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Old 01-01-2013, 05:04 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,912
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.
Old 01-17-2013, 01:54 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,912
The Stax vs Motown show at The Ace Bar was a success. Here are some sample videos:

The Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Martha and the Vandellas - (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave

Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine and a Half

The Marvelettes - Please Mister Postman
Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 AM
gaffa gaffa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,912
The Wilco show was even better, featuring some of the best musicianship I've heard from these kids.

Wilco - Impossible Germany - Chicago School of Rock

Wilco - At Least That's What You Said - Chicago School of Rock

Wilco - Far Far Away - Chicago School of Rock

Wilco - California Stars - Chicago School of Rock

Wilco - Walken - Chicago School of Rock

I'll be shooting the 3rd Wave Punk and AC/DC shows Saturday.
Old 01-29-2013, 07:21 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,912
We finished up the season by shooting the AC/DC and 3rd Wave Punk shows. I practically killed myself shooting the two Chicago shows, getting on the midnight Megabus to Kansas City and shooting their two shows the next evening. Four two hour concerts in two days is an insane workload, especially when you are carrying all the equipment on your back.

AC/DC - Let There Be Rock - Chicago School of Rock

AC/DC - You Shook Me - Chicago School of Rock

Lit - My Own Worst Enemy - Chicago School of Rock

Self Esteem - The Offspring - Chicago School of Rock

Update: 1000 views and no responses?

Last edited by gaffa; 01-29-2013 at 07:23 PM.
Old 03-29-2013, 09:22 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,912
The Spring season is coming up. The kids are going to be doing a Preview show:

School of Rock Season Preview Show
Sunday, April 21, 2013 - Doors at 12:30pm, Show at 1pm
Reggie's Rock Club
2109 S. State St.
$7 at the door
*Proceeds benefit the School of Rock Scholarship Fund*

1:00pm: Rock 101 Show
1:20pm: Grunge
1:40pm: Pink Floyd - The Wall
2:00pm: Women Who Rock
2:20pm: Classic Prog
2:40pm: Roots Rock Reggae
3:00pm: Show Team
The Scholarship Fund is to help with tuition for talented kids who otherwise might not be able to go to the School. The Show Team is a band formed by the best musicians and singers in the whole school, and they represent the School at festivals and as an opening act at concerts.

The regular season starts in May, with Classic Prog at Schuba's on May 4th and 5th at 12:30 PM each day, and Grunge Rock on the same day at the Ace Bar at 5 PM. They are doing Pink Floyd's The Wall at the Greenville Tavern on May 10th and 11th at 5:30 PM. The last two shows of the season are Women Who Rock and Roots Rock Reggae at Reggie's May 18th and 19th, at Noon and 3 PM.

There are other School of Rock locations in the greater Chicago area, and some of them are really excellent - the Highwood location has an astonishing vocal program.

Anyway, look through some of these videos. We're not talking about lame performances that only a grandparent could love, but credible shows.

By the way, Jeff Tweedy's wife was at the Wilco show and asked for a copy of the DVD. Check out the dual guitar parts of Impossible Germany to see what I mean about the musicianship.


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