Two shows ...one fun adventurous night on the town...
Hey, blogspot readers, it’s a music takeover within the heart of Rogers Park! Recently, at Mayne Stage, SouthSide’s good friend (and local icon) Michael Teach and his staff at CAU (Chicago Acoustic Underground) had full run of the entire venue – Act One Pub and Mayne Stage to showcase rising singer/songwriters and bands. The Mayne Stage lineup featured the touring duo Sister Speak (with its band) along with The Aldermaniacs and Barrett’s Hidden Agenda. This reviewer arrived in time to check out the middle performance of Barrett’s Hidden Agenda in which she liked the rockin’ vibe felt from this local band’s funky musical fusion of bluesy Americana with an urban sound. This group had soul ...had a swingin’ beat you could tap your toes to ...it had a fantastic rhythmic floetry to make each song and its picturesque lyrics pop with life. She loved how his combined use of storytelling and contemporary music created a pleasant musical atmosphere for all to enjoy, blogspot readers, including the rockin’ Zydeco encore. However, there were a couple of things this reviewer didn’t enjoy during Barrett’s set. First, he could have engaged and/or interacted with the audience more in between songs (especially while tuning the guitar) instead of creating moments of “dead air” silence. Second, it would have been nice if he mentioned a few of the songs that either were performed or about to be performed for those (like SouthSide) who aren’t familiar with them. It would have been nice to include or at least mention one or two for inclusion in this review (for example, like the one song sung by the bassist). What SouthSide is suggesting – Barrett’s Hidden Agenda needs a little more work on its stage presence so everyone (including this reviewer) could feel “included” during the set like Barrett’s family and fans loudly sitting behind her.
“Chicago is one of my favorite places in the world...” ~ Sister Speak
SouthSide highly recommends checking out the duo (with its touring band) known as Sister Speak for its emotional yet soulfully dynamic sound not only heard in the vocals but also within the music itself. It was like seeing two performances tucked inside one rockin’ set, blogspot readers, in which Sister performed a mixed of acoustic as well as alternative rock for its audience. However for SouthSide, it was Sherri Anne and her soulful vocals that got her hooked when opening with a very subtle yet lively toe-tappin’ acoustic sound featuring some sweet heat from the blues harmonica (by Graham). That’s when this reviewer knew she was in for a fun time, blogspot readers. Performing songs off the new album, Sister Speak had this calming music atmosphere even while rockin’ the stage with some of its livelier and up tempo songs such as “Mountain Song” and “Lose Control” where both feature Sherri wowing the audience with her vocal range of being soulful, sultry and energizing at the same time. Meanwhile during songs like “Lady Love” and “Say You Will (Be There)”, we got to hear the vocal power behind the emotions in her voice that not only lifted the lyrics but shook the roof a little. And to say she and the band had the entire audience captivated throughout Sister’s performance would be a gross understatement. Sister Speak had everyone spellbound (except those rudely ruining this reviewer’s music enjoyment, blogspot readers, with loud conversations). Though, sadly, this reviewer wasn’t able to stay until the end but she did enjoy what she heard from this touring band and highly recommends blogspot readers attending a Sister Speak performance. For more information, visit http://www.sisterspeakmusic.com.
After playing another round of “CTA Mad Dash” to travel from the far northside to the near westside of Chicago, SouthSide arrived in time to experience her first Danish invasion at Cobra Lounge for the Leaether Strip performance, blogspot readers. The electro-industrial duo were locally supported by opening bands JILT and Cyanotic which this reviewer extends her apologies for missing. But soon she felt right at home ...soaking up the intense industrial sound, heart-pounding electronica rhythms (by this silence synths/keyboardist partner) and Claus Larsen’s raw, venom spewing lyrics as well as the fans in motion moving to the beat of aggression and hate. You could literally feel the aggression/frustration dripping over the mic in lyrics like “...once you start, you can’t stop me...” or “...I’m dreaming what you’re not suppose to be dreaming...” Plus definitely connected with this crowd when touching on other subjects like pain and being persecuted. From the first moment he stepped on stage to the last dying synth sound, this performance was everything this reviewer expected ...and then some. What she wasn’t expecting was Claus (during the middle one song) telling two (loudly) chatting females to move away from the stage, blogspot readers, because their conversation was seriously overshadowing his performance. Yeah they were shocked and pissed but Leaether Strip fans cheered him for doing that. After all, it’s his show and we all came to see him not hear them talking. Anyway, this reviewer enjoyed how he trapped the crowd within his “hate” or disdain for societal rules placed on us in which he speaks so eloquently well, blogspot readers. And his fans respond to by fist pumping or head banging to the incredibly fast-paced, hardcore industrial sound and lyrics. Believe, SouthSide when she says – there’s no standing still while amidst in Leaether Strip’s music. You either dance to the intense beat or head banging ...or a combination of both. It was ...wow, what else can SouthSide say about Leaether Strip without giving too much away in this review? Perhaps she’ll end with – it was a wild time and she highly recommends attending his next performance, blogspot readers. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/leaetherstrip.
Until next time, support your local scene,