For this Music Monday, let’s shake it up and review a live performance, shall we? Rewind about two weeks ago. I got a text from my Aunt saying that her friends would be performing at Yoshi’s in Oakland (one of my new favorite spots for live music) and she wanted to know if I would join. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. Now given the fact that I had never heard what this group produces or even know what they look like, I didn’t have expectations going into the venue. What happened after the two hours of music left me a believer earning them a newly devout fan.
I guess I should tell you the groups name now right? Sidewalk Chalk. And no I am not kidding. Their quirky name coupled with their unconventional genre of tunes made for a lovely surprise by the end of the concert. These artists left the entire crowd wanting more which in my eyes, is telling of their talent.
Sidewalk Chalk hails from Chicago, Illinois, aka the musical hub for all things soul. Upon researching more about their art collective, I learned that they are a combined melting pot of 6 members that deliver music ranging from the genres of hip-hop, soul, and R&B. Or as I like to call it, the ultimate perfect form of music.
As mentioned before, I had little to no expectations for this performance, as I had never heard their music before. As soon as the music cued, I was hooked. The group demanded the audience’s attention with their seemingly effortless ways of moving and grooving throughout the length of their songs.
The amount of attention to detail and overall composition of their tracks was something fully worth noting. Not only was this a treat to see live, but the music transcending and somehow tricked me into buying a vinyl of their latest album “An Orchid Is Born,” which I am of course not mad about. Quick sidenote: with a vinyl collection of over 50, I appreciated the beauty that was the porcelain white record. Qudos for sure.
Now onto the actual performance itself. When I sat down, the atmosphere was almost instantly luring. With the venue being so intimate and the overall ambiance of the space, I was already immediately drawn in. It made me feel welcome yet comfortable, something you are not always guaranteed when it comes to seeing live music.[/fusion_text]
The band started off their performance with some new music from their latest album “An Orchid Is Born.” Dropping this time last year, the album is an obvious labor of love. Via the group’s website (Sidewalk-Chalk.com), “Sidewalk Chalk has released their fourth full-length album, An Orchid Is Born, on Ropeadope Records and produced by Grammy Award-winner Robert “Sput” Searight. This is the album that Sidewalk Chalk has truly always been trying to make — a speeding bullet ripe with heat and rhythm that speaks to mankind’s need to cheer in the darkest of moments and to choose love over inhumanity in all things. In the band’s rebirth is an emphatic statement of purpose. This vibrant collection of transformative moments is a benchmark release for Sidewalk Chalk that marks the arrival of a powerhouse and proves that the Chicago sound machine is a phoenix rising.”
Given this background of the album, seeing the performance made it all so much sweeter. When the members got on stage, there was an instant connection. The crowd vibed so effortlessly as soon as the music came on and the group began the performance.
The female lead singer was breathtaking. The ability to easily slip into these unreal notes at any given moment showcased her wide vocal range. This matched with the rapper of the group made for a beautiful combination that you maybe wouldn’t have foreseen as likely. The rest of the group exemplified their spectacular usage of instruments, each getting their rightful solo and spotlight shine throughout the length of the performance. The unconventional collective meshes better than many other bands I have seen prior.
All in all, I had a wonderful time. Something that I thought I wouldn’t have that great experience it turned out to be not only a whole new appreciation for but also a new band to support. Where will Music Monday’s take us next? Check in next week for the latest scoop!