Music News

Chicago Music Festivals Featured Event: Inverse Universe @ Excueses

Chicago Music Festivals hosted their first event of 2015 at Excueses Bar & Billiards on January 17th. The line-up included Kaps, Bronson Rock, Homemade Spaceship, and last but not least – headliners, Inverse Universe.
The first performer to turn up the volume was Tim Kaplan, or Kaps. Kaps is a local future bass DJ/Producer whose main influences are Griz, Pretty Lights and Krooked Drivers. Kicking off a recurring theme for the EDM artists of the evening, Kaps provided music from both DJ elements and live instrumentation. His mixing was accompanied by a trumpet counterpart. Kaps spun bouncey and bass-infused hip-hop remixes with a horn flair that remained in the air as patrons filed in. Drinks flowed and the mood began to elevate throughout Kap’s entire performance, which he strongly closed with a remix to “Rock My Soul” by Pretty Lights. A strong opener, the venue was now nearly full and primed for an evening of tasty beats.
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The band known as Bronson Rock took to the stage next. Comprised of Mike Del Principe playing drums, Matthew Robinson slapping the bass, Kyle Weck & Mike Mara each on the guitar, and the lovely Lana Marie on vocals, Bronson Rock opened their set in true rock n’ roll fashion, with the drone of guitars piercing through a thick cloud of fog. Matt Robinson commented on being the only traditional band of the evening,
“It was our first time playing with all DJ groups… [From the opening jam] it felt like the crowd accepted us as a rock band that grooves. It was a great feeling.”
With the crowd engaged, Lana’s psychedelic LED hoop skills appeared through the dissipating smoke and awed as the band played on. Del Principe was laying down resonating rhythms accompanied by Robinson’s effortless bass melodies and Mara & Weck’s skillful shredding. The band was quick to prove that they harness the talent and crowd-control of elite musicians. To me, this moment proved raw rock music will never die, this old-school fantastic five proved to be ear-gasmic in a world that is trending towards studio-perfected electronica.
A noteworthy moment from Bronson Rock’s set was bluesy cover of Since I’ve Been Loving You, a Led Zeppelin classic. This moment Bronson displayed their versatility and rock roots with a crowd-pleasing 10 minute variation of the tune. Vocalist, Lana, called it,
“The EDM and Rock fans came together during the Zeppelin cover; I saw nothing but blissful smiles in the crowd.”
Bronson Rock’s local Chicago following is sure to grow.
Next to perform was Homemade Spaceship, aka Rob ReVere from Denver, CO. Rob’s set was a hit considering it consisted of live guitar over an eclectic mix of beats. This one-man show was not only entertaining to watch due to his tight display of live mixing and musical multi-tasking, but also very enjoyable to listen to. He successfully kept the crowd’s energy up for the headliner, Inverse Universe.
Tyler Thompson and Adam Stephens make up the dynamic duo, Inverse Universe. These musicians turned producers have dubbed themselves dubstep-glitch-livetronica and strive to give the crowd a unique listening experience by performing everything live on stage as opposed to the traditional DJ methodology of mixing one premade track into the next. Their sound was unique and filled original tunes, their version of some classics, and of course plenty of punchy bass-heavy remixes. Tyler manned the sampler pad and keyboard while Adam shredded the guitar bringing the recurring theme of instrumentation supplemented DJ’ing full-circle as well as giving their set mood and life. As their music peaked, the venue was hot, the songs were loud, and everybody was getting down in a funky groove.
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Founder of Chicago Music Festivals and event organizer Jerry Kamysz said,
    “The event was a success and it opened my eyes to new endeavors that we would like to pursue in the near future. Good vibes, good music and good people.”
Even on a small scale, a successful event can get people talking. In a city as big as Chicago, it is not always attendance that is the challenge – it’s getting the right group of people to the event. In music especially, it is often said that the fans themselves are the headliners. Without a captive audience, even the most crowded event can seem off.
This event drew a passionate and die-hard audience for being held at an obscure venue out in the northwest suburbs. A venue like Excueses could feel like an oversized basement to some, but adding a little musical magic and including great people both performing and listening made this event an overwhelming success!
One good evening of music and dancing can spur an evolution and this newfound momentum is a testament to the spirit and positivity that Chicago Music Festivals has been working so hard to spread. Let’s preserve that energy and scale it up a few notches. Fortunately, the next CMF hosted event at Excueses is just around the corner on March, 28th and featuring a performance by Indigo Sun! Support to be announced.
This article was written in collaboration with Soul Source, LLC Entertainment