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Listen to the Jorge Arana Trio on the Riot Room Patio
Inside the Riot Room, the Phantastics led by Kemet Coleman were tearing the roof off with a heavily 70's funk and soul inspired sound that had quite a crowd and dancing aplenty. Coleman's presence on the mic and dance moves kept the crowd going while the band laid down solid funky sounds.
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After the Phantastics finished up, we hiked over to the Westport Saloon to catch Lauren Anderson. Lauren Anderson and her band are a Chicago-based bluesy 4-piece outfit featuring Lauren on guitar on vocals. The soulful tunes with a solid rhythm section and great guitar work make for a really balanced, well-executed set.
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Back over to the Riot Room, we caught Various Blonde. The Joshua Allen led group features funk, rock, and dance tunes. A couple times Joshua Allen joined the crowd while singing setting the stage perfectly for the next group, St Louis' Illphonics.
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The Illphonics are pretty easy to draw comparison's to early Roots albums but the band executes the hip-hop with a backing band very well. Socially conscious lyrics and neo-soul sounds create a show that's virtually impossible to stand still for. But while it may be neo-soul inspired, the Illphonics are clearly their own band with something to say.
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Finishing up our night at the Westport Saloon, we caught Katy Guillen and the Girls playing a blues inspired set that is decidedly rocked out. All the members of the group have a great level of musicianship and instinct that allows them to really lock in a put on a show. At this point in the night, the bar was packed, the crowd was moving and it the perfect time for an act like KG and the Girls.
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Then there was the final day/night...check back for more on that later this week.