Manic Focus & The Floozies @ Concord Music Hall – A North Coast After
Three days of North Coast Music Festival is enough to exhaust most, but not the people of Chicago. Manic Focus and The Floozies sold out Concord Music Hall on Sunday August 31, and it was an experience to remember.
Having never been to the Concord, it was a pleasant surprise. Many shows that would have been held at the infamous Congress Theater have now moved down the street to the Concord since the former’s inevitable demise. The Congress was run down and falling apart, so in a way the same was to be expected of the Concord. This is not the case. An almost swanky venue, the Concord has a revamped, club-like feel. High ceilings and a low second deck allow for awesome acoustics. Getting into the show was a breeze, but the mandatory bag check was an unpleasant surprise.
The opening DJ to the show, Wyllys, has a slightly geeky demeanor, but really holds it down when it comes to the music. Upon walking in, the few people that had already arrived were right up at the stage dancing. His transitions were great and his energy admirable. Then the Floozies, made up of brothers Matt (guitar) and Mark (drums) Hill, were set to begin. Their love for the crowd shown through their praise and overall excitement for the people that came. Their set started out fantastic, with everyone enjoying each funky groove. Then, things went downhill from there. Matt’s guitar string broke, which went unnoticed until he stopped the show and announced it. He struggled to figure out what to do next, but they managed to scrape up a few tunes that didn’t require much guitar. Following those few, Matt was completely clueless as to how to handle the situation. This was quite disappointing, as many who are well versed in string instruments know that the show can go on without a string. This didn’t happen. After repeating a song they had played earlier, the Floozies turned the stage to Manic Focus.
The crowd was ready for John McCarten aka Manic Focus to begin. He brought the energy of the crowd right back to where it needed to be. His energy on stage made those watching get up and dance. Manic Focus has a sound that is unlike most, he manages to take samples and twist them into something completely different. He can make something sound dark, happy, sad, or just plain funky. He truly grooves with the music and he stole the show. Slowly but surely, North Coast had finally caught up with everyone, and it was time to head home. Manic Focus was a perfect ending the weekend. He’s never too harsh, yet always brings the bass.