Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicago street fests offer a great opportunity...and it's not over yet!!!

I have lived in Chicago for almost 25 years and this is the first year I have made it a point to experience as many street fests as possible. I usually hit one or two each summer but this year has proven to be more exciting. It is a fantastic opportunity to try out local eateries, visit area shops and expose yourself to some unbelievable music by small local bands. It is truly a treat and not an all day event.

A few weeks ago I was at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest and although the burgers were as good as a streetfest burger can get, I was introduced to a fantastic local band called Liquid Soul. They are 2000 Grammy Award winners and have been hovering under the radar ever since. You get the jazzy brass sounds of the sax and trumpet with the high-energy rocky, dance beat. Plus unreal vocal percussion of "Boy Elroy" It has to be seen to be believed. They were unique, original and quite entertaining and not terribly crowded. They are not easy to find in the city but if you see them on a fest list, check them out!!! I think Evanston is their next stop before the summer ends.

At the same festival I heard dotdotdot who are also a local favorite who offer a handful of originals plus fun cover music: a rock sound with a dance beat and tons of energy. They are all over the city with gigs practically every weekend, including this coming weekend at the Taste Of Lincoln Avenue (at Fullerton). They are on at 3:45 on Sunday if you want to check them out. They also have a couple of the members from Cat Fight.

Last weekend was another terrific street fair in River North. There I heard another new local band that is my favorite of the summer so far called Mathien and they also offered incredible original music that I would not be surprised gets some radio play in the future. Merging calm, funky soul, rock, and a strong hip-hop aesthetic, singer-songwriter Chris Mathien (MAY-thee-in) conveys the passion of reggae and soul vocal stylings, the free experimentation of Parliament-Funkadelic Rock, while incorporating the unconventional hip-hop attitudes of A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots...

They can been seen next at the Bash on Wabash (between 13th and 14th). Mathien goes on between 6:00 and  6:30 on Sunday, September 5th. If you are in the south loop area, definitely check them out.

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