Out rocker Mike Maimone dropped into Lincoln Hall on Feb. 8 and turned the place into a rowdy honky-tonk juke joint.
Advertised as a single release show, the gig effectively strengthened his reputation as one of Chicago's most energetic and spontaneous live performers. Taking a break from his band, Mutts, gave Maimone the opportunity to add a horn section for an energetic set that featured the premiere of his new video "Garbougie" ( which was screened at the start of his set ) and a full-tilt romp through solo and Mutts classics ( "If it's Hot, It'll Sell" ). In what has turned into a ritual, Maimone leaped on top of his piano before he left a joyfully agitated audience in his wake. Headliner Bassel and the Supernaturals seemed hard-pressed to follow Maimone's passionate performance but they managed to rise to the occasion with hearty helpings from their upcoming full length Smoke and Mirrors ( available on band camp ).
On an entirely different note, Massachusetts duo Boy Harsher played a second sold-out show at The Empty Bottle on February 10.
Openers Thoom ( Zeynab Ghandour ) and NGHTCRWLER ( Kristina Esfandiari ) deceptively started the show with what sounded like primal noise rock that put the headliners in stark relief. Boy Harsher vocalist Jae Matthews and keyboardist Augustus Mullerwho have called their seductive, avant-garde disco, "sad dance music"lulled the overflow crowd with offerings from the recently released Careful ( on Nude Records ).
On Feb. 22, "A Bowie Celebration" hit The Vic Theater, featuring alumni from late queer icon David Bowie's various backing bands from throughout his nearly 50-year career. The showwhich offered a variety of hits and deep cuts from Bowie's discographyfeatured performances from Earl Slick, Bernard Fowler, Mike Garson, Gaby Moreno, Corey Glover, Carmine Rojas and Lee John. Among the songs included were obscure songs like "All the Young Dudes," "Sweet Thing," Time," "Win" and "Drive-In Saturday," along with hits like "Space Oddity," "Rebel, Rebel," "Young Americans." "Five Years," "Fame" and "Ashes to Ashes."