Written by Ricky Havansek, Photography by Gabriel Iriarte
All the folks who braved the cold last Friday were graced by amazing performances by Axel Thesleff, Russ Liquid, and Beats Antique. Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique is a frickin’ goddess! Silver Wrapper threw yet another amazing show featuring impressive and diverse talent — the perfect way to defrost after several days of arctic chills.Axel Thesleff got us warmed up with a unique set of head bobbin’ tunes. His music immediately had me rockin’ left to right, with slow swung rhythms, and dreamy pentatonic melodies. I honestly wasn’t very impressed at until I began to pay attention to the stage, and realized he was looping and mixing the songs live! He’d casually stroll between an electronic drum kit, bad-ass keytar, and midi integrated xylophone as he wove his electronic masterpieces. It was a delightful treat to see an artist triggering fat 808 bass hits live on a xylophone, definitely keep an eye out for Axel’s future tours!After seeing Russ Liquid play many shows in Chicago with his band, “The Russ Liquid Test”, I was quite excited to see him perform a solo set again. He kept the energy going at Concord, dropping a bunch of tunes off of his recent solo ep, “Ecletric” released via Wakaan. I was also happy to hear him seamlessly mixing in some old favorites, and of course, it wouldn’t be a Russ set without him belting out some mind melting solos on trumpet and keys to tie the whole thing together. Although his coveted flute didn’t make it on stage, a guest appearance by Chicago’s very own Carlile was a delight. I can’t wait to see Russ headlining a show soon, I’m always left craving more!Beats Antique is an impressive spectacle. Part musical adventure, part dance bazaar, they know how to keep an audience entranced! Carefully guiding our attention back and forth between the sultry audio and the visually stunning dance performances, the collaborative group held every bit of my focus. Talented dancers took turns wowing mesmerized spectators with their various flows, as David Satori’s guitar wailed to Tommy Cappel’s pulsating beats. The crowd was instantly captivated as Zoe’s feathered fans fluttered into view. I’ve never seen a rowdy crowd so instantly hypnotized, patiently anticipating her every move. The gorgeously choreographed drum sequence to the song “Three Sisters”, featured impressively synchronized drum stick tutting, and was a highlight of the performance. They closed the night with a sensational encore performance of their song “Let It All Go”, and let it go we did! After this performance, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Beats Antique on future festival line-ups!The entire show was a fantastic blend of live musicianship, beautiful production, and stunning dance choreography. I’d highly recommend for anybody and everybody to go check out this psychedelic circus whenever they roll around to your town!