A couple of Monday’s ago I made a decision that are made like many of the decisions I make… last minute. I needed to make a quick trip to go see the Moon Invaders and Caroloregians play in my hometown, Chicago. So on Wednesday, I woke up and hurriedly packed my bags and made the almost nine-hour drive to New Orleans. Once there, I did what one does when in the Crescent City but that’s another story. Anyways on Thursday night, my good friends Steve , Erika, and I departed for the Chi.
Nearly 24 hours after departing and seven states later, I was home. I was greeted warmly by family and quickly cleaned up and stepped out looking sharp as a razor with two other good friends. We found rock star parking on Belmont, close to the Beat Kitchen. Upon entering it was like being at a reunion, one that I got excited about and reminded me of why I love seeing live Ska/Reggae, the community.
The first band to play was the Prizefighters from Minnesota. We walked in about halfway through the set. What I recollect is it being a two-tone influenced mashed with early skinhead reggae. They are still raw but one of my friend’s said “they have soul.” I’d have to agree with her and look forward to hearing more from these cats as they progress.
Next up were my good friends from the Hoosier state, The Green Room Rockers. It was a little unusual seeing them without Mike Jones their other singer and Eric, the guitar player. This was my first time seeing them with their new guitar player. It felt like it was missing something without the harmonies. However, new tunes “Basement Song”, “Confession” and “You and Me” killed and were highlights of a solid as usual set.
A pizza and a couple beers later, we were about to see what we had drove close to 1,000 miles to see… The Caroloregians. I sadly but truly learned how to pronounce the band’s name (carol-O-rage-ians) that night while taking some vinyl to the car. Thanks to Alex and Ron from Green Room for the help. When making it back in I heard the heavy, heavy bass thumpin’. Ohhh good lord it was the bass that hits you in the chest and won’t let go. As they ripped in to “Gumbo YaYa” I danced with my new orleans friends, overjoyed that we were hearing that sweet soulful sound pulsing in our ears. The whole band was so tight and the bass I could go on for days for. The songs that stuck out for this set were the great Sam Cooke cover “Another Saturday Night” and the Stones “Satisfaction” Definitely interesting to hear a funky reggae take on these two classics.
By the time the moon invaders came on, I’ll be honest with ya’ I was dancing my ass off. This means i was sweating alot, so to compensate I drank, and it wasn’t water. So I can’t tell you every song they played. What I can say is that as far as a live band is concerned, they were as “in the pocket” as anyone I’ve seen. So tight musically. I danced my ass off with some close friends and shared in a band that may not be back in the states anytime soon. They seemed to play a lot of songs from their new release “Moon Invaders vs. Caroloregians” but I do seemed to also recall a good mix from the previous three releases as well.
So, basically what I’m trying to say is that was a great show and was well worth the trip up from Dallas. I had the chance to catch up with old friends in a good venue, with great friends, in the best city in the world. It probably wasn’t one of my financially wisest decisions but hey man, as the old cliche goes “you only live once, so go listen to ska” or something like that.