"If you don't stick around for The Future Laureates, I'll wrestle you..."
Cobalt and The Hired Guns
There's no other like your own mother ...so treat her right
Hey, blogspot readers, this busy mom's rockin' out her Saturday night with not one but TWO shows! Tonight, SouthSide's hitting the streets going to two hot spots within Chicago's vibrant local scene where she celebrated a record release and then danced with the fashionable vampires til sunrise. And what an exciting (as well as busy) night it was during this latest On The Town adventure. First, this reviewer rocked Wicker Park's other hippest venue (that was once a Capone spot complete with hidden access tunnels), SubT (or Subterranean) while attending CAUDog's show featuring the release of The Future Laureates' Fortress Sessions CD. This amazing venue boasts a "crow's nest" view of what's happend on the main floor especially if reviewing the night's lineup performing on stage or if you want to get away from the crowd below. That's where you can usually find SouthSide, blogspot readers, up in the balcony and tonight, she was alongside with her longtime friend, Michael Teach of Chicago Acoustic Underground (http://www.chicagoacousticunderground.net).
CAU is every music fan's source for original indie music from across the United States and around the world. Michael and his hardworking staffers connects fans to the artists and vice versa through podcasts as well as music downloads, CDs and sponsored shows like tonight's. CAU's shows has showcased some of the best from singer/songwriters to full bands rockin' the local stages around Chicago like Brian Walker, Crystal Bowersox, Goodbyehome, The Future Laureates and more. Saturday's show was a record for SubT and CAU - a near soldout crowd thanks to hard work of the bands promoting this particular show. Also on the lineup in support of The Future Laureates' big occasion was Tree and friend Cobalt and The Hired Guns. SouthSide highly suggests rockin' the ears to the hip sound of "new" country/rock by the band - Tree. Lead by a dynamic female vocalist on guitar, this reviewer enjoyed the way this lively group rocked and rolled the packed main floor with upbeat tempos, rhythmic music and vibrant bursts of energetic momentum. Their style of country-folk mix brought a taste of hot summertime fun to SubT on a rainy night which also had this crowd demanding one more song when Tree's set was finished.
Then, SouthSide's friend, Cobalt and The Hired Guns continued with the night's rockin' theme of fun during their performance of alternative/pop/rock featuring an array of instruments in the band set up. The lively rhythms off the cello (at times), horn section and digital programming added those moments of boisterious music to pop the band's core alternative sound alive and kicking. However tonight, Cobalt added a female vocalist to the mix to counter as well as complement Tom on main vocals during certain songs featured off their upcoming new album. SouthSide, though couldn't physically hear her sometimes since she was overshadowed by the music, liked how her dynamic voice had the right range to be paired with Tom's heartfelt falsetto style during one particular song featuring a ballad-love song. The touching sentiments in between pockets of energy even while at the bridge where the music was intense to match the song's mood and tone could be felt besides being heard. Yet watch out, blogspot readers, when Cobalt and The Hired Guns truly get into the party mood while performing Of Summer. There's a wave of electro-energy and momentum flowing across the stage and into the crowd as they kicked up the vibrant bursts of music amidst an eclectic mix of alternative/punk rock sound. Yet what really surprised this reviewer was the band's switch out of their comfort zone into trying to be a straight rock band. And yes, Cobalt can actually be and have an ordinary rock band and sound when premiering a new new song as a test on the audience. Sans the horns and cello ...even without the digital programming, this band proved they can still rock the stage like a hardcore guitar rock band which also opens the vocals more. You can feel the emotional spite and fire especially Tom sang "...you never called at all..." - it was powerful but dynamic tone that gave SouthSide some shivers. SouthSide suggests rockin' the ears to More Than You Know and Like You Like Me Like Me as well as seeing them perform live again at Metro during their CD release show on June 16. This show will also feature friends How Far To Austin, Midwest Hype and Band Called Catch ...it's going to be hot 18+ show, blogspot readers. For more information, visit http://www.cobaltandthehiredguns.com.
After introducing Ellis Clark (producer of many CAU Dog Records artists' albums including TFL's Fortress Sessions) to the crowd packing the main floor, Michael Teach then introduced the honored guests of the night - The Future Laureates, blogspot readers. Even before hitting one note, the band first honored their own moms and other moms as well as thanking everyone for out to the show. Then, finally - they got down to the business rockin' out their headlining show with a BANG of music that featured an Irish whiskey song (Moonshine) and guests musicians like Christina on violin and Joe Redman on guitar. SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed the vibrant bursts of TFL's momentous sound (and there were plenty, blogspot readers) that kept everyone whether they were crowding around the balcony or on the main floor deep within the band's alternative/pop sound. And not only does this band excite musically but also vocally as proven in the opener Galahad's Song which ended in a round robin-like of harmonizing vocals seperately then together. Even the crowd has their favorite TFL band member to which they started chanting "James" during certain songs like Escape From the Shadows (featuring his bass solo). SouthSide doesn't know where to begin to say about the band, its music and/or the show because there were SO many fantastic moments that happened ...and she's amazed that she was able to jot notes and rock out with them at the same time. To fair, she did pick a few highlights that she feels were special in her opinion. For example, when performing Carry Me Away and Kingston Blues, TFL wonderfully demonstrated their bluesy side of their music via a ukelele inside a downtempo groove and intense falsetto vocals. Both songs not only had them dancing a tiny jig here and there but also had many in the crowd joining in the fun alongwith them, blogspot readers. TFL boasts an infectious rhythmic beat and upbeat tempos that will instantly grab you especially when adding some pseudo ska into the rhythms (Kingston Blues). And then having the crowd doing reggae moves (how low can you go under the limbo bar), this record release turned into a wild party! The next highlight came when the audience of voices joined with the band during their cover of Tom Petty's American Girl. Though this wasn't the only moment where you heard the crowd singing (Creative Differences), SouthSide picked this moment because of the heartfelt vocals on the lyrics while in a livelier upbeat tempo than its original counterpart. Still it was something to witness when hearing 99% of the entire venue in one voice singing this classic Petty song shaking the chandelier rafters of SubT. You had to be there, blogspot readers, to see and hear this moment. The other audience participation moment came during Crooked Third Wheel and the special hand clapping at the intro of the song ...plus more sexy dancing on stage. This reviewer will stop right here - she doesn't want to give too much away about TFL and their show. She does recommend rockin' their next live show and snagging a copy of Fortress Sessions. For more information, visit http://www.thefuturelaureates.com.
Until next time, support your local scene,