Monthly Archives: July 2021

Heavy Rock! Lespecial at The Point Chicago (July 28, 2021)

Lespecial is a heavy rock band that plays mostly instrumental songs. They blend in short riffs of other bands like Rage Against the Machine and Tool into their original songs. They also cover Primus and Slipnot this night. The influence of Incubus can be heard in their music as well. They skillfully blend all these artists into their own style.

Their full musical ability is put on display as they play through their originals such as “The Vessel”, “Repeater”, and “Egg Time”. The audience was fully engaged and dancing along for the entirety of their set. This band has a bright future ahead of them.

Cost of a ticket: $20
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney


An Excellent Evening! The Box Tops at City Winery Chicago (July 21, 2021)

The Box Tops had a very short existence, lasting only from 1967 to 1970. However, during that time they created some great hits. The original bassist and guitarist, Billy Cunningham and Gary Talley front this current incarnation of the band. Alex Chilton was the original lead singer, who later fronted Big Star.

Throughout the night, the band members told stories about the songs. It was a half concert half history lesson experience as they mentioned all the legendary musicians they worked with throughout their careers. The list included Aretha Franklin, Elvis, Bob Dylan, and so many more.

They opened with “Cry Like a Baby” which made it all the way up to number two on the pop charts. They joked about it not quite making it to number one.

Later on they played “I’m Your Puppet”, which was first recorded by James & Bobby Purify. This is such a fun little song that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

For their penultimate song, they played their biggest hit, “The Letter”. It spent 4 weeks at number one on the Billboard charts. It’s such a great track, and also so quick. It clocks in at just 1 minute and 52 seconds.

Lastly, they closed with “Rock Me Baby” by BB King as one of a number of tributes to Memphis, their home town. It was a great finale to a night full of excellent music.


Rocking in the Mountains! State 38 at Purgatory Summer Brew Fest (July 10, 2021)

Located in the rugged San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, Purgatory Resort is only 25 miles north of historic downtown Durango. Carved by glaciers thousands of years ago, Purgatory provides stunning views of a high alpine landscape. Purgatory Resort’s base is more than 8,000 feet above sea level, and the summit is nearly 11,000 feet.  As people arrived for the Summer Fest they were greeted by a bustling summer scene of hikers, mountain bikers, and other people enjoying the Inferno Mountain Coaster and an Alpine Slide.

State 38 appeared to be right at home performing at the Purgatory Summer Brew Fest.  Surrounded by mountains, endless sunshine, and happy beer drinkers, the band opened their set with a beautiful bluesy rendition of The Grateful Dead’s “Deep Elem Blues.”  Later, Nancy Young’s soulful voice was highlighted in the band’s rendition of “Anyhow“ (Tedeschi Trucks Band).  This eclectic band continued to entertain with an upbeat tune titled, “So Right,” an original song written by guitarist Eric Johnson.  Jim North’s gravelly vocals performing Big Boss Man added to the diverse first set.  Throughout the afternoon, State 38 masterly covered songs from The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads enhancing the mood of a beautiful summer afternoon in the mountains.  Ahhh, summer!


Multi-Genre: Midwest Hype at The Point (July 9, 2021)

It’s 11:30pm on Friday night at Wicker Park’s newest venue, The Point. Chicago Loud 9 aka Cloud 9 very successfully warmed up the crowd and now Midwest Hype takes the stage. They’ll need to keep the energy high and that’s exactly what they do. It’s their first Chicago show post pandemic and they are ready to rock.

The band mixes so many genres together. Reggae, rock, funk, and hip-hop are all represented. In this way, they draw comparisons to 311, who also blend many of these musical styles. The set is a continuous groove that keeps the audience dancing late into the night.

The lead singer/guitarist is George Matthew. The rhythm section is Max Kepler on drums and Nate Miller on bass. On keys is Kevin Krizmanich. The horn section is Ben Morrisey on sax and Scott Whitford on trumpet. Justin “Ideal” Diehl is the emcee.

Quinn Delaney

Excellent! Fitz and the Tantrums at McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 2, 2021)

Welcome to the McGrath Amphitheatre in central Iowa. This venue is located along the Cedar River with downtown Cedar Rapids as a backdrop. With the temperature at 75 degrees this evening, everyone is excited for one of the first post pandemic shows of the year. “Shout out to the guy who gets free concerts all summer!” says Fitz. He is speaking to the man on his balcony in a building across the street from the amphitheater. That is a great spot to have!

Fitz and the Tantrums did tour last year. In Chicago, they played a drive in show at the Lakeshore Drive In. Social distancing was in effect again at tonight’s show with every other row being left empty and empty seats between groups.

Late in the show, they announce that they will play a song for their long time fans that have been following them for the past 12 years they have been on the road. They launch into “Moneygrabber” from their debut album, Pickin’ up the Pieces. It’s such a catchy song that put them on the radar early on.

At one point, Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick calls attention to a young girl in the front row. He asks how old she is. She responds that she is 7. “Wow,” he says, “that t-shirt that you are wearing is older than you!”

After much applause at the end of their set, they return for an encore. To start, they play “Handclap”, a truly groovy song that gets everyone dancing and clapping along.

All night long, Fitz and Noelle Scaggs sing together exceptionally with great energy. James King is outstanding with his numerous saxophone sandals. The rythym section is solid with Jeremy Ruzumna on keys, Joseph Karnes on bass, and John Wicks on percussion.

Catch Fitz and the Tantrums on tour now!

Quinn Delaney