Wednesday, September 18, 2013

08 Sept 13

Happy Birthday, Reggie's!

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide concluded her busy weekend with a little Bears football, yummy food, good fun and of course rockin' music at her Southside headquarters, Reggie's! She was this beloved dual venue/bar was celebrating 6 years of being a vital part within Chicago's local music scene. This locale has premiered plenty of top notch live shows (some in which this reviewer was lucky enough to cover for this blog) like hip hop/rap to Lollapalooza after parties (back in 2008) and rock as well as everything else in between. It's a cool place SouthSide (sometimes) called home. Over the last 6 years, she had tripped the life fun-tastic with such bands/artists - Hanzel und Gretyl, Lehnen (from Austria), Peelander Z, Blood On The Dance Floor, Magicks, Gearbox Fantastique II, Clem Burke, Makeshift Prodigy, A Birdsong Valentine, Hail The Black Dragons and more ...just to highlight some of the many shows seen, blogspot readers. To help kick off the celebration, local bands Fornication and The Shams along with Andrew Ellis (from Toledo, OH) rocked Bears and music fans on the Music Joint side of Reggie's while I Love Rich, Last False Hope, The Jetbirds, Downtown Brown and Angry Samoans featuring The Dictators (from NYC) as the headliner were performing on the Rock Club stage. 

SouthSide says check out the hard-hitting wickedness of intense punk/metal sexual rock performed by Fornication Station, blogspot readers. This local trio not only crushed the stage with loud, ear-screeching electric debauchery with some raw vocals on the microphone but also frightened away some of the die-hardest Bears fans out of bar due to the band's loud music! HA! Yet, that wasn't enough to scare away this reviewer. She was brave enough to witness what most couldn't handle ...such as the head-banging rock sound and electrifying riffs that nearly made her hair curl on the tippy top of her head. Yes, blogspot readers, this wasn't your ordinary punk/metal clash fusion of rock. Picture the Fornication Station as a "beer drinking dudes" type of band. Performing songs like Incarnation and Rock-n-Roll, the trio gave its audience simplistic lyrics  amidst a fast paced guitar rock style with no over the top complex riffs or long instrumental bridges. You didn't need that to enjoy "sweet" screech piercing the earplugs especially when they closed out their set with 13 Passed The Hour. SouthSide loved the wild and crazy guitar sound rockin' out the stage even though the band couldn't go wild and crazy since there wasn't enough room on the small stage to do that. "Eat, drink and fornicate", blogspot readers! For more information, visit or you can find them on Facebook.

After that wild and loud opening, blogspot readers, it was time to relax with the stories of love, heartache and lost by Andrew Ellis. This singer/songwriter troubadour from Toledo, OH told (or sung) his tales with heartfelt vivid that illuminated not only the words of each song but also picturesque imagery to make them pop to life. SouthSide was impressed by Andrew's strong vocal style to which she was easily touched by the emotional sentiments expressed while listening to him sing especially during his second song. It was truly amazing to feel his stories burst with colorful images in the mind in between listening to gentle vocal tone of his voice coupled with his acoustic riffs. For example, you could simply "feel" the remorse in knowing his mother would hate the song about being a bad boy during this rockin' country rockabilly ditty. The lively combo of Americana with this rockabilly sound did have this reviewer's feet tapping along to the upbeat acoustic rhythm. Then there was a moment when Andrew's voice got a little somber under a downtempo rhythm when expressing the tender sentiments in a song about being a poor fool. He did, however, livened the Music Joint with rousing sounds off his steel guitar when playing a slight parody about silver and gold to the rhythm of the Gospel classic - "To Thine Be The Glory". Behind this particular instrument, blogspot readers, Andrew's voice became quite vibrant and emotionally expressive ...soulful to highlight the country tone of his music like when he closed out his set with I'm Local. Check out this singer/songwriter wherever his travels take him. Perhaps a venue near your. For more information, visit

Four part harmonies were simply the tip of the iceberg of what makes this particular local band quite special, blogspot readers. The Shams Band boasts a unique folk/alternative rock sound that will feature some organic rhythms (i.e. tambourine) and 4 guitar (banjo, electric, bass and acoustic) sound in which immediately wowed the Reggie's audience with this vibrant explosion of music. It was good vibrations jamming on this stage ...having a good time even though opening the set to a song about having issues with whiskey and beer. Yet, how could they when this quintet was having so much fun?! Between performing songs like Breadwinner and Cold City, The Shams Band had this venue rockin' to the lively upbeat swing and harmonies as well as getting toes tappin' to some low down and dirty Southern blues rock. For this reviewer, it was this local band's voices in harmonizing unison that got her all riled up, blogspot readers. It didn't matter whether they were adding a bit of intense rock edge to their acoustic groove or electrifying the guitars to a gritty rhythm the harmonies were the main focal point throughout this performance. And with such harmonies, the songs were popping to life amidst vivid imagery like during Cold City despite getting the sense they (the songs) tend to get too serious and/or thought-provoking within the subject matter. Actually, that's how The Shams Band want you to feel. It's not too serious for them to have a rockin' fun time on stage. Versatile switching between music genres to vocal harmonies and lighthearted mood is what this local band is all about. "Cheers to Reggie's for 6 years of bringing live music to Chicago!" says the band before announcing they would be performing two Halloween shows - one at Martyr's and then at Tonic Room on the same night! The trick is - you have to attend one or the other ...or both to discover who The Shams Band will be impersonating this year, blogspot readers. For more information, visit

SouthSide highly recommends checking out each band/artist mentioned in this review.

Until next time, support your local, scene,

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