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Old 01-01-2013, 05:04 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Upcoming shows by the Chicago School of Rock

One of my businesses is shooting live music and theatrical performances, and I have shot a lot of shows by various branches of the School of Rock. I've been a fan of this program ever since seeing the the 2005 documentary about the original Philadelphia location. While the Jack Black film was fun, the real thing is much more impressive. The documentary follows a year in the life of the School, from the beginners doing their first show covering Black Sabbath (seven year olds singing Sweet Leaf) to 17 year old "All-Stars" doing their last show, performing Frank Zappa's Inca Roads before a festival crowd of Zappa fanatics and getting a standing ovation.

Since the documentary, I've seen the original All-Stars perform at Martyr's and started shooting shows by the Kansas City location, and eventually the Chicago, Evanston, Highwood and Naperville locations as well. There are over 100 School of Rock locations in the US.

As you might imagine, the quality of the performances varies quite a bit, but the kids support each other in a way that I rarely see professionals do. And over the years, I've seen kids blossom into seasoned pros, and I can honestly say that there have been School of Rock performances that are in my top ten live musical performances. This is coming from someone who has been working as a sound engineer since he was 15, and who has attended hundreds of concerts. I prefer this performance of the Clash's Straight to Hell to any other version, including the original and Elvis Costello's cover. Some other favorites include this 11 year old girl's astonishingly powerful cover of Christina Aguilera's Bound to You and an older girl covering Adele's Rolling in the Deep from the Highwood locations Modern Divas show (better lighting too).

So the Chicago kids have a series of shows coming up at local venues. As you might imagine the majority of the audience is students, parents, friends and relations. But I think they deserve a wider audience, and would like to encourage folks to come to these shows, and if you have kids and are looking for a music program, I think they do an exceptional job.

Upcoming shows:

Motown vs. Stax @ Ace Bar, 1/12 and 1/13 Doors 4:30, show @ 5 pm

Wilco @ Schuba's 1/19 and 1/20 Doors 12:30, Show @ 1 pm

Third Wave Punk: @ Reggie's 1/26 Doors 12:30, Show @ 1 pm
@ Reggie's 1/27 Doors 3:30, Show @ 4

AC/DC @ Reggie's 1/26 Doors 3:30, Show @ 4
@ Reggie's 1/27 Doors 12:30, Show @ 1

The Third Wave Punk and AC/DC shows are double-headers.

The School of Rock covers a lot of range from R&B - Prince's The Undertaker (some great guitar work), metal Pantera's Walk (very impassioned vocal), Rock Opera - The Temple and Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar and even jazz - Dave Brubeck Quartet's Take Five. Some of these kids are such natural performers that I feel they have the potential to become hugely successful.
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