The California Honeydrops don’t just play their instruments on stage, they put on a party. Tonight’s party was with a sold out crowd at their largest Chicago show to date. Early on in their first set, they play a Wilson Pickett cover, “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You”. “It may be greener on the other side now baby, but right here in my arms is where you belong.” They make this song their own and turn it into a slow groove party starter. The audience can’t help but start swaying back and forth and singing along. It also matches a common theme in their songs about relationships. It goes very well with the first set closer, “When It Was Wrong”. “Do you remember when we were hiding out? Just a sneaking out, a little making out? Now that you’re here to stay you know the thrill is gone.” They jam on this song for over 10 minutes and they could have gone on much longer. It’s a fantastically fun song that gets better the more you hear it.
In the second set, they play “Long Way”. “I know we’ve come a long way, still got a long way to go.” It’s about the fight for equal rights for everyone and it’s another example of the great lyrics of their songs matched with a great melody. Later on, they play “Pumpkin Pie” in the style they used to play at BART stations, with the drummer on a washboard and everyone standing close together at the front of the stage. “If they ask you for a slice, well you can give them beans and rice!” It’s a sweet tune to sing along and dance with. It was also specifically requested by the audience.
To close out the night, they come into the audience in their “mobile” mode and play instrumental surrounded by their adoring fans. The show started at 9pm and it’s now well past midnight. “We keep playing till they kick us off,” the lead singer says. When they finally do finish, everyone has a giant smile on their face. This band is definitely on the way up and they sure know how to party!