So Many Bands, So Little Time

It’s pretty obvious that I love Chicago. It’s also pretty obvious that I love music, since I feature local bands each week. Last week I was rewarded for my devotion with the opportunity to see four of my favorite Chicago bands, and to be introduced to some new talent. And even though I know how diverse, and how talented, Chicago’s music scene truly is, experiencing it in a concentrated time period brought it into focus.

Last Wednesday I interviewed Kill Hannah before their invitation-only Halloween/Anniversary party at Debonair Social Club. This alternative electronica band is on the verge of making it really big. They’re with a major label, have toured the U.S. extensively, and are getting ready to tour the UK, but they’re still tied into their Chicago roots. Not only did they sit down with me, but they eschewed any VIP roped-off treatment and hung out with everyone else after the show.

Friday evening I headed to The Abbey Pub to hear Mindsight, last week’s featured band. Their sound, while still broadly classified as “alternative”, is more hard-hitting and reminiscent of bands like Incubus. This particular show was acoustic, which was perfect because we’d just recorded my first co-hosted show with Chicago Acoustic Underground. Aaron, the lead singer, successfully got everyone off their duffs by threatening not to sing until people moved to the stage and saying “I know the bar’s over there, but we’re serving music.”

My next destination was The Double Door on Saturday. I love this venue because they host an incredible number of local bands. The round-up this time was rock/metal, and I arrived just in time to see Disonic. I’ve been following them for over a year now. They were one of the first bands featured on TLT and I reviewed their EP after it was released earlier this year. Simply put: I love ’em. I will unabashedly go to every show I can (I’ve even gone so far as to drive to Morris so my son could see their all-ages show) and will dance in front of the stage and sing along to every song.

At this point I was a very happy woman. I’d already seen three of my favorite local bands, and Lucid Ground was set to take the stage the same night. They were the last of the lineup, and in between Khaos Theory and Figure H8 performed. Both are much harder. I liked Khaos Theory, but I’m unlikely to feature them because they would frighten young children and Lyric Opera subscribers. The most entertaining part was their lead singer: he looked like a biker dude and moved like someone in a Justin Timberlake video – quite the contrast. Figure H8…well, with a name like that you can imagine. I wonder if the guy’s even going to have a voice in 10 years.

Around 12:30am it was Lucid Ground’s turn. They’re pretty much strict hard rock. When I first heard them a few weeks ago, I thought Karl’s voice sounded like Eddie Vedder. Until I heard the former Pearl Jam front man’s newest on the way to Double Door. Now I feel that Karl sounds much better. A band is much more than just a singer, though, and the whole ensemble is tight and talented and driven. We’re trying to schedule a show with Chicago Acoustic Underground, and I can’t wait to get them into the studio.

Speaking of CAU, the only person that could have dragged me out of the house on Sunday was Michael Teach, and his declaration that I had to check out the musicians playing at Vintage Wine Bar.

What a contrast! I went from hard rock/alternative/head-banging-until-my-neck-hurts music on Saturday to jazz guitar and standards on Sunday. I’m glad I did. After the high decibel ear crushing acoustics at Double Door, I was ready for a classy joint where you drink wine and martinis and have hushed conversations while listening to the dulcet sounds of a lady in heels and a fancy dress. Gary Tu played guitar and Bob Lovecchio bass, sometimes accompanied by Diane Noe singing and working the crowd. I just sat there in awe. Especially when I learned that they’d rehearsed together once. The three of them don’t have a website yet, but if he has to drag them kicking and screaming Michael will get them into the studio and get them set up.

One week. Four venues. Four genres. My ears may still be ringing, but I can’t get the smile off my face.


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