Friday, February 22, 2013

16 Feb 13 - A Birdsong Valentine


"...I love the sound of my voice..." ~ Brian Bender of ABV during sound check

Warning ...warning ...danger ...danger, Will Robinson! They are back!

Who's back, blogspot readers? The wild, gut-bustin', belly achin' screamin', heavy-hittin' rock sound of A Birdsong Valentine! Yes, ABV fans, the boys are back in town after a long absence from Chicago's local music scene ...and this time Brian and the band are taking NO prisoners either. Believe it or not, it has been nearly 5 years since these party dudes have been on stage performing together yet this time SouthSide won't be in any danger of flying wireless guitar packs. The faces are still the same featuring Chris "Masta" Shen on bass and backing vocals, Oscar Diaz on guitar and backing vocals, Jay of The Branded rockin' on the drums and of course, the mouth screamin' the lyrics Brian commanding the microphone. This was a reunion shows, blogspot readers, to rival all reunion shows as it was held at a packed basement lounge of Elbo Room where long-time (and few newbies) ABV fans were ready to rock out with their favorite band. Moments before the show, SouthSide was lucky enough to snag another exclusive interview with front man, Brian to gain some insight on what brought the guys back and what's on the agenda for ABV in the future.

" love me ...I guess it's the smile..." ~ Brian after another fan says "hi" to him


After repeatedly spelling his name, SouthSide asked ABV's charismatic vocalist to describe the "new" A Birdsong Valentine compared to what it was years ago to he answered "...rejuvenated party dudes to destroy..." and then adding "...we're going to destroy the stage and Jesse [Elbo Room's bartender/venue's heavy metal decorator] will have to build a new stage..." This reviewer heard the whispered rumors that the band was working on or might be working on a reunion show but she did ask Brian what was the real story about their decision to return to the music scene. According to Brian, the guys were having dinner and drinks at Lockdown Bar (located near Thomas and Western) when Lockdown's owner - PJ "Gunshow" Zonis commented to the guys particurally Brian that his "...cover band was nice but it's no ABV..." And that, blogspot readers, got the wheels rolling for ABV however there's a bit of a problem. After calling Adam Powers, Elbo Room's talent buyer, to book the show, Brian and the band had a week to promote it. So, what's a band to do when you don't have Facebook and most people are using it these days for everything? Well, they did the next best thing - the old fashion way. ABV called, texted, tweeted, emailed, etc everyone they knew about the reunion show. Funny thing is A Birdsong Valentine has about 40 friends on Facebook yet has plenty on Myspace (remember that site, blogspot readers?) they used their Linkedin to promote the show. Brian mentioned it's nice because "...[we're] playing rejuvenated songs written 5 years ago ...and [many] are not recorded ...also we had to look at old videos too..." to prepare for tonight's show.


Though fearing only 3 people would show up, to SouthSide Brian optimistic as he glanced at the door sheet noticing how many had arrived for ABV's set thus far. Still, according to Brian, nothing about the band has changed except drummer Jay from The Branded is now with them. And true to ABV style, Brian already had pissed off Elbo Room management for bringing their own drum kit when the venue supplies a kit for bands to perform on during their sets. " has the original ABV logo and drum head..." says Brian. Then, this reviewer asked what could fans expect from A Birdsong Valentine after tonight's show to which he said "...might be doing more shows ...might be recording new songs [like the one Oscar recently wrote] ...might even work on [building their] Facebook fanbase..." He also disclosed to SouthSide that he has found out some people are "sweatin" to ABV oldies (for exampple, the song Sink or Swim) to lose weight. All this done by word of mouth, blogspot readers, to come see their show since he doesn't work at Elbo Room anymore that Brian remarked "'s refreshing to everyone again..." plus he added "...I can still hit the notes 4 years later..." while saying he won't be on guitar just vocals. To those fans who missed out on tonight's show, here's what Brian had to say " snooze you lose ...and you can take that to the bank..." Oh yeah, one more thing, "...I am woman and hear me roar..." Now, it was time to go downstairs and rock out the show with A Birdsong Valentine, blogspot readers.

"'re the only band I would sleep..." ~ an ABV fan to Brian


"...I'll replace the mic stand..." ~ Brian to Dave Cook, Elbo Room owner

Down there, it was a local star-studded event of other bands like Lucid Ground, We Kill The Lion, Black Bridge, Mason's Case and A Friend Called Fire, lending their support to the headliner, A Birdsong Valentine, along with the many ABV diehards packed in the basement lounge. After a tearful welcome and warming up the ears with a blood-rushing crescendo of hard-hitting guitar riffs and clashing percussions, ABV was back, blogspot readers, and ready to get down to the business of rockin' out this eagerly excited crowd as they opened with Who Lie. And POW! Here's where Brian's ultra cool vocals on the lyrics meets the pent up rage of his gut-busting screamin' that instantly drives the fans wild head banging action. SouthSide hopes the band realized at this moment how much we missed hearing the belly aching screamo amidst the highly intense guitar riffs and drum rhythms while many joined in singing along with the band before moving quickly into one of SouthSide's favorite song, Sink Or Swim - another intense moment where Brian shows off more emotional gut-busting screaming (with some bird calls during the instrumental bridge).  It was truly refreshing to hear those and other ABV songs like Mamma, RIP with You and I Am again rockin' the stage and re-igniting fun memories about this band. This reunion show also featured Lockdown's owner, PJ Zonis performing with the band during Kill Ur Idol where the band grabbed their fans by the balls with lots of screaming and gritty guitar riffs. Fans throughout the show were either singing or head banging to each song soaking up every intense second until the very end ...and still wanting  more after rockin' them with The End. Before officially ending their reunion show, ABV gave them a rockin' version of Shinobi Dragon Ninja, blogspot readers. Overall, it was a hot show seen and reviewed of this local band. Not only were they a rejuvenated rock band but they definitely left their fans wanting more. Hopefully, we'll see more of them throughout 2013 around town.


For more information about A Birdsong Valentine, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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