Eat Travel Rock

Kelly Rizzo

Joe's-A-Palooza (2012)

This last weekend at Joe's Bar was like this year's second Lollapalooza.  It was an over-the-top smorgasbord of interwoven and overlapping acts and concerts.  Let's just say I am STILL worn out!  The most wonderful aspect was that even though not every show was AT Joe's Bar...Joe's was still a huge part of everything that was going on.

Here's how the craziness began: November 29th witnessed a mass immigration of country artists to our fair city of Chicago.  They were scattered everywhere... from State Street to Weed Street.  My first stop along this musical journey was the House of Blues for The Florida Georgia LineLove and Theft, and Jake Owen concerts.  Love and Theft's Eric and Stephen are good friends, along with Eric's beautiful wife, Emily, so we watched the rapid fire shows from the artist's balcony.  Unfortunately, I had missed Florida Georgia Line's energetic performance at Joe's in September, so it was amazing to finally see them live.  It's incredible to see the reaction the crowd has every time "Cruise" is performed.  I had to sneak out of this show early as I needed to rush over to Joe's to interview Jerrod Niemann as well as host the live streaming of his concert.  This was so cool, as this type of broadcast, using Laplive.TV, hadn't been done before at Joe's and it was a monstrous production. Over 3,000 fans around the country got to watch the show live at Joe's thanks to the live streaming.  Jerrod was thrilled to be able to "bring Joe's TO all of his fans."  You can catch the rest of our discussion/interview here. Jerrod's show was non-stop action with an entire horns section and back to back crowd pleasing hits.  He has such a wonderful demeanor and stage presence, he makes every audience member feel like a family member and an integral part of the show.  The highlight for me was his beautiful ballad, What Do You Want, which was also co-written by a dear friend, Rachel Bradshaw.  Jerrod's deep and powerful voice had the audience captivated for the duration of the show but that song was on a whole different level.

The next day, Friday, was truly epic.  If you were at Joe's, you witnessed the intensity first hand.  Once again, I ventured to House of Blues for the 2nd performance of Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft, and Jake Owen.  After the show I had to round up the troops and help get all the boys over to Joe's so they could support their friend, Chase Rice, who was performing his first sold out show.  Chase is an interesting guy.  On the outside, he seems to be a tall, handsome, ummm jock?  But he's got so much more going on than that.  This guy has done it all, and all by the young age of 27.  We had a really fun interview... you can watch it here.  When Chase took the stage, he really rocked it... of course, the ladies were ecstatic, but he really was pulling the guys in too... as they could all relate to his "fun time"  music.  Chase called up buddy Stephen Barker Liles (Love and Theft) to jam with him for one song, yet the "piece de resistance" was during the encore performance.  Chase sneaked off stage and was scrambling upstairs to gather all his fellow songwriters and performers for one last colossal track.  He grabbed Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, and Jesse Rice (co-writer).  They are the conglomeration responsible for the current number one song in country, Cruise.  No one  at Joe's had ever seen a crowd go so crazy before... especially during the last chorus of "In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit... would look a HELL OF A LOT BETTER WITH YOU UP IN IT!"

Fortunately, for those of you who missed any of these shows, you can be confident all of the artists will be back in 2013.  There's already an incredible line up that's in place for January and February.  Check it out here and hope to see y'all soon at a show soon!! Stay tuned... I'm going to tell you about my last crazy trip to Nashville and review Florida Georgia Line's new chart topping album, Here's to the Good Times.