Waking up on Friday and hearing rain was instantly a downer for me. The week had been so beautiful and I never check the weather so I was taken by surprise. I hate being in the rain! My schedule since arriving has been all business so I didn’t have a chance to do what I love, which is randomly finding new music through live performances. I ended up on Red River at the Swan Dive, a bar that I had been wanted to explore. I get in and a new band is setting up.
Genevieve, former lead singer of Company of Thieves, a band from Chicago who have toured with OK GO, was performing. Her band split in 2013 and she immediately started a solo project. The woman is a natural born singer. She introduced the songs with a history of the why she wrote it. Her performance was cute and quirky. She did a lot of giggling and swaying. Her energy influenced the crowd, many like myself, had just come in to check the venue. She converted many into fans.
I was going to go to Cheer Up Charlies next, since the music there is always up my alley. Just as I arrived, it started raining pretty heavily. I proceeded to go to Mohawk’s and instead went into the 720 Club, which is right below. The band inside, Meat Market, caught my attention. The first floor was so compact, but nearly filled to capacity since many were seeking shelter from the rain. These guys were great! They were the punk rock band I needed to cheer me up.
I discovered there was also a patio at 720 that had a stage. I went out there and fell head over heels in love. JPNSGRLS is now up there in bands I would highly recommend. They are as if a punk rock band met the Arctic Monkeys. The lead singer, Charlie Kerr, had a voice that was to die for and the band had chaotic energy. I was into the music within thirty seconds of listening. Kerr starts clapping, the packed patio starts clapping. He tells us to repeat after him, we all repeat after him. Kerr was shoving the microphone into fan’s faces having them sing. He hopped through the crowd and climbed the side of the stairs like a ladder to get those standing in the staircase to sing. I even risked taking my camera out in the rain and the rambunctious crowd to snap a few photos.
Check out their latest album Circulation. Here’s one of my favorites from the album, “Mushrooms.”