Happy Birthday, Kelsey...
"...tonight, we are young / so let's set the world on fire..."
Hey, blogspot readers, no threat of snow or wind can stop this reviewer from rockin' her weekend fun. SouthSide kicked off a long three-day weekend of local events with a two-night stay at her home away from home - Elbo Room. Tonight, she was there to celebrate a special birthday with good friend, Kelsey Montanez (who recently turned 21) as she covered both floors of this popular venue.
Upstairs, the audience was delighted to the soulfully dynamic yet sultry vocal styling by singer/songwriter, Bridget Lyons amidst an organic acoustic sound and feel. SouthSide enjoyed the lively mix of music genres incorporated throughout this set in which complimented the way Bridget would pop the lyrics to life underneath a fiery sound. She popped the upstairs with such fiestiness and powress in her voice that you were meade to feel each what she's feeling when writing a particular song. The music itself lent its own "voice" (besides Bridget's equally dynamic backing vocalist) to her songs that at times, the rhythms could be gentle like a lullaby as well as fiery temptress within the fervor of the guitar riffs. The percussion rhythms off the congo drum did add sparks of energizing momentum (and some Latin flavor) to truly liven up the stage, blogspot readers. Each of Bridget's songs were performed passionately yet staying within the poetic range of the words which spoke to the soul especially when the group added some blues and country to the mix. Though not liking the lull between songs, this reviewer was definitely fired up to hear more from this artist and the band backing her. And as special treat for the honored birthday girl, Bridget and band performed an extra special birthday song for Kelsey which fit the mood and general theme of the night.
Meanwhile downstairs, Erica Iozzo and her band were totally rockin' the basement main stage with their lively performance before good friend Kona Villamill of Trainwreck Symphony acoustically performed on stage. SouthSide has seen the entire band, Trainwreck Symphony, amplied and rockin' hard on stages around town however this was the first time to hear the same TWS songs under an acoustic vibe. And guess what, blogspot readers? The songs translated very well under an acoustic guitar sound yet more powerfully intense by the emotions attached to the words in which this reviewer had never felt before when they (the songs) were amplied. It was amazing how Kona under this intense vibe and setting would become more bodily animated ...expressive while on stage mesmerizing the audience with his performance whenever he felt the "spirit" of the song moving him. Each TWS song performed amidst the acoustic sound took on a whole new meaning and definition that wonderfully complimented Kona's dynamic falsetto tone espcially when performing a touching song dedicated to his sister. SouthSide immediately felt the love and concern he has for her ...advising that she never change and to stay true to herself. Another highlight of the night came when he performed sololy on stage covering The Backstreet Boys' Bye Bye Bye - loved how he took the original pop vibe and brought it down to a more personal level truly popping the words behinds the lyrics with his voice. Closing out this set, Kona paid tribute to a dear friend who was killed by a train while trying save another from committing suicide with his version of Hallelujah ...the most moving version SouthSide has ever heard, blogspot readers. This reviewer highly recommedns catching Trainwreck Symphony this Friday at House of Blues (in Chicago) on March 2nd.
Until next time, support your local scene,