Traveling down the winding one way streets in the town of Elgin, IL; to the hip, venue- bar in the downtown area called Mad Maggie's. Family Groove Company played there Friday evening thundering music through the streets. The Chicago based band drew attention to this city's suburbia, a reverse transit for most shows yet a perfect change of pace away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The venue was open, adding to the familiar family feel this band creates. They filled up the place with a swaying crowd. A great outcome of fans arrived as energy burst from the stage. This quartet holds true to their name and knows how to “groove.” Sensational music was made as the crowd gathered to listen and shake it to this spectacular display.
This band acquired a home town feel, mixed with true rock style for their fans. As they hit stage, appreciation to the populous was sensed within their glances . Roaring out melodies that naturally floated from these musicians. Stunning instrumentals introduced the song “The World is Watching (Part 1)”, flowing and vibrant, this song rocked the house from the first notes played. The audience was hooked ! Going into the song, “Guns of Ticonderoga” the crowd waved in motion to the tune. Lyrics breaking the improvisations perfectly. Moving into the chords in, “ Wrath of the Solids,” the beats began with concentration on the drums, perfectly cuing in the rest of the instruments. Transitioning masterly into the down-tempo song, “Remember Sue.” Followed by a consistent relay of solos and matching lyrics in the tune, “ The Blind Climb.” Family Groove Company has a captivating way of putting out their music, the first set was an ongoing dance party with a solid continuation of good vibes. The set touched on several new numbers composed by the band along with a classic Bob Dylan cover. Overflowing rhythm erupted from the stage ending the set. This created an immense feeling of anticipation for the band to continue moving the crowd.
An enormous amount of respect goes to this band, not only for the way they play, but for the humble way in which they put their music out. Always sharing their talents, sincere gratitude showed for those who are willing to come and support the music they make. Down to earth and open in their characters. Personal identities of these musicians shine perfectly in sync with one another. Emotion and chemistry are combined into their music making. Those populating this band are true to their crafts. Mattias Blanck on the drums adds precise percussions to the music along with supporting vocals. Adam Lewis on the guitar, plays focused and passionately, sliding out the chords. Creating an array of musical sounds on the electric piano and organ as well as his vocal instrument; Jordan Wilkow is one music man who doesn't get enough credit. On top of all his instrumental skills throughout the performance, the enchanting light show was controlled by this bucket of talent. A full capacity of knowledge which he completely puts into this bands live show. A true musician. Adding the dose of female power along with these fellas is Janis Wallin. A grounded talent on the bass line. Incorporating the edge in feminine backing vocals into this bands sound, this lady is one-of-a -kind. The members of the band are all self promoting and receptive to anyone who may want to meet the members behind the music. During this shows set break the band members drifted through the crowd, standing near a promotion table, approachable and open with their fans. Seeing this makes you love the kind of music which this band makes, reaching out to relate to people just like themselves. As set break ended, the crowd was rejuvenated and captured once again into the rifts coming from the stage.
Raging the crowd with the playing of a new song to stir up the second set, the band came out with a roar of jazz-tacular music. The set was a success, playing a variety of old and new. They know how to entertain a crowd, the lights along with the thrill of rapidly released harmony struck the audience like a storm. Lyrics strong and back beat instrumentals wrapped the perfect gift for the attendees. The variety in which this band branches out to is impressive, showed when playing a cover of “Bennie and the Jets”. As the set settled with break downs and built up jams into a stunning encore.
This conclusion fits the description of what an encore should consist of. It left you craving more. Performing an oldie in the bands collection which hasn't been played in years. “Vanilla,” a song with a delicious combination of instruments finalized this treat. Concluding with the song, “Love the One You're With.” Moving lyrics, relative to so many different aspects of life were sang. This song was warmth on that cold wintry night as the crowd dispersed into the windy city suburb awaiting the next appearance to their sweet home Chicago. Be sure to check this band out when they hit your area, you're in for a good show and be ready to dance like no one is watching for they move you so.
Set 1: The World is Watching (Part 1), Guns of Ticonderoga, Wrath of the Solids > Remember Sue > The Blind Climb, The All The Everything > New Song, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Through With Tomorrow (New)
Set 2: New Song, The Unlimited Space Around Us, The Charmer, The Well Wisher, Bennie and the Jets > West Egg Party, We Could > Every Time You Shake It