Sunday, August 01, 2010

You Missed Out: Wicker Park Fest


Is enough, enough? As great as it was to see Holy Fuck and Cap'n Jazz at Wicker Park Fest this weekend, I've about had my fill of free summer music. I know that sounds foolish, but it really does get tiring after a while. For the past two months, I've been at a street fest nearly every weekend or Monday night (Millennium Park). From here on out, I'm staying indoors. Lollapalooza sounds like a hilarious joke right now.

So where did Wicker Park Fest rank with the best of the summer street fests? Well, it's no Metronome. It's actually the polar opposite. Metronome, being the most comfortable of all the Chicago street fests, with the smallest crowds and best bands, is the reigning king for the second straight year. But Wicker Park is actually the runner-up, simply because of the two headliners it snagged for Saturday night. If only they were able to schedule the event better, so everybody could get to see both shows.

I went for half and half. 15 minutes of Holy Fuck, and then the long, crowded walk to the other stage for Cap'n Jazz. Thinking back, it's probably better that they played at the same time. It was so dense with white people, I thought I might suffocate. And had they all been at one of those stages instead of interspersed between the two, it would have been a disaster.

Holy Fuck got the crowd moving without words. Synthesizers never looped, bass lines never mimicked, the band played live electronic music. Anyone looking for reason to dance found it quickly on the south stage. I had just bought overpriced Fat Tire at 7-11, strutting it confidently past the entrance security while they kept their eyes peeled for drunken douchebags. In my CHIRP shirt, I looked all too trustworthy.

After a 15 minute walk up Milwaukee Avenue from Wood Street to Damen, I could now hear the old, mathy-emo sounds of Cap'n Jazz. The pride of Chicago's 90s' had returned, and french horns blared from the stage while former straight edge kids downed Miller Lite with their middle-aged girlfriends. It was nostalgia in the streets, especially during an embarrassing cover of Take On Me.

Kids at the front of the stage were crowdsurfing, just as they did 15 years ago. Whether it was just a reunion show, or Cap'n Jazz are back to stay, I'm all for it. Let's hope Q and Not U are next.

Oh, and Mission of Burma was better than I expected too.

Alright Chicago summer street fest season, it's been a lot of fun. It's August, the last month of summer, and we should all start looking forward to the best part of the year. Fall is coming. We will watch horror movies and wear jackets. Music will get out of the streets and into Schubas, the Empty Bottle, and Lincoln Hall. For all you looking forward to the overkill that will be Lollapalooza, at least be sure to catch Cut Copy, Arcade Fire, The XX and Phoenix and tell me how they were. I haven't seen those bands yet, and they might actually sound alright in Grant Park.

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