Hey, Chicago Music Guide readers …and welcome to one busy Halloweek! SouthSide’s rockin’ the holiday spirit by covering some of the hottest shows to hit local stages from now until November 1st. Her fantastical journey began at Schubas (in the Lakeview area) to see the Ten Buck Tour featuring honeyhoney (CA) along with Joshua James (UT) and Desert Noises (UT). This reviewer highly recommends feeling and grooving (besides hearing) the energetic tribal-inspired vibe of alternative folk sound by Desert Noises (http://www.desertnoisesmusic.com). This lively group of musicians were the perfect opening act to get this weeknight crowd alive and kickin’ amidst their fierce momentum and intense guitar riffs. Desert also rocked the stage with catchy rhythmic hooks that contained (sometimes) anelectro-Western feel intricately woven during certain songs like You’re A Wolf. Even while in a down-tempo pace, this band still performed under some intensity and energy but with more thundering percussion as seen and heard in Desert’s closing number. Meanwhile Joshua James(http://www.joshuajames.tv) had the same intensified energy level as Desert Noises however he added a much more serious tone and realism (within the lyrics) during his set. Through the dynamic power of his vocals, this singer/songwriter had this crowd appreciating as well as feeling the way he would personalize the realism of (i.e. pain or losing someone special) the words written inside his songs. Yet, Joshua wasn’t “serious” all of the time but you could still hear it much clearer while performing in an upbeat tempo. This reviewer enjoyed the intense fire in which he played the acoustic guitar making it bleed (at times) with a fierce riff sound or while being very emotionally expressive with his voice. Overall, Joshua’s seriousness spoke well with its intended audience that truly captured their mood and heartfelt sentiments and despite being too serious for SouthSide to enjoy his performance, she still highly recommends catching him while on tour with honeyhoney.
Yet, honeyhoney (usually a duo but while on this tour – a full band) was a combination of both opening acts during their headlining set. It was electrifying and highly energizing (like Desert Noises) but also with a hint of seriousness when needed to be (like Joshua James). Mostly it was all around fun as Suzanne and Ben celebrated the release of their new album, Billy Jack, that dropped on Monday. honeyhoneyinstantly captured(as well as captivated) this reviewer’s ears with its eclectic music vibe (for instanceelectro guitar-banjo riffs as heard in the opening song) and the dynamic diva-tude vocals that would switch between a Patsy Cline like feel (in Angel of Death) and a raspy Janis Joplin (in the acoustic duo performance of Sugar Cane). She enjoyed the different level of music intensity this group brought to the stage whether it was exciting the crowd with banjo rhythms (by Suzanne) or dramatically yet haunting violin notes (also Suzanne). It was a unique kind of alternative sound, which kept this rather calm fan-frenzied crowd knee deep within honeyhoney’s momentum. SouthSide highly suggests listening to I Don’t Mind which featured the banjo amidst an upbeat swing adding a touch of hillbilly/country feel to the music as well as energetically livening up the stage. She especially recommends listening to the song about happiness and joy (despite its deathly title) – Angel of Death that brought out the Patsy Cline in Suzanne’s voice while in a happily somber tone featuring the violin. Her diva-tude card truly expressed itself during the semi-acoustic performance of Don’t Know How with Ben which easily spotlighted how dynamic she can be within an acoustic setting. Yet it also demonstrated how both musicians as vocalists nicely and naturally complemented each other when sharing vocal duties during this particular heartfelt, sensitive song. What really had this venue floored into complete silence (i.e. as in you could actually hear SouthSidescribbiling notes on her pad) was when Suzanne and Ben (as an acoustic duo) performed a stellar rendition of Hank Williams’ Lost Highway. Words cannot begin to describe how wonderfully they captured the realism (and hidden meaning) behind the lyrics under a slight gospel tone. Plus Ben blew SouthSide away with a dynamic force of falsetto and vocal strength that she had to stop writing a moment to listen. Truly the highlight of the entire evening for this reviewer. SouthSide highly recommends catching honeyhoneywhile they’re currently on tour.
Until next time, support your local scene,