Since Wavefront folded a couple years ago, I’ve been itching for another event to be held on the city’s greatest asset – the waterfront. Cue Mamby on the Beach, Chicago’s newest music festival, which hit Chicago’s South Shore over the weekend. Water was centrally located and easy to find, police on site were friendly and helpful, and the people at Mamby were laid back and friendly – a refreshing change from the reckless neon kids of similar events.
Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit headlined the fest, but it was The ‘Go’s own Holt who stole the show. When he took the stage there couldn’t have been more than 100 people there. But the law of attraction would prove strong for the G.O.O.D. MUSIC signee, as Holt brought something to Mamby no one else would – real trap music. It was a much needed change of pace from the dominantly electronic lineup, a breath of fresh air for hip hop heads like myself. Fellow Treated Crew leaders Mano and Mic Terror kept the energy up as people flocked to the stage, and when it was all said and done an intimate crowd had become a high octane mob.
With Chicago’s skyline glistening across the lake and forgiving sand beneath your feet, Oakwood Beach served as an ideal location for the festival. I’m proud to live in a city accommodating a growing taste for live music and peaceful gatherings, and stoked to see Mamby on the Beach possibly become a staple of what we like to call Summertime Chi.
The Yelawolf show at The Metro this past Tuesday night was an epic night of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was an interesting mix of crowds as Yela gave his fellow Slumericans a lot of content as he brought a diverse crowd of listeners together at his sold out show in Chicago.
Interesting enough, a Hip-Hop show began with some Rock N Roll as Nashville, TN group Hillbilly Motel entertained the crowd at Metro with a variation of different genres. Their set was an interesting experience to ‘Hip-Hop heads’ that expected to begin the show with a local opener. That didn’t happen but Hillbilly Hotel definitely did entertain as they not only educated the crowd to the various influences that helped create their band, but as well as to the many individuals that impacted their musical upbringing. Surprisingly enough, Hillbilly Hotel often cited Chicago as a source of music folklore as many of this city’s music legends not only influenced their careers but as well as many legendary bands. Most importantly, Hillbilly Hotel advocated for their audience to think for themselves as well as fight for what they believe in as they rocked on through their hour set.
Highlights from Hillbilly Hotel:
The crowd was at his feet for Alabama spitter Yelawolf as he engaged his sold out crowd in Chicago from beginning to end. His nearly two hour set delivered an onslaught of new and old material as he serenaded his crowd to some of his latest records of his recently released Love Story album and brought the crowd to frenzy as he went down memory lane performing tracks off his legendary Trunk Muzik mixtape and records he released as a now member of Shady Records.
Yelawolf gave his crowd everything he had and then more as he went out of his way to ensure he gave his fans the best concert experience he could, and did. Some of the most important notes Yela spoke upon was the importance of his fans sticking with him amidst the several evolutions of music he has undergone. He also spoke about the current state of music, stating that it didn’t matter to him if his fans bought or illegally downloaded his music as long as his music was being spread for the better cause. Ultimately, as someone that has followed him since Trunk Muzik and the XXL Freshmen cover it was very interesting in seeing how he has evolved with his sounds as well as seeing the impact behind him finding his niche and his sound which we have grown accustomed to as the kid from a no name city in Alabama made his name known on a Tuesday night in Chicago.
It was a family affair. A successful one. Chicago’s the Mid was filled with Treated crowns last night when Holt took the stage to play his first hometown show since signing to GOOD Music. And while we got a taste of Holt’s new sound with “Nightcall,” last night we saw it all come together. The creativity and energy put into Holt’s new music is refreshing, and shit, hearing authentic music like that is exciting. You pair that authenticity with supreme confidence and the energy of a underground punk band… and that’s Holt live.
Red lights over saturated the stage Friday night as Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def walked out with a bouquet of roses, painting the stage with petals. It had been near forty minutes, and felt like an hour, since the stage was last occupied, and fans were more than ready. They shouted out song requests to which Mos replied, “I am not a jukebox.” He’s right. But his dj pretty much was. And if fans are paying $40 for about an hour of music which they’re showing up two hours early for, hell if I wouldn’t expect to hear the jams. The red lights never switched. He covered ODB among others but wouldn’t comply to a request or two from the crowd. An artist and their audience are dependent on one another – straight up. And a live performance is no different. When the chemistry’s right, any show can be spectacular. Friday night, however, felt dull and disconnected.