Last night [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mavis Staples[/lastfm] and her magnificent band once again delivered an amazing show, and opening act J.C. Brooks and The Uptown Sound completely won over the crowd as well.
For the second time in about a year we presented a 93XRT Show at the Classic Cinemas Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove last night. It’s a beautiful, 1920’s era theater with excellent sight lines and great acoustics. This theater is a full time movie house and only the second theater in the Chicago area that was designed for talkies, that’s how old it is. Ironically, the movie that’s currently showing there is the nearly silent film, The Artist. But last night we rocked the house.
First up was J.C. Brooks and the Uptown sound. This local band from, yes, Uptown Chicago, was an unknown to most of the audience, though J.C. captured their hearts with his dynamic performance, captivating stage presence, remarkable singing talent, charming and engaging personality, and the very tight band. He soon had the seated audience clapping and shouting and singing along. (I tried to get e photo of J.C. after the show with my phone but there was always a fan posing with him.) Before the show Mavis could hear singing from her dressing room and asked who that was? I went to the room next door and brought J.C. and the band over to meet Mavis. J.C. was so excited to meet Mavis and hear from her that she had seen him on a local TV show he could hardly keep himself from jumping up and down.
Mavis Staples delivered another wonderful show. She included current songs like “Wrote a Song For Everyone” and the moving Jeff Tweedy song, “You Are Not Alone.” She went back to the civil rights era for the Pops Staples song, “Freedom Highway,” and closed with the Staple Singers hit, “I’ll Take You There.” Her performance was inspirational, and her personality made everyone love her, (though not quite as much as I do, being her number 1 fan.) We look forward to seeing Mavis Staples again when she and her band headline the Chicago Blues Festival on Sunday, June 10 in Grant Park.
Because the theater is not presently set up for live music concerts, a lot of gear had to be specially brought it. The show production was expertly handled by Richard Milne, XRT DJ and host/producer of our Local Anesthetic program, and his company Rank Entertainment.
All photos except for my camera photo were taken by John Nunu Zomot. Thanks Nunu.