Okay, blogspot readers, yesterday was fun however it’s time for SouthSide to work the stage at Summerfest today despite the unusual bout of chilly October-like weather of misty rain and cooling breeze hovering along the Milwaukee shoreline. Her objective was to cover as many music performances as she possibly could which also included two special interviews with FLINTface (from Philadelphia, PA) and the reggae legend Wailers (from Jamaica).Yep, it’s going to be a very long, busy but exciting day for this reviewer, blogspot readers.
Her first stop of the afternoon began at the Uline Warehouse stage to see FLINTface (http://www.facebook.com/FLINTface or http://www.reverbnation.com/FLINTface) open the day’s lineup featuring other acts – Berlin (yes, that Berlin with the famous 80s love song “Take My Breath Away” from the movie Top Gun), local Chicago acts The Locals and The Lovehammers, with Richie Ramone and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Describing himself as a “...servant...” because believing “...no one’s better than anyone else ...no rock stars here...” during the interview after his opening performance, Joe of FLINTface along with his band rocked the stage with music that’s more than just to be listened to, blogspot readers. They tend to be inspirational and/or motivational to the discerning ear to which this singer/songwriter isn’t truly the actual bearer of the message. No, he simply writes experiences that everyone at one point and/or another have experienced within their own life. “...I didn’t write these songs to show how I feel...” stated Joe in between meeting fans after FLINTface’s opening performance, “...each [person] can interpret them...” as they’re listening to them.
That’s the exact distinction SouthSide had after hearing a couple of songs, blogspot readers. At first, she did make the mistake thinking he and the band were conveying his thoughts and feelings to the audience. Not exactly. He was singing our stories of heartbreak and ache ...losing hope though al is not lost ...finally our voice to stand up or against those who want to bring us down during the band’s opening set. There were moments amidst the intense guitar rock sound and melodic three-part harmonies in which the words were so inspiring this reviewer felt a few tears swell in her eyes upon listening to the song “Hope”, the title track off his upcoming album due out July 22. This reviewer must caution you, blogspot readers, Joe is not optimist. However he’s the direct opposite. This musician is the “...anti-rock, star singer songwriter...” who strongly believes there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. “...there’s hope for every situation...” he told her also saying the song was written to demonstrate people are finding a reason to go on after losing so much. It brought tears to Joe’s eyes as she told the singer/songwriter her reaction to the song. “...you have to fight for that hope...” which is definitely true, blogspot readers.
SouthSide also recommends checking out FLINTface’s other song titled “Army Of Rejects” but don’t think of the word “reject” in a negative way, blogspot readers. That word used in this particular song is meant to be empowering ...embracing our right to be who we are. Something else Joe strongly believes in. Hint – that’s why he kept stating to this reviewer we all should be ourselves ...a constant theme throughout his performance and interview. Joe also mentioned to SouthSide that he spent four days in New York shooting a video for “Army Of Rejects” where isn’t simply him and the band singing the song but ordinary people doing what they do best – being themselves rockin’ out to the song. Yet the highlight of performance, in her opinion, was when Joe (without his fan autographed acoustic in hand) performed the Foo Fighters cover “Times Like These” which instantly spotlighted the rough patch this nation has been experiencing in recent year. But with Joe on lead vocals pumping out intense emotions into the lyrics for fans to focus more on the words than the downtempo acoustic music was (for SouthSide) quite of an heart-wrenching music experience, blogspot readers. As many times she had heard that song in its original composition, this heartfelt version covered by FLINTface was indeed inspiring.
During her interview with Joe, who was very gracious in granting fans’ requests to sign his guitar while answering her questions, she learned he has been doing this for over 14 years and made his own traveling merch case that he designed and made himself. Listen up, bands, this case is totally awesome – it has a enclosed glass display (that lights up when plugged in) for the merch in the front and in the back, has storage shelving for shirts, a cash box and door lock on the back. PLUS – it rolls on wheels for easy movement. Though having the only prototype, blgospot readers, Joe’s merch case has a patent pending with investors lined up to help produce and sell this one of a kind band necessity. If you’re in the Chicago area on August 14, stop by at Elbo Room because you can see not see FLINTface perform but also the one-of-a-kind merch display case in person. Other notable yet fun facts about Joe ...he’s 65% philly cheesesteaks and 35% water ...”...grateful to be playing anywhere...” despite starting out in this business as a snot nose musician but now appreciates anything people teach him ...he’s a Philly (baseball team) fan who can’t catch a ball ...and on Rocky – “...he’s fictional like Santa Claus but we believe in him...”
Blogspot readers can pre-order his album “Hope” on iTunes and Amazon.com ...or attend a performance while he and the band tour to promote it. His goal in mind for the tour “...getting the songs out there to the people...” and Chicago fans, FLINTface is excited to be coming there. Lastly, Joe want to say this “...support us...” mentioning to this reviewer that there’s “...a lot of hidden single guitar string riffs throughout...” the album. And now a word from Billy, the man slappin’ the bass in the band, He has issued a challenge to all grillmasters. He’s looking to try your best on ribs while in town. Another interesting thing that happened to the band, Joan Jett (yes, the legendary Joan Jett) had some positive feedback about their opening performance which completely floored Joe. WOW, how cool is that, blogspot readers!
Now it was time to move on, blogspot readers, towards the US Cellular Connection stage where local guys, Workout Music (http://www.facebook.com/workoutmusic) were preparing to perform as part of the Emerging Artist Series sponsored by FM 102.1. This “battle of the bands” like competition pits hot artists making waves within their local scene against other bands performing in a lineup daily and the one with the most texts/tweets will win cool prizes. And though the chilly weather wasn’t still cooperating during today’s Summerfest activities, this band didn’t let that stop them from rockin’ the audience with their fast-paced, sweaty music. Providing that crazy energetic pop rock sound while this reviewer was there, it indeed kept her nice and toasty warm when performing songs like “Cuz It’s Good”, “Backstage Lover” and “Not My Jeans”, blogspot readers. Unfortunately, SouthSide couldn’t stay for the entire set because another local band, A Friend Called Fire (http://www.afriendcalledfire.bandcamp.com) were warming up on the KNE (K-Nation Entertainment) stage nearby. On Monday, Workout Music will be sharing the stage with Flobots at Double Door. Meanwhile over at the KNE stage, blogspot readers, her trio of friends known as A Friend Called Fire were rockin’ a mid-crowd with songs like “East Town”, “Take You Back” (off the band’s current CD), and “The Lighting”. Since AFCF had a longer set time during their Summerfest performance, the guys thrilled the crowd with a few cover renditions that included a rousing yet intense instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner (which had many on their feet cheering) and “Fire”. Both, blogspot readers, were a wonderful homage to Jimi Hendrix which had a few classic rock fans jamming with the band. And when they added a little of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” ...POW – it was an explosion of classic rock floating throughout AFCF’s stage area while Berlin was performing its 80s hit “Take My Breath Away” at the same time. This band’s hard-hitting guitar riffs and music was continuously attracting a growing crowd with each song performed during their set. SouthSide highly recommends checking out A Friend Called Fire at their next scheduled performance.
After a quick break, it was back on the music beat for this reviewer while a fine mist of drizzly rain blanketed the Summerfest fairgrounds. Acting on the advice of a music fan named Christine, SouthSide head to the Harley-Davison Roadhouse stage area to check out Wisconsin native band known as I’m Not A Pilot (http://www.imnotapilot.com). This indie rock quartet from Milwaukee truly impressed this reviewer with their classical-sounding symphonic rock music which immediately reminded her of a band back home, Makeshift Prodigy. Even though sounding similar to Makeshift, I’m Not A Pilot’s music doesn’t resonate that inspirational or motivational symphonic sound within its songs. It does however contain that strong intensity and vibrant vibe especially when they were joined by four talented teens of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra for the remainder of their set. blogspot readers. Perhaps one day, she will review a Makeshift Prodigy-I’m Not A Pilot lineup for an extra special On The Town article. Yet once again and with deep regret, SouthSide had to leave at the middle of I’m Not A Pilot’s exhilarating performance and hurry back towards the Uline Warehouse stage to catch the rest of Chicago rockers Marty Casey and the guys of Lovehammers (http://www.lovehammers.com). This staging area was nearly packed with fans as this local band opened the evening lineup that would feature Richie Ramone and then headliner Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, blogspot readers. SouthSide has been a longtime fan of this band however it was her first time actually having the extreme chance to review the guys. And what an exciting ...guitar rock show did the Lovehammers perform in the rain for this crowd. Full of energetic momentum song after song which had many heads banging to the rockin’ intense beat while Marty announced to the crowd “...I enjoy the pleasure mist...” The mist definitely didn’t put a damper on this show, blogspot readers, as Loverhammers fans shouted out their favorites including that ever rock joke “Freebird” could be heard.
SouthSide ended her day at Summerfest conducting an early interview with reggae legends, Wailers, (unfortunately she wasn’t able to stay and review their headlining Summerfest performance but will when they come to Chicago on July 13), before calling it a day. She will post that interview along with a review of their Chicago appearance soon...
Well, blogspot readers, as much fun as it was for SouthSide, it’s time for her to bid a fond farewell to Summerfest and return home to her busy July 4 schedule which will feature rockin’ out Schuba’s Tavern with The Black Cadillacs and [synthetic] at Metro Thursday and then reviewing The Crystal Method at The Mid on Friday. She hopes to return to Milwaukee next year for a longer stay, blogspot readers.
Until next time, support your local scene,