Gig Review: The Powwows at Uncommon Ground
Uncommon Ground is a small, intimate bar and restaurant in Chicago with quirky, friendly staff and plenty of good food and drink. It’s locally owned and is just a great atmosphere. I highly recommend finding one of the two locations if you’re ever in Chicago and trying any variation of the local Chicago beer known as 312. The tap looks like a telephone receiver. How could you not want to drink it?
ANYdangway… on to the show!
I was greeted by Lauretta, the lead singer/songwriter and Julie, the manager of The Powwows. It was almost like meeting up with old friends even though I’d never met them before. We were all laughing and talking all throughout dinner (which was uh. mazing. I had Pumpkin Ravioli with sage butter. I think I cried a little on the inside with joy) and the once we moved upstairs for the show, the entire place was equally charged with a lively, friendly energy in the entire room.
There were probably about 40-50 people in attendance and Lauretta and the band seemed to know and be friends with them all. Thanks to a pretty terrible joke by Steve the sound guy (and by terrible I mean awesome) as he introduced the band, it prompted Lauretta to start a bad joke contest, inviting audience members up to tell their own bad jokes, including pure comic gold like this one:
A string walks in to a bar. The bartender says, “Hey! We don’t serve your kind here.” Dejected, the string goes outside, twists himself around and messes up his hair. He goes back in and the bartender says, “Aren’t you that piece of string that was just in here?” The string says, “Nope, I’m a frayed knot.”
The other members of the band are Tony, the lead guitar, Kyle on drums and Doug on bass. The entire band was very in sync with unique rhythms and beats driving each song. The balance was great AND…. are you ready for this?…. I could actually hear and understand the lyrics. I know. Amazing. Especially in a small venue.
The only thing I can really remember wanting to hear more of was the backup vocals by Tony. The harmonizing of male and female voices together, particularly with female lead singers, is something I always dig. Their sound reminded me of a band I love called Ida. Calming, soothing. Seemingly innocent, yet with some fire underneath.
All in all definitely a great live show. I even brought a couple of friends who had never heard of The Powwows before and they both really enjoyed themselves. If you’re in Chicago definitely keep an eye out for their next concert and, if you like what you hear on the JWShow, pick up the album. All the songs will keep your head boppin’ and your toes tappin’.