One of the chillest bands on the road, Ballyhoo!, made their way through Chicago at the Subterranean recently on the “Winter Wonderland Tour” with KayaVibe. You can check out the review after the break.
February 15 brought the Ballyhoo! Winter Wonderland Tour to Chicago’s Wicker Park Subterranean venue. Nestled between Milwaukee and Damen Avenue, this little hipster joint was a great location for some reggae rock vibes. The Sub T, as it is referred to by many, has a bottom floor bar with the section for music up on the second floor. From the second floor there are stairs to go up even higher to get a bird’s eye view on the show. I hung out upstairs for a while to catch the first act Liquid Hot Magma. This Chicago reggae/rock/funk band blew me away. I had gave them a listen earlier on in the day and I didn’t feel the recordings too much, but these guys blew me away with their live show. Even being only a three-piece group, these fellas rocked the joint, and I really hope I get to see them again sometime.
The Kayavibe Facebook states their genre as being “Good time jams with a reggae rock background.” This was definitely an accurate description of this three-piece arrangement of amazingness. Kayavibe rocked some of the new songs they’ve been releasing such as “I and I” and “Take It Back.” This set featured all the irie reggae vibes that any fan could have asked for. Including a well-executed drum solo, this set came together so well it had the crowd dancing and moving along to the tunes all night.
As the lights dimmed, a quiet version of “Frosty the Snowman” could be heard coming from the speakers, leading the way for the entrance of Ballyhoo! to the stage. “The Quest” was one of the first songs to ring throughout the Subterranean, with the lyrics “’Cause today is a brand new day” reverberating around the venue. Some tunes that made up the wonderful set list included “Meat Head,” “Paper Dolls,” “The Friend Zone,” and “Walk Away.” Ballyhoo! always puts on an energetic show and this small venue did not stunt their energy and power. Just like Kayavibe before them, Ballyhoo! had the reggae/rock vibes on lock and they had the crowd moving and dancing. My particular favorite tune “Close to Me” came on right towards the end of the late-night set, right before the guys left the stage and came back for an encore of “Man on the Moon.” I’ve seen Ballyhoo! a couple times now, with the last instance being at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. Each and every show these guys play they put in the energy and feeling that it takes to make a truly successful live show. Ballyhoo! will never disappoint anybody who likes, reggae, rock, or anybody who likes to dance. It’s a very simple equation with an amazing outcome, and pairing Ballyhoo! with Kayvibe and locals Liquid Hot Magma was a fantastic idea that lead to a really great show.
Information about the review…
Tour: Ballyhoo!’s Winter Wonderland Tour
Bands: Ballyhoo!, Kayavibe, Liquid Hot Magma
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: February 15, 2013
Venue: Subterranean in Chicago, IL