Friday, November 15, 2013

02 Nov 13

***sincerest apologies for the lateness of this review***

Did you know there's no dark side of the moon? Yep, it's all dark, blogspot readers. Recently, SouthSide wrapped up her long Halloween celebrating with a special performance presented by CAU (Chicago Acoustic Underground) and CAU Dog Records at Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe. Bridging the gap between artists (locally, nationally as well as around the word) and music fans, this organization has been producing downloadable live music podcasts and interviews featuring over 400 singer/songwriter artists for nearly six years. On this night, he put together a rockin' lineup which included alternative/folk rock by goodbyehome and folk funk by Beacon James (MN) with Jack Salamander and its cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. And speaking of Beacon James, blogspot readers, this group is a nearly acquired act under the CAUDog Records label of many exciting things happening for Michael Teach and his staff. On November 27, CAU will be taking over Mayne Stage venue (located in the Rogers Park neighborhood) for a Black Wednesday showcase in which artists like Joe Taylor, Hannah Frank, The Lauren Wolf Band and many more will performing on either the main stage or the Act One Pub stage. Due to CAU's unique relationship and partnership with Mayne Stage, be on the lookout for something like this to happen on the 2nd Wednesday of every month throughout 2014 ...more details about that as soon as it comes to SouthSide's desk.

Opening this fantastic night of music was the rockin' folk alternative band - goodbyehome in which the Hard Rock audience was entertained by their hip-shakin', toe-tappin' rhythmic sound, blogspot readers. Led by front man/guitarist Greg Combs, his voice propelled a heartfelt falsetto tone onto lyrics (even while amongst vocal harmonies with the other band members) during songs like Apache Hotel (a haunting downtempo ballad) and Groomsmen (a goodbyehome oldie but fan goodie). SouthSide enjoyed the slightly upbeat song featuring some sweet harmonica melody as heard in new one Kenosha (it's all about the town and his love for its cheese curds's a Wisconsin thing, blogspot readers). Yet it wasn't all alternative folk rock during goodbyehome's opening performance. The band did spice things up with a touch of hardcore electric rock to give their Americana sound a nice yet gritty edge thus also bringing out the emotions in Greg's voice especially when singing "I'm along again" - definitely could feel the pain not only in his voice but in the words. The dark moody tone brought out by the electric side to goodbyehome (in this particular song) could be found in the electric violin that adds more a creepiness as well as darkness to the song's sound. After seeing how deep and dark this band can get, blogspot readers, it was time to rock out the Hard Rock Café with some Vampires ...and no, these aren't the ones who shine or sparkle either in which features the violin and bass duet playing off each other at the song's bridge. SouthSide highly recommends checking out goodbyehome and their eclectic yet vibrant tone of folk alternative rock at their next show. For more information about this local band, visit

Hailing from Minnesota, this band not only featured a unique combination of folk rock and funk but 5-part vocal harmonies which blew this reviewer's ears away, blogspot readers! She can see why Michael Teach and CAUDog Records had to sign this band to the label ...they were more than just awesome to watch. And if there's a word better than "awesome" to describe how Beacon James rocked the stage, SouthSide will certainly attach it to the band's description. It didn't take them long to get this audience hoppin' to the rhythmic folk sound or be instantly drawn to their energetic momentum when opening with songs Move On and Cass - and this was where the funk side came into play, blogspot readers. When Beacon added the funk side to their folk rock sound, in one word POW - you felt the jammin' saxophone heating up the lively upbeat swing thus sparking more vocal umph in the band's harmonies especially during Like Smoke. It may have been a downtempo song but it retained a lot of that energy as well as highlighting the vocal emotions and mood of the lyrics. Also featured during Beacon's performance was montage of three songs - Lydia, Sons and Dogs and Good Girl where you as the listener get to hear three different sides to this band. In Lydia, there's a 4 part vocal harmony to which you're meant to feel the haunting sad words before slightly livening things up in Sons and Dogs and then lastly getting your pseudo religion on with Beacon's gospel sounding Good Girl (vocalized by Marie). This diverse setlist, blogspot readers, wonderfully spotlighted the band's vocal talents from emotionally dynamic and soulful to raspy heartfelt falsetto tone ...and when you put all 5 vocals together - they become one amazing dynamic powerhouse of voices popping the words to life behind the incredible combination of music. To say this reviewer was impressed is a gross understatement. She was literally hooked by the time Beacon performed For Wings and Goodbye To Us (a sad duet in which gradually builds to a trio then quartet before ending with all five harmonizing acapella) before closing out with Rock Salt and Nails. Dancing is strongly encouraged when seeing  Beacon James rockin' the stage live, blogspot readers. They want you to have a good time while enjoying their folk funk sound. For more information about this band, visit

"...can someone turn the record over..."

Most know that SouthSide is a Pink Floyd fan. And she has heard this legendary band's icon songs and/or albums covered as instrumental to classical orchestrations as well as by a local bands. So she was totally ready to scrutinize Jack Salamander's covering the entire iconic album Dark Side  of the Moon to which she knows it's no easy task, blogspot readers. Because he would have to recreate each and every song, sound effect, vocals etc to appease the diehard Floyd fans (like this reviewer) attending the Hard Rock Show. Even though Michael Teach promised SouthSide she would thoroughly enjoy Jack's homage to this album ...she did have her doubts. Did he pass? This reviewer will answer that question at the end of the review. After opening with a classic John Lee Hooker blues song Baby Talk to warm up the late night Floyd fans, the bewitching hour had arrived and it was time to rock out with Dark Side of the Moon. Jack Salamander, using bits and soundbites from the album (for Speak To Me, Time, and Money), also had help from members of the bands that performed earlier to aid in this special performance. He and his core band didn't skimp anything. They nearly recreated the album as close to perfect as they could get, blogspot readers, even right down to the train announcement during On The Run. It was quite mindblowing hearing all of the songs covered note by note ...chord by chord but it was also creepy since she had never a band perform it so well. What they needed was the Wizard of Oz playing, or scenes of space from the Hubble Telescope or a laser light adding to the psychedelic trippiness of Great Gig In the Sky, Us and Them and Any Colour You Like. Yes, blogspot readers, Jack Salamander (with some help from friends like Greg Combs of goodbyehome on guitar and vocals for Us and Them, Jessica, Marie and Britta on vocals for Brain Damage and Eclipse) successfully recreated a wonderful live version of Dark Side of the Moon proving this Floyd fan wrong. With a little substitution here and there, all the correct elements of what made this album so iconic were still there to enjoy ...nothing was taken away from Floyd's psychedelic/progressive rock wizardry for one moment. And if he had time, we could have heard Floyd's other iconic album - Animals. Jack Salamander had everyone fired up for more Floyd. However Lem (front man/guitarist of Jack Salamander) gave this hungry late night audience some hot Frank Zappa after shouts for Comfortably Numb, Echoes and a selection of Robin Trower could be heard. It was truly one memorable performance, blogspot readers, and SouthSide's looking forward to the next time Jack Salamander performs Floyd again. For more information about this band, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback - SouthSide