Monthly Archives: April 2022

Legendary! Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio at City Winery Chicago (April 6, 2022)

The Big Fun Trio is Elvin on guitar and vocals, Willy Jordan on cajon and vocals, and Bob Welsh on guitar and piano. Bishop lived in Chicago for a while on the south side. He played blues with many of the artists on Alligator Records and he is a true Chicago bluesman.

Early in the set, he plays “Old School” from his latest album, 100 Year of Blues, which he recorded with Charlie Musselwhite. He sings “No foolin on Facebook. No Twitter and tweets. Call me on the phone if you want to talk to me.” The audience cheers after this great line. They also love this one: “I go to the club, I don’t want no DJ jive. I like my real music up close and live!”

In the middle of the night, he plays “My Dog”. “My dog don’t have to work at all. He’s got it made.” This is such a fun song that put’s a smile on everyone’s face. Also, this line is awesome: “My dog’s name is just My Dog”.

He plays Ann Peebles’ hit, “I Can’t Stand the Rain”.  “Bringing back sweet memories, I can’t stand the rain, against my window, ’cause he ain’t here with me.” Wow, this one is a true classic and fits very well in his set.

To introduce the next song, he says, “This song is 100 years old.” Then he plays the instantly recognizable melody from “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”.  The song was released in 1975 and was his biggest hit. It has over 122 million streams on Spotify. It was also featured on the Boogie Nights soundtrack. “I must’ve been through about a million girls. I’d love ’em and I’d leave ’em alone.” It’s an honor to see this legendary song performed live and everyone soaks up the moment.

See photos by Janet Mami Takayama here.

Cost of a ticket: $45

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It +

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney


Electric Banjo! Tall Tall Trees Opening for Kishi Bashi at Thalia Hall (April 5, 2022)

Tall Tall Trees is Mike Savino. He plays an electric banjo that he created that sounds more like an electric guitar than a banjo. He is also joined on stage by the drummer.

Early on in his set, he plays “Expectations”. It starts off “I’m giving up on my expectations. Let them go and see where it takes us.” This song is from his album, A Wave of Golden Things, which was released in February 2020. He comments that the timing of the release of this album was not the best.

He also plays “Seven Shades of Blues”. The whistling in the song is excellent.

Later in the night, when Kishi Bashi takes the stage, Mike Savino returns to the stage with the drummer. They are in the band! All together, they put on a great set!

Cost of a ticket: $30
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Dramatic! Giordano Dance Chicago Presents Illuminate at Harris Theater for Music and Dance (April 2, 2022)

EXit4 – 2013

Choreograper: Ronen Koresh with Joe Cotler

This dance features intense emotions and loud screaming. In the current climate, it feels like the dancers are expressing extreme frustration with the world. It contrasts well with Retroverse.

Retroverse – World Premiere

This is a very fun piece that features the cast running and dancing around in all white costume that looks like underwear. It’s joyful and fun. In these times, it feels like a celebration of the end of Covid lockdowns.

The Man That Got Away – 1990

Choreographer: Sherry Zunker

The Man That Got Away is the best piece of the night. Judy Garland sings as a woman dances dramatically while Michael McStraw, the Executive Director, dressed in a tuxedo stands still looking off to the left. He doesn’t react at all as she dances around him or even when she runs and jumps on him  The emotional singing by Garland is perfectly matched by the dancing of Ashley Downs. At the end, she embraces the man, who slips away and walks off stage as the audience erupts in applause!

Feelin’ Good Sweet – 2014

Choreographer: Ray Leeper

To start the second half, “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé plays as the dancers move slowly around the stage. The lyrics slowly build: “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, for me. And I’m feeling good!” Then, the band comes in on the recording and the dancers burst to life. It’s an expertly choreographed dance to the song and the crowd goes wild. It’s an incredibly exciting performance and it’s a surprise that it is only taking place this weekend. It could surely sell out a week of a shows!

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Catch Giordano Dance Chicago next for their Summer Show at The Auditorium Theatre on June 11th.

Cost of a ticket: $20 – $90

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

BeforeAfter Tour: Daryl Hall with Todd Rundgren at The Auditorium Theatre (April 1, 2022)

Tonight, Daryl Hall plays a lot of songs from his latest record, BeforeAfter, which was released today. This includes “Sacred Songs” and “Laughing Down Crying”.

At the end of his set, Daryl plays his 1981 hit “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”. It’s a fun song that shares a theme with Meat Loaf’s 1993 hit, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.

In the encore, Daryl brings back the opener, Todd Rundgren. It’s like a mini episode of Live From Daryl’s house. First, they play a Daryl Hall song that Todd choses. Then, they play a Rundgren song, “Can We Still Be Friends?”. This is such a heartbreaking song. It is used very well in both Dumb and Dumber and Vanilla Sky.

This performance was much different than a Hall and Oates show. See our review of Hall and Oates in May 2017 here. Check out Live From Daryl’s House, especially the Grace Potter episode.  

Cost of a ticket: $80 (Back Orchestra)
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price +
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Glam Rock! The Darkness with The Dead Deads at Park West (March 30, 2022)

The Darkness formed in Lowestoft, England and tonight they are playing Park West in Chicago. For the second song of the night, they play “One Way Ticket” and the rock and roll evening officially begins with some sizzling guitar riffs.

At bit later on, Justin Hawkins, the lead singer, notices a cameraman in the front row. He proceeds to take the camera and take a picture down the front of his pants along with a few shots of the crowd, all while continuing to sing. After the song, he explains that large cameras are only allowed for the first three songs and that is why the camera now has a picture of his penis.

The lyrics of so many songs are just freaking great to sing along. One of the best is on “Solid Gold”. “We’re never going to stop shitting out solid gold!” Everyone is gleefully singing along.

Hawkins is a master of falsetto. “Get Your Hands off My Woman” is an excellent showcase of this skill.

He is also a great showman. A great example of this is on “Barbarian”. He grabs the mic with both hands and howls. Also, Justin wears three different outfits throughout the night including two that have tassels that fly about as he dances across the stage.

After starting “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, he stops the song abrubtly to request that audience members put away their phones and just live in the moment. It is very effective and leads to a mostly phone free excellent grand finale.

See the full setlist here.

The Dead Deads are the opener on this tour. They hail from Tennessee, Alabama. They present some solid rock songs and they are all talented musicians. Their 30 minute set is enough to show they are off to a promising start to their career.

Cost of a ticket: $48

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It+

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney