I heard your STEREO

Zion Rock Godchaux at Summer Camp 2010


At 6:00 pm at the Starshine stage my attention shifted to Russ Randolph and Zion Rock Godchaux of BoomBox. Rocking a jersey, pink boa, a fuzzy white hat and his guitar Godchaux nonchalantly began their set with a soft guitar riff as Randolph took over the ones and twos.  After a long, sweaty day of rocking out to Steel Pulse, Rebelution and Victor Wooten in the blazing sun, BoomBox was the perfect interlude to an energy packed night. Although calm and reserved, their show was definitely one of the best shows of the weekend.    

With Godchaux’s soothing, soft voice and their combined laid-back demeanor the show was calm and relaxing. As brass notes, slow bass beats and disco, psychedelic infused sounds flowed from the stage into the open air bodies slowly rocked back and forth swaying to the beat. Smiling and addressing the crowd only once, Godchaux set the relaxed and lulling tone of the set. Towards the beginning of their set BoomBox performed one of their most well-known tracks titled “Stereo” off their album Visions of a Backbeat and awoke the crowd from their beat-instilled slumber. With funky guitar riffs and popping synth notes accompanied by jazzy, lax sax notes bodies jumped softly to the beat. As I looked around it was hard to miss the countless mouths singing along to the aloof and calm voice of Godchaux as he strummed his guitar.    

Like their album, Visions of a Backbeat, their set list flowed together and offered no pause in between tracks, which was perfect for the hundreds of ears that were longing for BoomBox to stay and play all night, rather than just their hour set. After playing another song off Visions of a Backbeat “Tonight”, Godchaux and Randolph sneakily eased into the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” which really made the crowd move.  As Godchaux began to sing “nothin’s shakin’ on Shakedown street, used to be the heart of town” voices sprang up from all over the crowd with cheers and shouts of approval as he continued “don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart, you just gotta poke around.” I found out later in the show that Godchaux’s parents Keith & Donna Godchaux played in the Grateful Dead, making BoomBox’s rendition of “Shakedown Street” even more relevant, aside from being simply amazing and soothing.    

With the sun not letting up, even at six o’clock at night, bodies continued to sway and sweat to BoomBox’s set. Playing just a bit past seven o’clock, BoomBox ended their set just as they began by nonchalantly exiting the stage without saying a word. Waving a small goodbye to the crowd as he walked off, Godchaux’s face remained still and expressionless all the way through to the end of the set. Cheering for the duo to come back on stage the crowd wanted more from BoomBox.  Realizing that they were done for good when the stage crew emerged, the crowd-a bit confused and abandoned-slowly walked away from the stage talking about how amazing BoomBox’s set was.      

Although their day set had ended, much to their fan’s delight BoomBox made another appearance later that night in the Vibe Tent at 2 am. Sans guitar and rocking a white cowboy hat Godchaux accompanied Randolph on the ones and twos as they played their hour and a half long DJ set at the close of the night. Pulling in yet another large crowd of ears eager to hear their sound, BoomBox rocked their set all the way to the end. On tour for the summer, their next stop is at the Fibark Whitewater Fest in Salida, Colorado. For those who live in the Chicago-land area, BoomBox will be around the Chi at the end of July. They are playing on Saturday, July 31 at the Wicker Park Festival on N Milwaukee. If you have functioning ears, I expect to see you there.    

Listen to BoomBox’s track “Stereo” if you haven’t already 🙂
::it must be said that i blast this from my stereo hoping people hear it from my window.
okk..that was corny::


~ by frantunes on June 6, 2010.

2 Responses to “I heard your STEREO”

  1. Boombox is a talented bunch. I enjoyed reading your review.Interesting history. When and where is their next gig? Would like to see them in person. 🙂

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