Milwaukee Ave at Armitage and Western Aves; Sat 6, Sun 7
In its auspicious debut, this ecofriendly fest brings together an unlikely coalition of some of the city’s biggest indie promoters. The Congress Theater’s Max Wagner spearheaded the weekend blowout, which features opposing stages devoted to rock, folk, punk and electronic music.
The Empty Bottle’s trusty talent buyers unsurprisingly offer the most impressive assortment. On Saturday, cult guitar hero Kid Congo Powers, best known for stints with the Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, makes a rare local appearance with his band, the Pink Monkey Birds. He’s followed by peppy South-of-the-Border pop from Apostle of Hustle, led by Broken Social Scene guitarist Andrew Whiteman, touring behind its new Eats Darkness (Arts & Crafts). The ethnomusicology angle resurfaces with folk strummer Luke Temple, boldly straying from his previous Grey’s Anatomy backing tracks with his ethereal alter ego, Here We Go Magic, before earnest songwriter and producer John Vanderslice takes the stage.
Sunday sees a slew of Midwest punk stalwarts filling up the south stage curated by MP Shows’ Brian Peterson. The former Fireside Bowl booker dishes up local hardcore royalty like Deal’s Gone Bad, the Methadones and the Effigies. Up by the Congress is the “Folk” stage curated by the folks behind the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival, with roots legacy Justin Townes Earle trotting out his latest on Bloodshot, Midnight at the Movies. Young David Byrne–aping Ezra Furman and his band, the Harpoons, support with power-pop aplomb.
Proceeds benefit the Logan Square Neighborhood Coalition, and organizers emphasize a commitment to minimizing the event’s footprint on the environment: They’ve set a goal to recycle half of the (no doubt, ample) waste produced this weekend.