On Tuesday night, the 29th of September, Papadosio began their Extras In A Movie Tour at Canopy Club in Urbana, IL. Upon entering the venue, I was overcome with tons of powerful, positive vibes and when the show began it was evident that this group has a very passionate fan base. Almost immediately the music took me into a different state of mind. Their celestial sound was unlike something I have ever heard before. Through their use of multiple guitars, live looping, and running instruments through a computer, they were able to create genre-bending songs. Aside from that, Papadosio’s light show and visuals were quite impressive. While I was already taken away by the stimulation of the music, the graphics added another touch that just overwhelmed me with euphoria.
It was amazing to experience a group that believes in their music and wants to inspire people along the way. Papadosio shined a new light in my eyes by bringing us music that is genuine and personal. Each song brought up a different feeling and memory in my mind, which made this experience that much more noteworthy. Last night, every inch of Canopy Club was high off of Papadosio’s psychedelic energy. The liveliness radiating in the venue was contagious and I recommend that everyone see Papadosio perform.
Hailey Reilly (PlaylistHQ Intern)
Tonight’s Godfrey show is being recorded. This former Chicagoan chose his hometown, over his current city, New York to film his latest special. Godfrey talks a lot about the experience of being black in the city. He tells the audience someone once described him as being “Regular Black”. “That sounds like a Crayola color!” he exclaims. Immediately three women walk on to the stage carrying over-sized crayons. They are labeled “Regular Black”, “Oprah”, and “Obama”!
Godfrey’s Obama impressions are spot on. He performs a bit where he explores what it would sound like if Obama suddenly started talking Kenyan in the middle of a speech. The result has the audience cracking up. He also does an excellent impression of his Nigerian father responding to his request to buy $200 Jordan shoes in a deep African voice. “When I was your age, I didn’t have feet! I had to crawl 100 miles to school!” There is an incredibly smooth flow as Godfrey goes from topic to topic. It’s clear from this performance that Godfrey is at the top of his game and will continue to make crowds laugh for many years to come.
In the lobby of the Chicago theatre where the audience enters, a DJ is playing hits such as “Uptown Funk” and “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley as violinist accompanies him. This collaboration sets up what is to come. Can classical music and break dancing go together? Flying Bach shows that they can.
For the slowest parts, break dancing is shown on a screen in slow motion which looks incredible. At just a bit faster speed, they have a classically trained female dancer take the stage. For the rest of the speeds, the break dancing matches expertly. The power moves and freezes are timed precisely with the notes. When a dancer spins on his head during an intense portion of Bach, the crowd erupts in applause.
Spliced in between the classical music portions are electronic beats which are more commonly associated with break dancing. The transition between the two is very smooth and shows how excellently this show was put together. This show elevates break dancing to an art form which definitely can be performed with classical music. Catch their final two shows in Chicago tonight and tomorrow!
How would The Little Red Riding Hood end if the timing of the events were changed around? What if the Woodsman shows up later? What if the young girl arrives before the wolf? These ideas and more are explored in The Universal Wolf at the Trap Door Theatre. This small theatre holds only about 30 seats and makes the experience very intimate. A large portion of the stage is a garden of flowers and dirt. The actors walking around barefoot gives the scene a dirty and raw feeling that draws the audience in. The actions builds to a fantastic climax where anything could happen in this alternative telling of the classic fairy tale. Catch one their final two performances tonight or tomorrow!
Should a one man HipHop, Livetronica, DJ open up for a full band? Can these two forms of entertainment fit the same bill? Tonight they give it a try as Quiet Entertainer opens up for Mutemath. QE begins with some popular songs and then dives into his original music. As QE plays his mixes, he energetically dances to the music. However, despite QE’s best efforts, it is difficult for one person to keep the attention of a large crowd. A screen with visuals synced to the music would definitely help make it a more immersive experience. Also, in order to facilitate the transition to a live band, a member of Mutemath could come out and play live with the mixes. Quiet Entertainer’s enthusiasm is strong and with time, he’ll continue to adapt to be the opener for a rock band.
At the Beat Kitchen in Roscoe Village, the host introduces local comedian, Sean Flannery, with delight. Early on, he tells a story about the first time he was in Chicago. His friend was drunk and high in the driver’s seat. A policeman approaches and instructs him to roll down the window. Instead of arresting him for drunk driving, the officer informs him there is a 12-pack of beer on the rooftop and then drives away. The entire crowd laughs and applauds. Later on he is talking about his children. One of his kids says he doesn’t want to have any children. The 3 year old says he wants to have a whole bunch. Sean says he can’t wait to hold his grandchildren. His 3 year old son then says to him, if you ever touch my kids, I will kill you! It’s this style of funny storytelling that makes Flannery a pro.
The headliner of the night is Matt Braunger, whom used to live in Chicago but now lives in LA. He tells us a surefire way to stop someone from drunk driving. Common sense reasoning and begging from a girlfriend won’t do the trick. Just go up to him and say, “Dude, dude, dude!” and he’ll instantly hand you the keys. This also works as a prank. Go up to a “keg” of bros and start pointing at them one at time saying “Dude!” At least one of them will react as if you told him his dick was hanging out. Braunger has perfected this bit and the audience is cracking up the entire time. He’s looks like a natural on stage. Catch him at Schubas tonight or see his special, Big Dumb Animal, on Netflix now!
As soon as The Struts take the stage, it’s clear this is no ordinary band. It’s a full on glam rock band in the vein of The Darkness about to put on one hell of a show. Early in their set they play, Could Have Been Me and the crowd starts dancing and singing along. The song sounds strong and fresh and yet still similar to classic rock songs. It’s the sign of a fantastically written song that is timeless.
Luke Spiller, the lead singer, comes down into the crowd and instructs everyone to make a gap down the middle. He pits the left side against the right side in a loudness competition followed by a call and response segment where everyone sings what he just sang. It’s the same style that is used in Put Your Money on Me. Oh yeah! This highly interactive environment is maintained for the entire show.
The combination of their over-sized stage presence and fantastic songs is skyrocketing their well deserved popularity. Catch them on tour now in small venues now while you still can!
Early in their set, Skinny Lister plays Rollin’ Over and the crowd instantly smiles and starts dancing around. It’s a joyous tune that fits perfectly with this sunny Friday afternoon. The band then brings out a giant jug filled with an alcoholic beverage and shared it with the crowd. The drink is quickly consumed by the fans. Later on, the bass player crowd surfs with his huge stand-up bass! It’s an impressive sight to see. The band plays Seventeen Summers and the audience sways along. It’s a perfect drinking tune to sing along with. Skinny Lister has definitely mastered the folk rock and party atmosphere of a great live show. Catch them on tour now!
After Arise Roots and The Expanders perform excellent opening sets, it’s time for the headliner. When Tribal Seeds take the stage, they get the party started and never slow down. The band transitions from song to song smoothly and without a break. They lay down a solid roots reggae groove that has the whole crowd dancing along. It’s a sound that feels more like Jamaica than Southern California. Listen to them on Spotify and catch them on tour now!
Local H has been a staple of the Chicago rock scene since the 90’s. Five highlights of their recent show at Chop Shop are as follows:
- The music of Local H encourages movement and tonight the crowd is enjoying being part of mosh pits, crowd surfing, and watching a stage diver.
- As the band plays hits such as “Hands on the Bible” and “All-Right (Oh, Yeah)”, everyone sings along and pumps their fists to the rocking rhythm.
- “California Songs” should be an official Midwest anthem. It puts down the west coast… and New York too.
- Local H performs and the movie, Over the Edge, is projected on the wall behind them. At one point, Scott Lucas pauses and says, “This is my favorite part.”
- Playing “High-Fiving MF” brings to mind the Offspring’s “Bad Habit” in terms of the cursing and intensity.
See the full setlist here: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/local-h/2015/1st-ward-chicago-il-73f77e11.html
See the preview article here.