vega_2011bVariety is the spice of life readers and tonight, this reviewer got just that while hanging out at her “home” in Lakeview. At the Elbo Room, there was a rockin’ explosion of music that would please the eclectic ear. Surfer rock (Volcano Weather) …funky Philly psychedelic rock (The Great Socio) …a mixture of country, honkytonk, blues and Americana rock (The Fustics) …and straight hard-hitting guitar rock (Get Franklin) – all on one stage. What a treat for SouthSide before she takes her first On The Town tour to Summerfest (in Milwaukee, WI) next week. Sadly, she was unable to stay to watch this headlining band rock out the night’s lineup however don’t despair readers, there will be a review of Get Franklin in the near future when and wherever this band performs live again. Yet, in the meantime, check out their band site at http://www.noisetrade.com/getfranklin.


Volcano Weather
Chicago knows surfer rock? Well, apparently, we do! SouthSide highly recommends checking out our local surfers who know how to curl the music waves – Volcano Weather at their next live performance. They were coasting some mad surfer waves on the stage throughout their opening set which was an exciting turbulent experience for this reviewer to kick off her summer music listening. It was groovy California-style surf music (but with a Chicago flare) that had this Tuesday night audience feeling the energizing waves song after song …keeping their hips swinging to the gritty guitar riffs without any fear of wiping out on the boogie board. Volcano Weather definitely got this lineup off the right direction. You can find the surf by visiting http://www.volcanoweather.bandcamp.com.


“…we’re weird people and that’s okay …if you’re weird too…”

The Great Socio
Meanwhile also check what SouthSide dubbed them after seeing this wild performance – “…the white slice version of Parliament Funkadelic…”, readers and you can most definitely quote her on that when you see The Great Socio (from city of brotherly love – Philadelphia, PA) rockin’ a stage near you. The mothership certainly had crash landed in Chicago with some of the band’s homage to its hometown’s famous P-funk sound yet with a twist entirely all their own. Besides the keyboard/digital wizardry (that would make legend Bernie Worrell proud and probably funk out with the band), lead vocalist (also on horns) Alberto or Berto for short (think of him as Boosty Collins) added some lyrical rap/hip hop to the mix along with gritty guitar rock and rhythmic percussion drumming. What a rockin’ bang for your buck with this band. Not only did they bring weirdness to the stage …but also on the bar counter and other spaces within the Elbo Room’s main lounge. It was an energizing show from start to finish especially when performing songs like “Criminals” and “The World’s Alive” (off current CD – Find The Time). Oh, you definitely must find the time to see this wildly incredible performance and Chicago fans, The Great Socio will be returning in October. Expect SouthSide to be there as well to get her Philly funk on! In the meantime, visit http://www.TheGreatSOCIO.com for music and tour dates.

“…it’s sweat drenched rock…”


The Fustics
Yep, this reviewer definitely has to agree with that statement after reviewing her new friends from Wilmington, NC – The Fustics. Oh before she continues with this review, she was asked by the band to help you correctly pronounce the name since they have been called dirtier names while on tour. It’s “fu” (with the full accent on the “u”) “sticks”. There, now that’s settled, she had the extreme honor and opportunity to interview these fine but very friendly, personable Southern gents before they rocked out the Elbo Room with a varying mix of music. Describing the band as “…original Americana eclectic rock…” (with drummer Randall counting the number of words), lead vocalist/guitarist Brad told SouthSide that The Fustics is flexible in playing a variety of musical genres. Tonight’s show was going to be a straight rock-n-roll set however, “…we can do country, folk, a little blues …a little honky tonk…” which would depend on the venue. “…we have a wide variety of music [in which we] try to be flexible …also [we] play off the audience…” Well, readers, he and the band were in luck because Chicago (besides being home to the blues) can be home to a little honky tonk, country and western, folk and so much more on any given night at any given venue’s stage. This band also has a lot of energy …or as The Fustics call it “…rock in the moment…” kind of performance. Throughout their Elbo Room debut (in which they love the venue), there was plenty of foot-stompin’ rock as well as lively country/blugrass or Americana folk sound that will get your feet tappin’ to the beat. Yet besides the music, this reviewer also enjoyed how Brad’s vocals were not only shaped around the band’s music but his natural falsetto tone amidst heartfelt emotions pops the lyrics to life especially when singing “It’s All Too Real”. This particular song is more than just an indie song that rocks. It’s an indie song that rocks hard with the guitars going full blast on the riffs and the percussion drumming bringing up the upbeat rhythms (featuring a cool drum solo by Randall too). It’s definitely a strong song lyrically as well as shows what this band is very capable of too under a guitar rock sound.

There were moments during this set when the music was quite intense …enough to get your head banging to the music along with the band. Oh, SouthSide must mention how The Fustics can rock the stage with a little blues and surfer rock too. Brad totally brought a fiery version of Chicago blues in his voice to the stage tonight that would have made Muddy Waters proud. And yep, they definitely know a little thing or two about California surf rock too. Now, that SouthSide has seen the many sides of this band she wonders how they would sound acoustically …perhaps metal? Hm, that would definitely shake up things where they’re from – Wilmington, NC. Since she’s all about learning what’s happening in the local scene elsewhere, this reviewer asked the guys what’s happening in their town to which they said Wilmington is “…a small coastal town …art and movie town…” You might have seen a piece of their hometown on the big screen in such movies The Crow, The Conjuring, A Walk To Remember and Firestarter as well as Dawson’s Creek, Under The Dome and Homeland. They mentioned the film industry there helps feed into the music industry even though it’s temperamental and relatively small. However, the guys did say “…when people are into it, they’re into it…” With their goal to win over one fan at a time, The Fustics are currently pushing their new album “American Burden” telling SouthSide it’s a good one. Lastly, the Fustics would like to say “…everyone’s been amazing …we like the Midwest …[everyone’s] been treating us well…” This reviewer highly recommends checking out this band while the guys are currently on tour. The Fustics are fun, friendly and very personable who love to rock the stage with a flexible wide variety of music genres wrapped into one amazing performance. Yeah, you’re going to get sweaty while rockin’ with them! For more information about this band, visit http://www.bradhellerandthefustics.com.

Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide