[Words & Photos by Adam Christie]
The best way to thoroughly enjoy yourself and your life is to celebrate great times and hang on to the memories created by them, which is exactly what went down at the Abbey Pub the night The Coop decided to celebrate the release of their latest EP titled A Fleeting Glimpse. I hadn’t been to the Abbey Pub (3420 West Grace St. Chicago, IL) since its makeover and was pleasantly surprised by the changes made in the place. The revamp has put considerable thought towards the musical aspect and attitude of the venue, cementing it as more of a home for nights filled with great music with accents such as a drumset chandelier and guitars hanging like monoliths on the walls. The security and staff were very friendly, which leads me to believe that the upcoming Stranger Danger Festival held within it’s doors will go off without a hitch and should be as much fun as a barrel of monkeys equipped with never ending nitrous tanks.
I arrived as My Boy Elroy was setting up for an opening set filled with deep house beats that loosened up the groups of attendees as they walked in to the venue, when out of nowhere a ball of energy equipped with a bongo drum took over the dance floor. The wiry framed man laden in self made tattered clothing proceeded to not give an ounce of flying fecal matter about anyones opinion in the pub and immediately took hostage of the dance floor with spinning break dance moves and foot work that made my eyes twitch in disbelief. Before I knew it he had started banging on his bongo to the beat of Elroy’s tunes, and was doing a damn good job at loosening up everyone in the places attitude towards dancing. This went on for some time before the next act started setting up the stage, and right when the stage lights started syncing up to the music his dancing went from audacious to outrageous. I’m pretty sure I even witnessed a worm or two being thrown down masterfully right before Minneapolis’s own Roster Mccabe took the spotlight.
Roster McCabe came out for the evening locked and loaded, performing amazing staple tracks such as “Acorns and Acrobats”, “The Traveler”, “Stargazer”, as well as an amazing cover of The 80’s band A-Ha’s smash hit “Take On Me”, which completely crushed it and instantly put everyone in a dancing frenzy. The first time I ever heard this band was at the Tiki stage situated right next to Lake Michigan at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, and I remember thinking right then that this band was oozing with talent and deserved a bigger stage at the fest. I mean, anyone with good taste in music in my opinion is down to listen to Reggae Rock and improv/jam bands, so what could be better than taking those two genre’s strong influences and adding jazz, blues, funk, pop, and progressive rock characteristics? I’m glad to say I’ve had the opportunity to see these guys play multiple times and each time I have been utterly blown away by the sheer talent and the stage presence of all the musicians in this band.
After Roster’s set, Elroy continued where he left off and made sure the crowd stayed on their feet for the next act. He dropped a really sweet Passion Pit house remix that got the majority of the crowd dancing and enjoying themselves, all while the worlds best dancer was cutting the hell out of things that didn’t even resemble rugs…seriously, people need to take notes on how to rage when that dude’s around. If you need proof, just YouTube “World’s best dancer Lollapalooza.”
When the house music ended, Chicago’s own The Coop stormed the stage fully equipped to throw down some healthy jamtronica. This band has been a staple in the Chicago jam scene for years now, and its very cool to see how they have progressed and upped the ante on live performances and studio work in this time. This show was dedicated to the celebration of their new EP A Fleeting Glimpse, and the band did an amazing job at throwing down tracks old and new. Standouts to me included a heavily jacked up version of “Space Cakes I and II” (did anyone get footage of that?), “Mindfully Enough,” which switched the whole pace of the set from dance frenzy to super chill hip shaking time, and my new favorite track of theirs, “Obsess No Less,” which completely shut down the whole dance floor and officially set off the militia of fans that packed the Abbey late into the night. All in all, it was a very memorable show coming from a whole bill of musicians who will be making big waves in 2012 and beyond.