Posts Tagged ‘Park West’

Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)
If you’re looking for great music and networking in a “chill-axed” atmosphere, you have to swing by “Groove Sessions” tonight at The Joynt (located at 640 N. Dearborn) in Downtown Chicago. This weekly event is hosted by Jessica Williams and Miisha McCullar of IGM Entertainment and features some of the hottest and most eclectic bands that range from Neo-Soul to Latin Jazz. This is definitely a sophisticated and sexy crowd, so make sure you bring your “swag” intact. Tonight’s guests will be treated to the soulful, Latin sounds of the Noguera Evolution Quartet. Doors open at 8pm and admission is complimentary until 10pm. There is a $10 cover after 10pm and the event goes until 2am. To get on the mailing list, make sure you hit up IGM at igmentertainment@yahoo.com.

Since the weather will be much warmer, there’s plenty to get into this weekend…On Friday, Chicago Bulls Superstar, Ben Gordon, will be hosting this month’s “First Fridays Chicago” for the “All Black Attire Affair” kindred2at Alahambra Palace (located at 1240 W. Randolph). This upscale event will also feature a special guest appearance by husband and wife R&B/Soul duo, Kindred. Meanwhile, the sounds will be pumped throughout the night on two luxurious levels by DJs: Timbuk 2, Mark Fullaflava, Maurice “Ice” Culpepper, and 33 1/3. The event runs from 9pm-2am.

In a city where many claim “doesn’t support it’s hometown artists”, the Chicago music community will unite on Saturday, March 7th at the Harold Washington Cultural Center (located at 4701 S. King Drive) for the Chicago Hip-Hop Classic. This celebration of Chicago’s local hip-hop scene will be comprised of a concert and music symposium where artists, music executives, and music lovers can come together for positive inspiration. Artists such as Pheave, Que B.I.L.L.A.H., Gemstones, Polie Da Great, Twone Gabz, Jak Frost and dance troupe Final Phaze will all be performing. Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm. Tickets for this all ages show can be purchased in advance for $10 at www.amusicexperience.com, or $15 at the door. The Chicago Hip-Hop Classic is presented by GO Sity Entertainment and Bo Beniz.


If you’re looking for something a little different and want to support a great cause, check out Chicago Takes Off, an annual burlesque revue-style show where Chicago’s Dance community struts their stuff in support of the TPAN (Test Positive Aware Network), a support group that empowers individuals living with HIV and AIDS and educates the community as a whole about HIV and HIV prevention. These colorful and flamboyant shows will take place this Saturday at the Park West (322 W. Armitage) at 7:30p and 10pm. Seats are limited and can be reserved at http://www.chicagotakesoff.org.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Tea

Last week Mike Ness, front man of Social Distortion, played two dates showcasing his solo material at Park West in Chicago. Ness’ set primarily consisted of material off his 1999 release Cheating at Solitaire and was highlighted with a few cover songs including a stripped down version of Social D’s “Ball and Chain”. His encore included “If You Leave Before Me”, “I Fought the Law”, and a last minute addition of “Ring of Fire”.

See Photos From Tuesday’s ShowMike Ness

Ness’ warm presence and heartfelt commentary made the evening feel like a group of friends sharing a drink and some tunes, as opposed to a concert with a musical icon who has 30 years of rocking under his belt. His ability to maintain this accessibility is a quality that draws fans to sell out his concerts time and time again. Chicago’s double performance is a reminder of how wonderful it is when an artist shows they have more then one trick up their sleeve.

(Type “Maureen Vana” into the search bar at the top of this page to see my past concert photography and reviews)

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

Although she’s been MIA from the US music scene for at least a decade, Swedish Pop songwriter and vocalist, Robyn, had plenty of fans come out to support her amazing first ever performance in Chicago  at the Park West Wednesday night. 

Some of you may remember Robyn at the young age of 16 when she first came on to the scene with her signature blond bob cut and two infectious radio Pop hits, “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes)”.  Ten years later it almost appears as if time has stood still for Robyn as she could almost pass for 16 today.  One thing is for sure, she has left that bubblegum Pop sound behind for a fresher, more unique mash-up of electronica, hip-hop, R&B and New Age.

The diversity of Robyn’s music was reflected in the makeup of the crowd at the Park West which came out to hear selection’s from her newest release simply titled “Robyn”.  This album which contains many tracks that have been underground hits overseas for several years is the first album Robyn has released on her own record label Konichiwa Records.

After the audience was treated to various dance selections from the opening DJ (who’s name I can’t print since this blog is PG-13), Robyn and her 3-piece band appeared on stage all dressed in black.  She got the party started on the “good foot” launching into the infectious groove “Cobrastyle” which she recently rocked on the David Letterman Show.

Robyn kept the party going with crowd favorites like “Who’s That Girl” and the clever self-promoting, in-your-face anthem “Konichiwa B****es”.  She didn’t dissapoint as she moved back and forth across the stage keeping the party vibe on ten and getting the crowd involved on tracks like her current radio single “Handle Me” and her huge UK hit, “With Every Heartbeat”.

My personal favorite moments during Wednesday’s show was when Robyn did the R&B-inspired “Crash & Burn Girl” and even threw in an extra treat with the Fyre Department remix of Snoop Dogg’s hit single “Sensual Seduction” which she is featured on.

Robyn did take a moment to slow things down on the somber, yet beautiful “Eclipse”, but she picked things right back up with tracks like “Bum Like You”.  After the crowd had been exhausted from dancing all night, Robyn returned to the stage for not one, but two encores…one of which she took it back to 1997 with a scaled down, more modern version of the song that started it all, “Show Me Love”.

Robyn definitely made a new fan in me and although she’s been making hits overseas the past ten years, she didn’t miss a step on her re-introduction to The States.

 photo credit: Adam Bielawski

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