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Featured Music Review

The Odd and The Great: Freddy Jones Band in the Montrose Room

By Matthew Newman

The Montrose Room is a rare venue where big name performers are close enough to connect with the audience.

During the show with The Freddy Jones Band, there was a guy who yelled out requests, told the band he had driven from Dallas to see them, wished one band member “happy birthday,” and gave the band periodic compliments. The band members didn’t seem to mind.

The performers could also yell out instructions to the sound man. Being close comes in handy.

The audience for the opening band, Hidden Village, had several family members in attendance, whom they were able to individually acknowledge.

When you are this close to the audience, awkward pauses and crowd banter take on added significance. Example: One band member kept using the phrase “shit in the bed” over and over. It became a bit of a running joke as the set went on.

Close is very good when it comes to live music, in my book.

I liked the lead guitarist in Freddy Jones’ Band, who told a story about a song he wrote about a former Wrigleyville roommate who had just come out of rehab. The story was about how they repelled down their apartment building while a Cubs game was playing, and found the cops waiting for them afterwards.

There’s something about knowing where a band lived, who they lived with, how they wrote it, that makes the song real.

The bad ass leads he played on electrifried acoustic guitar all night were great.

This was a real and surreal night. Started by winning $200 at Rivers casino, which was cool. We headed over to the Intercontinental Hotel to see the band. Eating food, seeing bands, basically anything but sleeping at a hotel, is always a bit of a risky proposition, but all in all this mostly works.

On this night, the Freddy Jones Band played acoustic guitars in electric mode, songs that I swear are better known as electric songs, but they sounded great in this intimate setting. Sound was good. Closeness to the stage was good.

The Odd: We won tickets to the show from 93.1 WXRT radio station, but to actually get a seat, you had to pay an extra $10 bucks. When we asked the waitress for change, she extracted her own tip first. Novel approach, since she tipped herself less than we would have.

When we called the hotel to find out what time to arrive for the show, the staff gave us the wrong time. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems they should know what time the band plays.

The Great: The Montrose Room Vodka and Cosmopolitan Martinis. It has gotten to the point where I won’t even order martinis out, they are usually so poorly constructed. In this case, though, like the Freddy Jones Band, they delivered the goods.

For more information, visit:

Montrose Room

Intercontinental Hotel

Rosemont, IL

Live Music Entertainment Venues Near Rivers Casino

Music at Allstate Arena 

Music at Rosemont Theatre

Music at Montrose Room

Music at Beacon Tap

1374 Lee St. – Des Plaines

Live Music at Rand Road House

864 Rand Rd. – Des Plaines

Live Music at Blues Bar

2 W Busse Ave

(between Illinois Route 83 & Emerson St)

Mount Prospect, IL60056

Music at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

111 W. Campbell St, Arlington Heights

Musical Performers at Ravinia

201 Saint Johns Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035

Music at the Infinity Room

185 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago (Northwest Suburbs), IL

Music at The Meadows Club

2950 W. Golf Rd, Chicago (Northwest Suburbs), IL

Music Acts at Clearwater Theater

96 West Main Street – West Dundee – Illinois 60118

Chicago Music Venues

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