Mamby on the Beach [GWHH Recap]

Since Wavefront folded a couple years ago, I’ve been itching for another event to be held on the city’s greatest asset – the waterfront. Cue Mamby on the Beach, Chicago’s newest music festival, which hit Chicago’s South Shore over the weekend. Water was centrally located and easy to find, police on site were friendly and helpful, and the people at Mamby were laid back and friendly – a refreshing change from the reckless neon kids of similar events.

Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit headlined the fest, but it was The ‘Go’s own Holt who stole the show. When he took the stage there couldn’t have been more than 100 people there. But the law of attraction would prove strong for the G.O.O.D. MUSIC signee, as Holt brought something to Mamby no one else would – real trap music. It was a much needed change of pace from the dominantly electronic lineup, a breath of fresh air for hip hop heads like myself. Fellow Treated Crew leaders Mano and Mic Terror kept the energy up as people flocked to the stage, and when it was all said and done an intimate crowd had become a high octane mob.

With Chicago’s skyline glistening across the lake and forgiving sand beneath your feet, Oakwood Beach served as an ideal location for the festival. I’m proud to live in a city accommodating a growing taste for live music and peaceful gatherings, and stoked to see Mamby on the Beach possibly become a staple of what we like to call Summertime Chi.

Holt Live @ The Mid [Recap]

It was a family affair. A successful one. Chicago’s the Mid was filled with Treated crowns last night when Holt took the stage to play his first hometown show since signing to GOOD Music. And while we got a taste of Holt’s new sound with “Nightcall,” last night we saw it all come together. The creativity and energy put into Holt’s new music is refreshing, and shit, hearing authentic music like that is exciting. You pair that authenticity with supreme confidence and the energy of a underground punk band… and that’s Holt live.

Yasiin Bey @ The Metro

Red lights over saturated the stage Friday night as  Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def walked out with a bouquet of roses, painting the stage with petals. It had been near forty minutes, and felt like an hour, since the stage was last occupied, and fans were more than ready. They shouted out song requests to which Mos replied, “I am not a jukebox.” He’s right. But his dj pretty much was. And if fans are paying $40 for about an hour of music which they’re showing up two hours early for, hell if I wouldn’t expect to hear the jams. The red lights never switched. He covered ODB among others but wouldn’t comply to a request or two from the crowd. An artist and their audience are dependent on one another – straight up. And a live performance is no different. When the chemistry’s right, any show can be spectacular. Friday night, however, felt dull and disconnected.