The much-anticipated month of Red Bull, better known as 30 Days In Chicago kicked off its series of concerts beginning on Wednesday and certainly didn’t disappoint in the first looks at the shows which run throughout November.
Things got moving in a big way as Young Thug descended on The Metro with Leili47 and Valee. The November 1 show very much lived up to the hype gained from the Rich Gang’s presence and set the tone for the month to come with a capacity crowd proving Chicago was very much prepared for the journey ahead. Night two was a return to the prior night’s events, albeit, with a decidedly different crowd as hometown indie rockers Whitney, Ne-Hi and Mt. Joy played a trio of inspired sets in front of a large contingent of the city’s healthy rock and DIY scene. Logan Square definitely migrated east for a few hours and the acts onstage didn’t disappoint. Taking the stage after an opening duet alongside guitarist, __, Whitney frontman, settling into his perch behind the drums but in front of the rest of the band, made an announcement: “hey guys, we have about an hour of music ready to go.” With that, they launched into “New song you know it(friends)” which perfectly suited the homely atmosphere, and elicited cheers from the capacity crowd.
The following night, an all-lady contingent showed out at The Riviera Theater in Uptown as the 30 Days continued chugging along. Proving the kind of sustained excitement Red Bull’s series have commanded in the past, it was no surprise to catch another set of inspired performances from the likes of Kodie Shane, Blaise Moore and Kehlani. Set amongst one of the busiest music months every year in Chicago, the series flexed its muscle once again with a sold out affair that held the attention of those in attendance throughout. Whereas Friday night shows that far north may be reason enough to sneak away early for the party, the crowd stayed put, seemingly mesmerized by the sinewy vocals of the three performers, who benefited from the grand scale of the Riviera.
Saturday night brought about a local marquee that’s been looked forward to for awhile, and a healthy trip across the city in the process. Andrew Barber brought out all the stops to celebrate the ten year anniversary of his brand, Fake Shore Drive, with a rousing show at The Portage theater on the city’s northwest side. The cavernous, converted movie theater served as a welcome back drop for the hip-hop-centric lineup that boasted a who’s-who of locals past, present and future. Femdot, King Louie, The Cool Kids and others displayed distinct hashmarks in the growing scene like posts from the blog coming to life while Bump J, Twista and GLC reminded it where it got its foundation. Topping off the night was Detroit’s Tee Grizzly, who did his thing on the mic, but may have been well-suited to drop the backing vocals for such a big-time stage. Similar to one of his first collaborations with Red Bull back at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in 2013, Barber was able to wrangle the infamous Master P as the headliner and this time around he got non other than The Big Tymers onstage next to one another, performing “Still Fly” to the surging crowd that quickly leapt from the theater seats once Birdman and Manny Fresh took the stage. Closing out a memorable evening, Barber and company couldn’t be happier, and mentions of The Big Tymers hanging at the bar at East Room were as legendary as they come.
Closing out 30 Days’ first weekend was Poliça & hometown rockers Ohmme who took the House of Vans stage last night as part of the Crate Diggers Record Fair. The event was a welcome one for Ohmme, as front-ladies Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham are admitted audiophiles who certainly enjoyed the environment they found themselves on Sunday evening. Never disappointing, both Ohmme and Poliça offered a heavy atmosphere that set the stage perfectly for the week to come ahead.
If anything, Red Bull is proving that it is a well-oiled machine at this point. Throwing a show in general is a heavy task to undertake, but to this point everything from passes to ticketing to general atmosphere of the shows has been nothing less than exceptional, no easy feat with as many moving parts as they have going in many directions. Alongside the concerts are also perks like free tattoos from local artist Runsy, photo booths, and workshops, like tonights ‘Music & Photo Master Class‘. If you haven’t made it out yet, there’s still come tickets available on their website. Keep it locked to Mild Sauce and our socials on Twitter and Instagram for more on the developing month of music in Chicago.