There aren't many times when you have a chance to see a mosh-pit at your local library, but on the evening of February 3rd, I got that special opportunity at Cook Memorial Library in Libertyville, IL. It was all part of an almost 6-hour celebration of local music, as some veteran performers from Chicago's local scene bestowed their words of wisdom to the aspiring, younger generation of up-an-coming musicians from local communities in Chicago's northern suburbs.
It all began with an open panel discussion with a Q&A follow-up. The panel featured independent musicians from the surrounding area, hand-picked by yours truly. Petra Sith, formerly of Losing Scarlet, joined JP Soule, Kryssie Ridolfi, and Josh Barker from DEADMANSWAKE, along with Ryan Reilly of Sutured Psyche, as they all shared their personal stories of their music and misadventures in life on the local scene. Persistence and positive attitudes were the universal themes throughout the discussions, although plenty of laughs were had between the panel and audience.
After a very entertaining and inspiring discussion, the party moved upstairs where some of the high school musicians and bands performed some of their own music, mixed with cover songs, in some cases playing in front of a live audience for the first time!
First performer was Sharon Li, who gave us a great performance with her acoustic guitar as she sang several ballads. Next, things got seriously heavy, as Monolith (a band from Antioch, IL) hit the library crowd with their own style of hard-core death metal (complete with a cover of Slayer's 'Angel of Death'!). They were followed by Libertyville's Penguin Flight School, who gave a mix of some original songs and covers of well-known pop-punk hits. My favorite part of their set was probably their cover of Radiohead's 'Creep'. The last band, Chains Unbroken, win my 'THE SHOW MUST GO ON' award, as they made the most of their set time in spite of being without their lead singer. Perhaps heeding some words of wisdom from the earlier panel, they got up there and gave their all, with their guitarist doing his best to sing the vocals, though he was not accustomed to performing both roles. Towards the end, a couple of the panelists and members of other bands gave them a hand and sang the vocals for a few Metallica covers to bring the evening to a close.
It was a great opportunity to see so much talent gathered together, in an unlikely venue, to show the potential of home-grown music. I remind and encourage you all to get out there and support local music in your home-town! Every aspiring musician has a passion for music that starts from within, but in the end, the music they create is meant to be heard. So get out there and hear them! They just might be your next 'favorite band'...
Here's some pics from this event:
Penguin Flight School
Chains Unbroken featuring JP Soule of DEADMANSWAKE
Chains Unbroken featuring Kryssie Ridolfi of DEADMANSWAKE