On Friday, March 11, Mike N Molly’s hosted three excellent bands in their intimate upstairs venue, bringing together a set of sounds that, while distinct on their own, complimented each other very well. Doors opened at 9 p.m. with a $7 cover, though the room already had a few handfuls of people milling about and waiting for the show to begin even before then. Friends and longtime fans of each band came by to see their favorites, and there were lots of handshakes, hugs, and excitement to go around. Read below for the bands and the photos!
First up on the docket was Mustache. Hailing from Charleston, IL, they’re a rock/blues band that put out tons of very solid guitar work. Alternating between heavier rock sounds and some very fun and up-tempo chords, their music was accompanied by the slightly twangy (and perfectly fitting) vocals of Isaiah Edwards that filled the room and got the night off to a solid start. Check out some samples of their music on their ReverbNation profile here.
Next up was Blue Dream from Chicago, IL. Describing themselves on their Facebook page as part of the “Heavy Philosophic Soul/Acid Blues/Psychedelic Space Metal” genre, they really didn’t disappoint in fulfilling that statement. Showcasing a variety of songs that made you feel like you were taking a very solid trip (emphasis on the trip part) back to the late 60’s, Blue Dream showcased not only some very intricate guitar work but also the talent of their drummer Jimmy Russell (aka the “Assyrian Tiger”). Near the end of their set, the entire band except for Russell left and went downstairs, leaving the entire stage to him for an incredibly long drum solo. You can check out some of Blue Dream’s songs on their website (CAUTION: a few images on the page are not work-safe).
Finishing off the night were the headliners, Seventeen Sisters. Playing out of their new hometown of Chicago, it was clear by all of the hugs and happy greetings from people in the crowd that they’re missed in Champaign. The Sisters also recently underwent a lineup change, too: they’re a 100% family member band now! Unfortunately they were missing Angel on Friday due to illness, however that didn’t stop the rest of the Scarbrough siblings Sarah, Gracie, Faith, Hannah, and Cecil from shining.
Compared to previous shows, the tempo of their set seemed a touch slower and less heavy on the rock, however the reason for this can be explained in one word: Heart.The slightly toned down pace paired perfectly with the small stage setting, and it was clear that the band was using their music to share their hearts with the crowd in a very personal way, inviting you to get to know who they were as people by witnessing their talent as musicians. Each and every song poured out incredibly strong vocals (every member had a turn at the lead), driving them forward with clean guitar and drum work pulling everything together into a neat package.
The Sisters feel as if they’ve grown and matured as a band over the past several months, picking the precise place in the music world that they know is theirs to occupy. For a sample of their songs, check out their profile here on ReverbNation.
About Stephen N. Kemp
Stephen is an IT manager for the University of Illinois and has been a photographer for Smile Politely since 2015. Find his photography on Facebook or contact him directly via email.