Friday, August 24, 2012

19 Aug 12

Hey, look up in the sky! It's a bird ...a plane ...nope, it's an F-16 buzzing by again at the speed of sound, blogspot readers. It's Day 2 of Chicago's Air and Water show and the clear blue skies are abuzzed with planes of all sizes and eras from World War II bombers and parajumpers to the famous Blue Angels thrilling a packed crowd along North Avenue beach. However, SouthSide's not one for crowds but she didn't miss any of the action seen in the skies as planes zoomed pasted as far as UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago)/Medical District and Bucktown areas majority of the afternoon. Today, she opted to rock out her Sunday with her daughter at Three Aces to catch her new friend - The Grisly Hand (from Kansas City, MO) during their double performance there.

This quaint 6-member band were the featured musical guests during Three Aces' Sunday bunch crowd to which they performed a selection of lively, toe-tappin' Americana/folk (with a bit of Country and Western) tunes deep within the heart of the Windy City. Yes, blogspot readers, this reviewer is not a afraid to join a hoedown and rock to some good o'l fashion fun-tastic Americana music presented like this band did. Throughout the first half of their double set, she enjoyed the spirited tempo and inviting atmosphere that surrounded the music of Grisly members and flowed around the backyard of this restaurant/venue. 

Even while in a downtempo rhythm, the band rocked the yard with intense guitar and/or mandolin picking but there was one minor thing plaguing this performance - sound volume. While the music was great to listen and enjoy, blogpsot readers, the sound quality was a definite issue especially with the band being outdoor. Mostly, during the set, the music outweighed and overshadowed the vocalists but it wasn't a technical issue either. SouthSide, in her best opinion, believes female vocalist Lauren  needed more vocal umph of her own to be heard loud and clearly above the guitars standing beside her. She does have the vocal powress to truly make certain songs pop yet it wasn't felt or heard during this particular half of the show. This reviewer wished she had more time to stay for the show's entirity but had another engagement to attend.

Despite the minor technical problems, The Grisly Hand did, blogspot readers, put on a rockin' show at Three Aces. The audience seemed to enjoy the spirited camaraderie and the witty storytelling laced within the lyrics that ranged from heartfelt emotions to humored wit. Off their latest album, Western Ave, this reviewer recommends checking out all  four-track but feels Still Feeling Blue and Black Coffee deserve special attention since both songs exhibit a little soul sound not usually heard in Americana/folk music. SouthSide also had a chance to check out Grisly's first album - SafeHouse (from 2010) and suggests getting quite acquainted to their Cherry Mash Waltz and Losin' You (Has Done A Number On Me).

Hopefully The Grisly Hand returns to Chicago for another show before it's winter but in the meantime, blogspot readers can catch this band rockin' around Kansas at the Uptown Theater and The Riot Room (both located in Kansas City, MO) as well as The Bottleneck on Sept 22 in Lawrence. For more more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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