. For more information, visit Otis at http://www.otis.bandcamp.com.

You can definitely believe the hype about this band, blogspot readers, as the guest of honor finally took the stage at their party. Fans thoroughly bouncing and grooving to the opening acts were ready for more as Midwest Hype electrified the venue with a hot fusion of soul/reggae/ska/electric rock and more during the headlining performance. Yet compared to the other sets, this one had a noticeable unique style in which SouthSide enjoyed. She liked the laidback atmosphere that brought out the philosophical side of this band's lyrics - the words if you listen very closely are quite meaningful and inspirational (at times) yet quite relevant to this millennial generation. If you want to find the real Occupy (anything) concerns and message, you'll definitely hear it within Midwest's lyrics. Performing songs off the new album Dayglow, this band delighted the packed venue with the hot island sounds of reggae/ska fusing it with other genres including lyrical hip hop/rap and electric rock. The music constantly kept bodies moving, shaking and grooving to the rhythmic beat ...a taste of summertime fun and music during the winter. Opening with That's My New Style, this reviewer enjoyed the poetic floetry of Sunrise (Will End My Night Tonight) and others like track 3 which took the party atmosphere down a notch to allow Midwest's R&B/Soul side be spotlighted though not slowing down the tempo one bit especially those dancing near the front of the stage. SouthSide had a rockin' time with Midwest Hype feeling the inspiration and music flowing in her soul, blogspot readers and she highly suggests you feel this vibe too at their next show in Muncie, IN on Jan 21st. For more information, visit Midwest Hype at http://www.reverbnation.com/midwesthype.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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