Tom Marker’s Concert Hoppin’ Friday Night
Four bands at three venues on one Friday night: The evening started out at Park West at a 93XRT Show starring [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Freddy Jones Band[/lastfm]. Opener Troubled Identity provided a great start to the evening. This local band had a set of mostly original songs delivered with good vocals and good playing in a tight yet relaxed way that seemed to indicate a comfort with being on stage and was a lot of fun to witness.
The Freddy Jones Band is always a good time yet not exactly a band these days. Based in Chicago, FJB made some great records that were chart successes in the 90′s with a southern-rock sound not unlike The [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Allman Brothers Band[/lastfm] or even [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Little Feat[/lastfm]. These days the members are scattered around a bit but when they come together they sound as good as ever. I think they have at least as much fun getting back on stage as their loyal fans do seeing them.
Another Chicago band that used to be but now only performs on special occasions is Heavy Manners. The Beat Kitchen on W. Belmont was the place for the reunion this time and this Ska band formed about thirty years ago showed they still have the stuff. With Kate Fagan delivering lead vocals, Frankie Hill back on sax and one-time XRT DJ Shel Lustig keeping a very tight rhythm on drums along with special guest Smokin’ Joe Thomas on bass, they kept the dance floor rockin’ at this great Northside bar.
The night’s capper was a band I never heard of, playing a place so tiny that dancers were nearly falling on the band while going crazy on the dance floor. The place was FitzGerald’s sidebar, the small room across the parking lot from the main room. Boukou Groove from New Orleans began the evening opening for [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mr. Blotto[/lastfm] in the main room, then moved next door for a wild late night set joined by Curt Morrison of Tributosaurus. That was a lot of groove alright.
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