Celebrating one of the best times of year with a stomping bluegrass lineup was achieved this performance at the Vic Theater in Chicago. With spring popping up a cool breeze for the evening the music was blown in by welcoming attendees. Cornmeal always bringing their best back home as they performed with Hot Buttered Rum and opening with Family Groove Company. The venue filled up into the evening, as Family Groove Company took to the stage there was a delight in the air that only live music brings. Opening with a rocking intro and continuing with covers such as “Ophelia” and many of the bands originals, the performance kept you on the edge of your toes to keep the music flowing.
Hot Buttered Rum took to the stage with a powerful presence. The musicians take to their instruments and this amazing melodies flow from the strings. The vocals; which have a twang which coexist perfectly with the subtle yet sometimes stomping string melodies that come from the rest of the band. Their music really touched you as you are standing there watching each decisive movement creating a different tone or stroke to the songs. They also played many upbeat favorites and sweet numbers to get your listening synced for the bluegrass that would continue with Cornmeal into the evening.
With an intensely gripping evening already underway, by the time Cornmeal stepped onto the stage the atmosphere of the theater was high energy and hooked. One of the more powerful aspects of this band is how they get a crowd moving, their progression and fast tempo jams, then bringing it back into sweet melodies is genuinely impressive and a performance to watch as each band member smiles with delight and dances to the beat. Opening with, “Trouble Gonna Find Me,” moving into a suiting,” I'm Coming Back Home.” It was a fabulous beginning to a nonstop funky, folk infused with fast and slow tempo to touch a bit of everyone’s taste. They flowed through the first set and intensified the jams into the second as the crowd was moving and shaking. The genuine feeling you get from a Cornmeal performance is that the band never seems elevated on stage, they act as though they are right there with you dancing and jamming just the same. As all good things must end this show definitely did so on a high note closing with, “Girl with the Short Brown Hair.” Of course they stepped out for an encore of,”Honky Tonk Tequila,” followed with a theme song for the day,” What's Got the Reefer.” Concluding with,”I know,” smiles and cheers left a ringing along with the bluegrass stings streaming through your head still.
As the night came to a close the attendees drifted into the streets of the fine city of Chicago. With a bluegrass step in their walk and a humbled smile created when thinking of the amazing night of music these bands created and collaborated into to one more positive gift this spring season had to offer.