Friday, April 25, 2014

16 Apr 14

Does Chicago still believe in music?” ~ Man On Earth

Man On Earth
Welcome to SouthSide’s busy spring break week, blogspot readers! For the rest of the week, this roving reviewer will be visiting different corners of Chicago’s vibrant local scene from Roscoe and Lakeview to West Loop and more ...sometimes covering two events in one night. Nope, there will be little to no sleep for this party queen. Tonight, she’s hanging out with her friends Miggs at Elbo Room who were touring with New Yorkers Man On Earth ( and Open Air Stereo ( before heading northward on Lincoln Avenue to Fizz Bar & Grill for Rouge! Chicago’s Electro Swing party featuring DJs Vourteque and Mr Automatic spinning until 2a. And this is merely the beginning to her fun adventures around town, blogspot readers. She hightly recommends checking out rockers Man On Earth that opened the night’s lineup with an awesome rendition of Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony besides performing originals like We’re The Dreamers and Bang Bang Bitch for their Chicago fans. Using visual imagery to enhance the experience, the moving pictures gave each song depth and meaning ...sparking your sensory and auditory perception to the fullest.

Before they rocked the downstairs main stage at Elbo Room, SouthSide had the extreme privilege of chatting with Don, Michael, Walker and John aka Miggs in between munching on pizza about the upcoming self-titled album, Chicago’s snowy weather, Walker’s garlicky topping on pizza and much more. So what made these “...real cool idiots [acting like] chamaeleons [in a] passionate terminator [mode with] handsome certainty...” uniquely describe the band this way? Well, blogspot readers, according to front man, Don, “...we’re really feeling about the direction [it’s taking]...” before adding how it sort of felt like a rebirth. In the past, Miggs had played to different set list as well as touring with different bands while trying to discover who they (as a band, musicians and individuals) were. In SouthSide’s honest opinion, Don and the guys seemed very confident about this new direction they’re taking together as a band. That’s when this reviewer (after she and the others watched Walker put almost a whole bulb of garlic on his slice of pizza) asked them about their current release 15th and Hope and how did it compare to the other releases. Little did she know they were preparing to release new self-titled one with the help of producer, the late Phil Ramone. For Don, it was the first time he ever worked with a band where “...everyone knows their place...” and “...everyone had a part co-writing a song or lyrics...” for the new album. Phil was the tie-breaker for the band (when needed) subtly guiding them to the point where they needed to be, blogspot readers. “...He gave us freedom as long as the vocals, guitars, lyrics were good...” And Miggs assured this reviewer that they put everything they had into this latest project recommending fans to check out the teaser single – The Drifter.

While on tour, blogspot readers, Miggs is constantly testing ...switching their set list around to see what does and/or does not work with that particular audience of the night. Yes, they are watching to see how you react to certain songs. “’s kinda of a fuel for us...” Miggs told this reviewer. Sometimes they’re a kind of band that shoots from the hip while performing a rock show with some covers tossed in. This band has been known to do a montage of cover songs like Wrecking Ball stuck somewhere in the middle of their song – High Ground (coincidentally Walker and John attended a Mylie Cyrus concert) or Rick Springfield’s Jesse’s Girl. However on this tour, the band were doing mostly new material as well as the classic stuff fans like, blogspot readers. And though Don has the biggest mouth (according to the front man himself), he sometimes might get his way but he rather feel Miggs should feel more like a band ...not simply four individual standing on stage performing night after night. After releasing 15th and Hope, they’re certain they know what they’re doing. So what really brings their fans back for more Miggs besides the music? Walker immediately said “ naked body...” while Don chirped in with “...I think it’s us...” but Shelly (a fan who got the guys pizza to eat before the show) said nicely “...they’re real people ...down to earth ...more about this [being friendly and open] with their fans...” Still figuring out what to do with their summer months, you will find them flying to Japan (more specific Okinawa) at the end of May to perform at the USO for the troops stationed over there. Do expect to see and hear “...a lot of our content is on social media ...acoustic songs and video...” coming out around July. Lastly, the guys want you fans to know one more thing “...stay tuned ...the best is yet to come...” Another thing, Chicago blogspot readers, Miggs would like for you to know how friendly and welcome you made them feel during their stay here ...also learned not to ask for substitutions when ordering.

Miggs ...they were pumped and excited ...ready to rock the Elbo Room stage, blogspot readers. And rock the stage they did. Judging by the guitar picks this reviewer has from them – they were totally rockin’ it hard. Yet, this performance was much better and more exciting unlike the others she has seen. Why? Because each member of Miggs was actually having fun a time performing on stage. She could literally see it on their faces before, during and after their set, blogspot readers. Not saying they weren’t before but this Miggs performance featured more energized momentum to which the audience could not only hear it yet feel it as well. That same energy coming from the band during songs like Be Good To Yourself and Walls Come Down. While performing new stuff off the self-titled album (coming out in the fall), this reviewer enjoyed the way they were jamming together instrumentally and vocally with the tight four-part harmony as well as sometimes playfully sexing up their stage presence for the fans. Definitely not the Miggs SouthSide met years ago. No ...they seemed more focused on the direction of being a cohesive as a band which included entertaining the fans more than just looking like four guys standing on stage. More expressive on the lyrics and animated with the body language ...yes, this reviewer is totally liking the “new” Miggs rockin’ the stage in 2014. She highly recommends checking out the single, The Drifter and the powerfully emotional song Walls Come Down – both songs nearly brought the room to a standstill due to the heartfelt vocals wafting around the room that one could feel its emotional intensity from the lyrics. Hopefully, the band returns soon for another exciting turn on a Chicago stage. Catch Miggs while they’re on tour, blogspot readers, or visit for music and more.

Just a short walk away from Elbo Room, blogspot readers, SouthSide suddenly stepped back into time where jazzy swing dancing reigned the local scene at Fizz Bar & Grill. Yep, it was another visit to Rouge! Chicago’s premiere event for electro swing ...and this reviewer arrived in time to join and dance amongst the crowd inside the upstairs loft of this bar/venue. Compared to where Electro! was held in the past, Fizz offered more room for dancing and conga lines snaking around the loft. Plenty of fashionably dressed participants covering different eras from Victorian to roaring 20s and beyond crowded the dance floor while DJs (Lord) Vourteque and Mr. Automatic spun their lively electro swing remixes until closing, blogspot readers. This monthly party was in full swing (no pun intended) as many danced, snapped fun photos and sipped on colorful cocktails in between socializing and enjoying their time amidst the throwback moment in time of fun. SouthSide loved how the red lighting gave this event that certain speakeasy feel and glow to perfectly set the atmosphere while the vintage montage of early Hollywood musicals and cartoons served as inspiration to what the night’s theme was all about.

However, there’s more to Electro! than just dancing. In middle of this event there’s two acts of special performances which features sultry burlesque by the lovely Lady Lenux. SouthSide got there to see the second performance in which the night’s special performer Sammy Tramp did her flea circus vaudeville act before Lady Lenux mesmerized the audience with a homeless-type of burlesque performance. It was her tribute for surviving the bitter Chiberia winter. Then it was back to more dancing and swingin fun, blogspot readers, before moving the party to Berlin for “Moonshine” fun until dawn. This reviewer highly recommends stepping back in time to attend Electro! Chicago’s premiere swing event when it happens again in May. And don’t fret if you don’t have the proper Victorian or flapper clothes like the others. You can simply “come as you are” like SouthSide and a few others did. Electro! is a about having a good time with other likeminded people, blogspot readers, which certainly attracts people of all ages, genders, orientations, etc under one roof. It doesn’t mater as long as you’re there to have FUN! Everyone’s friendly too don’t be afraid to join the long conga line whipping around the dance floor or shaking your tail feather to the funky electro swing beat all night long. Oh one more thing – all this fun won’t cost you thing, blogspot readers. This event is always FREE. Next month’s Electro! (May 21) will not only feature the lovely Lady Lenux and another steamy burlesque act but also live performances by Dutty Moonshine (UK) and Lady India. Hope to see you there, blogspot readers...
Until next time, support your local scene,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback - SouthSide