Tag Archives: concert


Halloween weekend was a weekend of music for us. It left me with a kind of buzz or high that carried me through at least half of the following week.

Not that I would know what a ‘buzz’ or ‘high’ feels like anyway. Ehem. Right.

Friday night was a blues concert hosted at the West side location of our church. It was incredible. Whoever that guy was on the harmonica–genius. Pure genius. My friend Carrie also sang, and she was fan-tas-tic. I love having musician friends–they are such an inspiration.

During her performance of ‘Black Coffee,’ Carrie crooned:

Now a man is born to go a lovin’
A woman’s born to weep and fret
To stay at home and tend her oven
And drown her past regrets
In coffee and cigarettes

Upon the utterance of the word ‘cigarettes,’ the young children seated right in front of us looked at each other in astonishment. “Is she promoting smoking?” they seemed to be asking each other with shocked eyes.

It was the funniest moment of the night. Their parents must be doing a great job.

Saturday night we went to a venue called Subterranean in Wicker Park to see a band called Milano. The subway was full of people in costume.

Sightings included: a creepy bride with a torn and bloodied gown. Zorro, as pictured above. Some kind of zombie drummerboy. There’s nothing like Halloween weekend to give that edge to the night.

We’d seen Milano once before, and were so excited to see them again. They’re a Chicago based band with a style that is a mixture of rock and folk. Jon Guerra, the lead singer, has an incredible and unique voice that pierces and soars. It’s like he’s putting 100% of his artistry and intentionality into each note.

Carrie and her husband Eric were also there. See if you can guess what they’re dressed as:

Extra points for anyone who can guess Eric’s costume. I’ll give you a hint: weird British TV show that Carrie and Eric swear by. Blue laser light thingy. And that’s all you’ll get out of me.

The energy at the concert was great. The first and second bands were pretty good, but vreeerrry loud. We had to take our eardrums outside for a breather to make it through. Sometimes I forget how loud live music can be, and then I go to a rock concert and I feel like somebody has inserted a drillhammer in my cochlea.

Milano was the 3rd band to play, and they were by far the best of the three. They were all dressed as characters from ‘Clue,’ which made them look even cooler than they normally do. You can’t tell in the picture above, but the violinist had a rockin’ Miss Scarlett vintage costume, complete with a piquante netted hat.

I want that hat.

But more than the hat, I want her mad violinist skills.

Milano’s style is described as ‘gypsy rock’ and they have gorgeous harmonies that make me want to burst into song with them. The interplay of the different instruments is genius. If I were of the correct age and disposition, I would strongly consider being their groupie. The concert was in celebration of the release of their new EP, which has 5 songs on it. The recording doesn’t have the raw energy of their live performances, but I’m slowly reconciling myself to that fact. Just like when we go to see Harry Potter #7 (release date is November 19th, I believe) I will have to reconcile myself to the fact that the movie just can’t be as good as the book. The songs are well recorded, but they don’t fully capture the controlled yet wild abandon of Jon’s voice. If I were in the music business, I’d sign these guys in a second. Then I’d assign them the best producer of all time. Then I’d re-record a couple of the numbers. And I’d re-make the first and second Harry Potter movies too, while I was at it.

Here’s their website–give ’em a listen. They’re awesome. And if you live in Chicago or its environs, you absolutely MUST try to catch them live. They make me thrill, cry, and want to fly straight up into the heavens.

I leave you with the lyrics to ‘Black Coffee’–totally unrelated to Milano, but they’ve been haunting me as of late:

I’m feeling mighty lonesome
Haven’t slept a wink
I walk the floor and watch the door
And in between I drink
Black coffee
Love’s a hand me down brew
I’ll never know a Sunday
In this weekday room

I’m talking to the shadows
from 1 o’clock til 4
And Lord, how slow the moments go
When all I do is pour
Black coffee
Since the blues caught my eye
I’m hanging out on Monday
My Sunday dreams to dry

Now a man is born to go a lovin’
A woman’s born to weep and fret
To stay at home and tend her oven

And drown her past regrets
In coffee and cigarettes

I’m moaning all the morning
and mourning all the night
And in between it’s nicotine
And not much heart to fight
Black coffee
Feelin’ low as the ground
It’s driving me crazy just waiting for my baby
To maybe come around… around
I’m waiting for my baby
To maybe come around

My nerves have gone to pieces
My hair is turning gray
All I do is drink black coffee
Since my man’s gone away