Thursday, April 21, 2011

16 Apr 11 - International Pop Overthrow Festival

Hey, blogspot readers, it's an early Saturday outting for this rockin' reviewer! Despite the unseaonably dreary cold and rain, SouthSide was ready to rock out her first International Pop Overthrow fest at The Abbey. Founded by David Bash in 1998 at Los Angeles (where the first IPO was held), this festival has featured not only local acts but international acts at select cities including Chicago since March 2002. Now in its tenth year, the festival name pays homage to one of Chicago's hometown bands, Material Issue, in which its debut album bore the same name - "International Pop Overthrow". IPO 2011, over a span of two weeks, featured nearly 79 artists like Common Shriner, The Love Shots, Million Yen and Penthouse Sweets rockin' the stages at Red Line Tap and The Abbey Pub before the fest moves to Detroit and then Milwaukee. Today, IPO held an all ages show featuring performances by Missing The Point, Freetoed, The Injured Parties, They All Have Legs, and Grammy-nominated artist, Dave Rave (from Ontario, Canada). For more information about International Pop Overthrow, visit or SouthSide highly recommends blogspot readers checking out the following bands/artists mentioned in this review.

Missing The Point rocked the opening IPO slot with its a burst of intense melodic rock sound inside a hint of country twang during their opening song Dreams at the instrumental bridge. This reviewer enjoyed hearing the intensity within the guitar riffs but also with inside the front man Steve's vocals. This musician made the lyrics literally pop inside his vibrant falsetto range in which the music nicely matched his fire and vigor note for note. Plus there's plenty of rhythms and danceable grooves within Missing's music that will get you moving to the beat. However, it wasn't intensely melodic all of the time, blogspot readers. This band wowed the ears with a lively country-inspired pop sound as well as Polka-inspired song which was interesting to see three guitars rockin' the stage with a Polka/rock vibe. Missing even surprised SouthSide with some island heat heard in their reggae/ska sound and rock riffs in the song Four AM. Besides performing Anxiously Waiting and Life So Badly (off Missing's upcoming album which featured a retro rock tempo and sound), Missing rocked the stage with a mesh of covers by The Cranberries (Zombie) and Metallica (Enter The Sandman) before ending their set with Friday Night. Visit or

Performing their second IPO appearance, Freetoed rocked the stage with a unique subtle lead-in of soft falsetto and calming guitar riffs ...then POW - blasting the ears with intense music. Like Missing The Point, this band also featured a melodically intense sound yet in a subtle way to soak the ears into the vibrant music first. SouthSide liked how that intensity came mostly from Freetoed's front man's vocals and then from the music during the instrumental bridges. This reviewer suggests listening to Alchemist (a song featuring less melodic tone and more rock edge off the guitars) and Never Looking Back (a gritty rock sound which draws out the emotion heard in the vocals as well as a fiery intense vibe from Freetoed). Both songs though different in sound retained a certain energetic momentum that highlighted the dynamic vocal tone especially when Freetoed cloed with Patterns. Despite rockin' the stage with intensely vibrant music, SouthSide did have one small problem with Freetoed's set - not enough voice projection in between songs. Where she was sitting, close to the sound board, her ears had to strain themselves to decipher what was being said over the microphone. Visit for more information about this band.

Making their tenth IPO appearance, The Injured Parties took a humorous approach to their rockin' performance, blogspot readers. SouthSide immediately liked how the fun lyrics and lively pop/rock sound cohesively blended together especially after an acapella intro for For Your Protection (off Injured's Fun with a Purpose album). TIP's songs popped with catchy rhythms and danceable melodies ...almost reminiscent of the 80s music genre and feel that had energy and vibe never dulling the senses. Plus this band also added a touch of local flavor within their songs - for example one was about Damen Avenue which was quite poetic off front man Larry's deep vocal tone. Still that deep range made the imagery inside the words breathed life like during On Her Way to Becoming Something Else (an interesting song about transcending or about alien abduction - cue X-Files theme here which can also be found off Fun with a Purpose album). SouthSide appreciated how this band rocked the stage with a simplistic yet energetic sound and lyrics which kept Injured's music within a lively tone flowing melodically while enticing the ears with its catchy rhythmic groove. This reviewer recommends listening to the slice of life within American Comfort and Zingerman's Deli. Visit or

They All Have Legs rocked The Abbey as an eight-piece symphonically melodic pop/rock band, blogspot readers, despite needing more vocals to be heard above the horns, guitars and cello during the opening song since the (soft) arias could barely be heard vocally. Still, this reviewer enjoyed how the entire band collectively rocked under such vibrant (as well as vivid) bursts of energy amidst Legs' catchy rhythms wafting from the stage. However that was at the beginning of the set ...somewhere afterwards that energetic feeling was lost and in its place was something more melodically emo (patent pending). SouthSide cited Legs' music as such because that's how her ears perceived the music - somewhat depressing and moody (perfect for the day's weather). Legs did rock out the venue with a little livelier tune (their pseudo-theme song, We All Have Legs) towards the end of its performance but after the two emo downer songs, the thrill was already lost that she felt from the beginning of the performance. Visit for more information about this band.

Rockin' out this performance of IPO's all ages show was solo artist Dave Rave (Ontario, Canada) who has performed at all fifteen IPO locations including Liverpool and London, blogspot readers. This Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter electrified The Abbey stage with a unique energetically "acoustic" set that featured Dave on his electric. This reviewer instantly felt the intense guitar riff momentum as well as fire wrapped inside his lyrics in which this artist inserted himself emotionally into each word sung. Dave brought a bit of 80s back to the stage with a 2011 twist that vibrantly contained a G-chord to spark more electricity throughout the venue ...SouthSide felt every riff played during Top Down - it was very intense, blogspot readers. During the song Anne-Marie (off his current Live With What You Know album), this reviewer saw a tender side to Dave yet while still rockin' the stage under a cloud of intense momentum and heartfelt emotions combined before offering a little observational slice of life when Patty Rocks. Dave rocked out his performance by having IPO founder and CEO, David Bash join him to do some shaking and singing during Let's Shake. SouthSide highly recommends David Bash doing more rockin' and shakin' on stage with Dave again at this artist's next IPO appearance. Visit or for more information about this artist.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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