Hey, blogspot readers, let’s rock the weekend! SouthSide’s hitting the streets to cover two hot shows in one incredible Friday night. First, she’s checking out part of the action at Wrigleyville’s Goose Island Pub where her frieind, Andy Metz and his Meddlin’ Kids ...yet on this night, they weren’t meddling anymore. They’re now Hero Monster Zero! Don’t worry, blogspot readers, only the band name has changed ...not the eclectic, energizing mesh of hardcore guitar rock and lyrical hip hop. Though briefly there at Goose Island before having to leave, this reviewer enjoyed the intense performance of boisterous riffs and thundering pound of percussion rhythms. Even while taking that same momentous energy down a bit, there was still plenty of energy and life to be heard as well as felt especially within Andy’s (front man on guitar) vocal tone of angst and frustration. There were fun moments of experiencing a lively rockin’ jamboree or perhaps some rock/alternative when in a downtempo rhythm that pops with vibrant sound, blogspot readers, before getting into the lyrical groove of Hero’s fusion of hardcore guitar rock and hip hop/rap – both to which was executed nicely. It’s a fast pace type of Hero show whenever the band easily flows in and out of their eclectic mesh up to the delight of their fans who get to enjoy the best of both musical worlds (and then some). Sadly, SouthSie wished she could stay til the end of Hero Monster Zero’s debut performance but she had to make the mad dash across town to Schuba’s Tavern for Xoe Wise’s headlining CD release show. For more information, visit http://www.andymetz.com.
Now at Schuba’s and rumor has it that Mayor Rahm’s in da house! Well, blogspot readers, that’s NO rumor ...Chicago’s mayor was in fact at Schuba’s enjoying the local lineup as well as snapping photos with tonight’s headliner, Xoe Wise, before her performance. This set, however, was completely different from the last time SouthSide saw this singer/songwirter. Tonight for her official CD release of Archive of Illusions, this artist performed not as a solo acoustic act but with a full band. This move definitely captured a different sound and feel of her music and vocals, blogspot reader, in front of this “standing room only” crowd. Comparing the intimacy felt and experienced when she’s performing as an acoustic singer/songwriter to what was seen tonight, this reviewer in her honest opinion sadly preferred Xoe as solo artist. Despite liking how vibrant and alive her music sounded with the full band backing her, her songs also lost the personal touch and feel from a songwriter that SouthSide enjoyed. It would have been better if there were more acoustic originals to highlight how dynamic her vocals could be yet she was sometimes overshadowed by the band. Case in point, her cover of Mazzy Star’s 90’s hit, Fade Into You. This reviewer liked Xoe’s take on this haunting melodic tune but she and her docile voice were seriously drowned out by the music as well as the idle chatter heard throughout the venue. The crowd chattering was so loud she wondered: a) how Xoe was able to hear herself sing and b) how the crowd could take notice that she was singing when no one was really paying attention to her and the band. The downtempo crawl of this particular cover song being sung as a ballad was a tad lifeless and too slow though popping with a few sparks of life at the instrumental bridge. SouthSide also wasn’t particularly “crazy” with Xoe’s other cover song performed earlier into the performance – the Blonde/Rick Springfield/Carly Rae Jespen mesh up featuring her friend Erin Walker joining her on stage. This reviewer tried her best to get into the lively switch from 80s pop to millennial pop done in a blink of an eye but it wasn’t doing anything musically for her to enjoy. Granted, SouthSide understands this was Xoe’s first performance with a full band but it was truly not her best. The CD release show though featuring lively country/folk alternative rhythms or heartfelt downtempo sound didn’t capture majority of the crowd’s attention and/or interest (SouthSide included) due to the minor miscues and song choices for her set. This reviewer still recommends seeing this singer/songwriter but as an acoustic artist only. For more information, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.xoewise.com" http://www.xoewise.com.
Until next time, support your local scene,