Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals--Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest 2010

Grace was versatile--playing piano, guitar and even jamming on the drums with her whole band.   But her vocals really brought down the house.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros-Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest 2010

Barefoot in "a summer festival brought indoors for the Chicago winter".

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros had the Congress Theatre smokin' hot as headliners at the 3rd annual Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest last Saturday night.  It truly felt like an outdoor festival atmosphere, complete with hula hoops and hippie vendors.  I was blown away by the excellent caliber of the musicians and the playful, enthusiastic audience.   

It was funny that the last show I saw at The Congress last month was Clutch, Children of Boden, and Black Label Society.  The burly bouncers had their hands full with all the bodies crowd surfing over the barricades and into the photo pit.

This time, the only things coming toward the stage were daisies and a gifted tambourine that were peacefully offered up to the musicians, not thrown.   The bouncers still got a work out, though, as Edward Sharpe repeatedly waded out into the audience.   At one point, he was the one jumping out to crowd surf.  He even talked everyone into sitting down on the floor for the show closer, then he walked out and joined them!

Check out some past footage of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performing live!   Edward Sharpe was shirtless and barefoot, and his piano player and Grace Potter, the lead singer who opened for him, kicked off their shoes to play barefoot, as well.

Check out the CBB Website for recaps of the shows and follow them on FB for updates.

    We'd also like to introduce a new ChiIL Mama spin off for 2011--ChiIL Live Shows.    We'll still run recaps here on ChiIL Mama, but all the live music, band interviews and live theatre we shoot will be cross posted on ChiIL LIve Shows, archived and easy to search.   We'll get things started off with CBB and work our way backwards all the way to Summer Camp 2 years ago with a live Jay Goldberg video interview and photos of Les Claypool, Buckethead and more.

A Summer Festival Brought Indoors for the Chicago Winter
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest 2010-Side Stages and Audience Characters

We were amused to see Matt (AKA:   Shreddy Shirt Boy) once again.   He makes his own unique wardrobe and is a fixture in the Chicago concert world.   Word is, he spoke with Grace Potter's guitar player about possibly designing some shred wear for her to perform in.   Grace was recently featured on VH1 Divas:  Salute the Troops.   If you see a shreddy shirt diva out there in the future, remember you heard it from ChiIL Mama first!

Back in September of 2009 we started a thread with a contest:   Spot Shreddy Shirt Boy and Locate Lee (somewhat like an urban Where's Waldo?).   Check it out HERE

We've spotted (and photographed) Shreddy Shirt Boy in recent months at The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest, Clutch, The Blackhawks Training Camp Festival and Northcoast Music Fest and Lollapalooza.    It may be time in early 2011 for another shreddy shirt boy photo filled feature!   In the mean time, drop us a comment and/or photo if you spot shreddy shirt boy or Lee Groban.   Chicago has character........and characters.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Black Label Society LIVE at The Congress Theatre-Photos

Children of Bodom at Congress Theatre in November

Double click on the photos for full screen options

Finnish black metal band, Children of Bodom, is named for an unsolved teen triple murder on the shores of Lake Bodom in 1960.    Four friends were camping and only one survived with injuries, later becoming a suspect who was ultimately acquitted.   According to Wikipedia, the band has been together since 1993 and has been labeled, melodic death metal, among other genres.  Despite the "hate crew" hype, black nail polish, and angry lyrics, these tattooed long haired rockers from Finland still manage to come across more hot than horrifying.   Check out their web site for downloads, merch, and tour dates.

Present history via Wikipedia:

Relentless Reckless Forever (2010–present)

The Blooddrunk tour ended and Children of Bodom started recording their new album. During the recording of the drum tracks there was a small tornado and the power was cut out. Consequently the recording was delayed until after their tour with Black Label Society. Children Of Bodom released some information to Metal Hammer magazine about new album tracks. The three track names they released were entitled: "Pussyfoot Miss Suicide," "Ugly," and "Was It Worth It?" [26] [27] They have since returned and recorded all tracks, and they are expecting to release their album in early 2011.[28]
In November the band announced "The Ugly World Tour 2011" which will be from March-May 2011 and will feature dates around Europe. Opening Acts will be EnsiferumMachinae Supremacy and Amon Amarth (UK only). On November 24, it was announced that the title of the album will be "Relentless Reckless Forever". The album will be released on March 8, 2011. A music video for "Was It Worth It?" is in production, a trailer for the video has been released.

Clutch at Congress Theatre in November

double click for full screen options

Clutch is one of our favorite bands, and it was truly a pleasure to shoot their Congress appearance in November, when they opened for Black Label Society and Children of Bodom. 

We've seen Clutch play for years and in such diverse venues as Metro, Logan Auditorium, Cubby Bear, and even outdoors at Summer Camp Music Festival.   Last summer in Sweden we even thought we saw Neil Fallon's likeness in a stained glass window in Uppsala.   Check it out HERE and see what you think.   Maybe it's just his signature beard...but there's an uncanny resemblance.

Neil Fallon's growling vocals and insightful lyrics always make for a memorable live show.   Word is, the band bought out their prior label and are re-releasing on their own.    So let's show them some love.    Check out their web site for ticket info, merch and downloads at

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