Gettin’ Funky and Smooth at the Bottom Lounge with My Faves

If ya look closely, you can see Z smiling. Chicago gets down!

If ya look closely, you can see Z smiling. Chicago gets down!

I left off with them last, so it’s only right that I sign onto my little blog here with them on my mind once again. In truth, they never left my mind but that’s beside the point. For those that were there this past Saturday: Hell Ya. Chicago really brought it for BoomBox at the Bottom Lounge and in true form, BoomBox returned the favor two-fold. For over two hours, my loves played one of the best shows I have seen from them. It’s up there with the Flagstaff show from this past Souvenirs, Novelties and Party Tricks Winter Tour, which was absolutely ridiculous.

I have to say, I have seen BoomBox upwards of seven times in the past few months and they have yet to bore me. I, of course, knew they wouldn’t but when I offer certain information to others (sayy, that I saw BoomBox four times in a six-day period on an excursion through the west coast) it seems to me that they are a bit amazed. Amateurs. Obviously they are unaware of the fact that BoomBox never plays the same show, they never have a set list and they base their sets off of the energy the crowd gives them. That’s because BoomBox is, well, a living, breathing boombox up there for you.

See, the thing about BoomBox is it’s never, “OK let’s play this song.” Song plays. “Thanks. Let’s now play this song.” That couldn’t be any farther from the reality that is BoomBox. A BoomBox show is at its roots a dj set with groovy ass guitar riffs that, if you’re lucky enough, will space you out of this world. When on point, Z has the power to snap you out of your current bodily state and send your mind off to drift into the outer edges of this thing we like to call reality. In combination with the smooth and funky beats doled out by the Captain, it’s difficult to walk into a room pulsing with the life’s breath of BoomBox and walk out unsatisfied. I can tell you right now, that’s never happened to me, but I’m a lover of all things BoomBox, so perhaps my opinion is biased.

Let’s take a step back here for a moment, though. Chicago and BoomBox rocked each other like true lovers in the night. They came out smooth as ever with their latest release “Me and My Baby.” Starting off with this track got the entire crowd pumped for what was to flow from these two marvels the rest of the night. With trippy, funky bass in combination with Z’s soft, celestial strumming it seems as though the music can tell the story on its own without the lyrics. “Child of the light, you’re a superstar.” Whenever I hear this track, I can’t help but smile and my feet can’t seem to stop moving. It’s a beautiful song that you can groove to and that combination, my friends, is priceless.

To keep the funk train a rollin’, the guys eased into Kool Aid Smile. I always love when this track creeps in, because that’s exactly what it does. It creeps in slowly and has this deep, seductive bass to it that’s so hot. I know when I’m going to get a Kool Aid Smile because Russ starts it off with soft, cymbal claps and Z taps out funky, outer space-like sounds on deck. And then, then my friends you get the real treat. The smooth, yet in-your-face guitar riff that slowly lures you in and is one of many that will forever be stuck in my brain. It’s as if each note bopping into the air is singing, ‘come on inside…you know you want to.’ Ah, then Russ brings in the deep bass and the real fun begins. Kool Aid Smile is one of the smoothest tracks and if this can’t get you moving, I’m not quite sure what will. Of course, this wasn’t a problem seeing as though part of the crowd decided to get up on the stage and show the guys how Chicago really gets down. That’s the thing with Kool Aid Smile. It’s got this seductive beat to it that’s really irresistible.

The guys were so on point with their transitions for this show. There was not one second where I turned around and saw the crowd lulling or confused. Every track flowed into the next creating the perfect, symbiotic relationship of energy, sound and movement in the small, cozy space we shared. That energy was carried out to the next track which happens to be one of my favorites, Mr. Boogieman. It’s so important to note that the music barely ever ceases to flow from Russ and Z during a show. It’s a non-stop flow of one piece of greatness into the next. With Boogieman, it seemed like the energy jolted up to another volt. One of the things I like most about BoomBox is their transitions from tracks into live, house music. After Boogieman, the guys fell into a house jam that was unlike a lot of the ones I’ve heard as of late. I’ve noticed that the past two times they’ve come to Chicago they’ve brought the deep, bass funk with them. This jam was really chill and gave somewhat of a breather, if only for a moment.

The track they went into next is perhaps the one song I have yet to pinpoint. It’s a beautiful track and it shames me that I haven’t yet figured out what it’s called. After this fleeting track, Russ hopped on his drum set and the beat was smooth and deep. It was a great jam and wrought with deep bass and rhythmic, chill out vibes. Chicago loved this groove- almost as much as they loved “Like a Feather” which came next. It’s interesting to move from deep bass to this because “Feather” is airy and well, light as a feather, but they mastered it all the same. The time warp-like beat with the light, hopping bop in combination with Z’s poetic lyrics always leave me feeling like a little kid again. Light, happy and floating through the atmosphere. Much like the crowd, this track was smooth and unrelenting, and a true treat for Chicago. Like any treat handed to you on a floating, silver platter we ate it up and asked for more. The room had to be getting hotter still because I could see Russ take a minute to wipe the sweat from his brow. He was working hard to please us and that did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. It was no secret that the crowd was sweating too. Nonstop dancing will do that to the best of us!

The guys closed out the show with a soul-searching “World” which drifted into “India.” ‘Mexico…I’m ready!’  The show wouldn’t be complete without a “Round and Round”, another fabulous house jam sesh and a “Headchange.” After two hours of being fully entranced and taken to the outer edges of space and back, the show ended with “Watergun.” Unfortunately, as with every show, the intoxicating beats and riffs coming from the stage had to end at some point, but not without the crowd urging BoomBox to come back for more. Like a true temptress, the living, breathing entity that is BoomBox always leaves the crowd wanting more. If you ever get to witness BoomBox come back for an encore, consider yourself one lucky star. While this upsets some people, I have to agree with the guys. Not that it would be a difficult task for them, but stopping the flow of energy and trying to pick up where you left off or bringing that flow of energy back for just a short time longer seems silly and goes against the very fiber that weaves and turns to create BoomBox. They delivered over two hours of unyielding energy that flowed from one end to another and back again flawlessly. To try to capture that seamless flow once again in a five-minute interval would just be a tease.

Chicago really brought it for BoomBox and, in fact, sold out the Bottom Lounge. I think as a true thanks and a testament to the surging, good energy in the room, BoomBox brought it right back for Chicago. They were last here in September of last year and we waited seven months for them to grace us with their presence. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait that long again. However, if we do, Russ and Z should know that Chi-town will be here waiting patiently for their smooth and intoxicating funky house beats once again. Chicago loves you dearly.

Warning, watching this trippy video may mock the feelings of sea sickness, but I still kinda like it. Me and My Baby. Enjoy.


~ by frantunes on April 25, 2012.

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