One of Chicago’s most sought after summer festivals, The Taste of Chicago, hosted Shaky Graves and The Decemberists last Friday. Before the music even started, there was plenty of things to do beforehand. I arrived at Grand Park at least three hours before the show even started, and I was blown away by the size of the festival. The food tents from all over restaurants in Chicago spanned all throughout Grand Park. Each of them offering their own unique cuisine. With the almost endless selection of restaurants to choose from, I found my tickets to be disappearing quickly. I tried many different things such as rabbit and rattlesnake sausage and bacon fried in brown sugar. To my surprise, both were quite tasty.
After walking around the Taste and seeing what all the different tents had to offer I went over to the Petrillo Music Shell feeling happily full from all of the food I had eaten. We arrived in perfect timing right as Marty from XRT began introducing the first band. Shaky Graves is an Austin based band fronted by Alejandro Rose-Garcia who delivers his own twist on southern rock with his ability to play the guitar almost effortlessly as he sings amongst a crowd of thousands. Shaky Graves is usually know as being just a one man act, but at the Taste he was alongside a few other musicians to help elevate the show.
Once Shaky Graves left there was a thirty minute intermission between the two acts, and while I was standing there I thought to myself “Could The Decemberists top that?” Shaky Graves put on such a performance and it might just be the rare instance that opener stole the show from the headliner. Within a few songs my view began to shift as I began to listen to new and old songs that I recognized by them. It seemed me and thousand other people in the audience shared the same appreciation for the band when songs like “O Valencia!” came on I found it hard to hear Colin Meloy’s voice as the people surrounding me screamed O Valencia!
From starting the day with trying all sorts of different foods to ending it with a concert in Grand Park, a perfect summer night was made.