This venue is a musical fixture within Chicago’s local scene sponsoring events like the annual I AM Fest ...a neighborhood bar where the management and staff know more than just your name but also your favorite beer and/or mixed drink ...a launching pad for such famous bands like Liquid Soul, Hoobastank, Filter, Soul Coughing, Mundy, Smoking Popes, I Fight Dragons, Cage The Elephant and many more as well as the next generation of rising bands in which each are given the “rock star” treatment from sound to lighting fx for their performances. It’s also where SouthSide calls “home” most times of the year. The venue she’s highlighting tonight, blogspot readers, is The Elbo Room and it recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Since 1989, this Lakeview bar/concert venue has been there supporting up-n-coming local bands ...hosting national as well as international touring acts and music showcases like MOB Fest and Atlantic Music Fest thus giving music fans a diverse ambiance and flavor of what’s rockin’ the scene. Tonight, was no exception, blogspot readers. The lineup featured a musical array of performances by Tigernite (WI), 27 Star Project, Hero Jr (IN), and Stereospeak with PM Boys opening. As an added bonus, there was a 3-hour tap takeover of beer sampling of what might be featured soon at The Elbo Room and 1Up Throwbacks would be supplying the 80s music at the upstairs lounge.
Upon hearing the intense boom of thunder and the animalistic roar of a tiger amidst the flashing stage lights, SouthSide automatically knew Tigernite was poised and ready to rock our ears off, blogspot readers. And rock this band did. SouthSide instantly felt the ferocious roar of this band's bite from its front woman, Molly, on the mic. She was a woman on intense mission to give you the all the angst you and your ears could handle within a 45-minute set. Those sharp claws definitely did come out even while in a hardcore stealth mode during songs like "Drag" (a single off the band's upcoming full length album) and "Tarantula" when the band had a brief moment of performing amidst a downtempo rhythm though leaving some sharpness to its rock music in the chorus. That's when Molly was at her best, blogspot readers, by demonstrating her dramatically expressive side yet while pumping so much energy and emotion into the lyrics. She was totally selling this band, its fierce image and sound. One thing about Tigernite that somewhat made the other bands a bit jealous - they had coloring books! Yes, blogspot readers, this band has its own coloring book. How cool is that?! SouthSIde highly recommends checking out the ferocious roar of Tigernite when they pounce back on the stage again at a venue near you but in the meantime, check out other songs like "Oracle" and "Empire" at http://www.tigernite.com.
Now, SouthSide was asked (for a second time) not to review this next band at the request of Elbo Room regular/guitarist and vocalist Tony. However when has this reviewer ever complied to such of a request? Answer ...sometimes never. Even though 27 Star Project, according to Tony, had only two rehearsals, she still enjoyed what she heard from this local quintet of musicians, blogspot readers. SouthSide liked the catchy songs (some written by Tony) like "What I Can't Say" and "Go" but the highlight of the night was their absolute rockin' cover of Absentstar's "Give Into Me" - wow, 27 Star Project's front man truly put some emotion into words to make them pop alive amidst the electro pop sound. With an addition of a few more covers like Queens of the Stone Age "Sat By The Ocean", 27 Star Project rocked the Elbo Room stage with a little more intense energy before returning to its catchy alternative rock side with their other original song " Getting Better By The Minute". This band doesn't have a website and/or Facebook page (as of yet) and they rarely perform live on stage but it's a treat seeing this somewhat "hidden" band perform on stage, blogspot readers. SouthSide hopes they will again soon.
Who's ready to rock out with this next band? If you like your rock in its classic, thrilling and raw without any added fillers, then you should definitely check out Hero Jr whenever they perform again live on stage, blogspot readers. Not only did this band rock the stage but kept the audience well chilled to the bone throughout this energetically intense performance through songs like "Nice To Meet You" and "Tower Is" that featured plenty of guitar thrills to get you head-banding along with them. Yet it wasn't all hardcore guitar rock with Hero ...there were moments when they flipped the script on the intensity to mellow out the sound for heartfelt ballad that wonderfully spotlighted front man Evan's vocals during "Purple Desk" and a toe-tappin; rhythm instead during "Ghost of Me". In SouthSide's eyes, there were two equally special highlights of this set ...the first came as Evan performed solo on the song "Graveyard" and then turned The Beatles' Yellow Submarine song, Eleanor Rigby into one fiercely rockin' cover, blogspot readers. SouthSide has heard other bands cover this iconic song in its original form but never in the way Hero Jr. performed it Saturday night. The way Evan took the lyrics and pumped such angst into them had this reviewer quivering a little before continuing with that route with closing songs "Take" and "Anger Room". Wow, what an intense experience with Hero Jr and this reviewer cannot wait to experience it again. In the meantime, blogspot readers, check out this band at http://www.herojr.net, but highly recommends seeing them live and in person.
Headlining tonight's lineup was the melodramatic rhythm rockers, Stereospeak, blogspot readers, even though there were times when the music could be jump to the pop/alternative side if the band wanted to. Yet, since it heavily relied on that melodramatic sound, it nicely compliments the (sometimes hard to hear) vocal range of the band's front man Mike and his backing vocalists. Though craving for a bit more excitement to rock out her Saturday night, this reviewer still enjoyed the soft melodic tone which was balanced out by the alternative rock vibe despite (at times) leaning dangerously towards becoming more dreampop rock than melodic rock during certain songs like "I Can't Think Why" and "Probably Wrong". It also had its little moments of feeling and sounding like a hushed lullaby due to the heavy piano/keyboard rhythms. Still Stereospeak did have their moments when you were moving lively to the rhythmic beat, BlogSpot readers, for example during their untitled poppy song that was a welcomed break from their melodramatic side for this reviewer. She enjoys the mellow side of rock but was particularly in the mood to stuck within its drama for an entire set. Perhaps, as a suggestion, Strereospeak could do a balancing act like a few lively electro/pop tunes after a couple of melodic songs and/or switch up the set list to get the fans and audience more involved with their set. Not her music speed but SouthSide still recommends checking out this band at their next performance. In the meantime, check out "Like A Dream" and "Below The Earth" on Stereospeak's page http://www.stereospeak.com.
Until next time, support your local scene,
Until next time, support your local scene,