Local Chaos at Empire Open Mic Night

Meeting and listening to musicians from all over the Chicagoland area was an awesome way to flip around my long, tired Tuesday. I’m a regular at Empire Burger and Brew’s weekly open mic night, but I’ve never seen the place as crowded as it was this last time around. It was my first-time as the open mic’s host, and I had a wild time! There was a great mix of fresh faces who’ve never hit Empire’s stage before, and folks that are constantly coming back for another Tuesday night jam. There’s a great variety of people and music every Tuesday night, and it’s a positive and friendly environment, as well as a fantastic way to connect with local musicians.

I had the pleasure of watching rising pop-singer and songwriter Ava Morse, a Naperville native, who impressed the audience with her strong vocals. This was my second time seeing her perform at Empire, and I can see how much growth she’s had in the last couple of months. She belted her newest single, “I Should Be Leaving,” and left the crowd wanting more! Check her out on Instagram (@avamorseofficial) and Facebook to keep up with her upcoming releases!

Another artist that I was stoked to see back at Empire was Derek Vaden. Derek brought the house down with his explosive energy and incredible guitar riffs. The first time I saw him play live, my jaw dropped to the floor; this time around was no different. When he got on his knees and soloed in his tune, “Novel America,” he left the crowd shook. Derek’s stage presence is uber exciting and makes it very difficult for one to look away. Alongside Derek was Mike Dooley on the drums and Antony Picardi playing bass. Before their set, Derek announced that Mike came out all the way from Colorado to partake in the local music celebration. If you’re interested in keeping up with these guys, go give Derek Vaden a follow on Instagram (@thegroovefreak) and check out his videos on Youtube!

There were many more musicians that blew me away the other day at Empire. I had a lovely time with 89.1 FM music director, Tyler Mason. It’s always a great time to discover new music that can one day be played on our station! Live music is always great to witness but it is even better when you get to support your local music community! If you’re interested in getting to hear up-and-coming musicians from your backyard, get down to Empire every Tuesday night for their rockin’ open mic. It’s totally free to attend and participate, and sign-ups to perform are at 8:30 with performances starting at 9:00. Listen to Local Chaos every Sunday from 8 to 10pm to hear about more chances to get involved in and support the Chicago local music scene!

Frank Iero and the Future Violents at The Social in Orland, FL – 6/14/19

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Frank Iero and the Future Violents in concert at a small venue called The Social in Orlando, Florida. Following the May 31st release of their new album, Barriers, Frank Iero and the Future Violents played a set consisting of a nice mix of old and new songs. They opened the show with “Moto-pop,” the eighth track off their new fourteen-track record. With the heavy guitar riffs accompanied by a blast of confetti into the crowd, it made for an exciting, energizing start to the show that got the crowd fired up.

Something sentimental Frank Iero does at all his shows is plays a song called “B.F.F.” – a song Frank always makes sure to mention was written by his daughter, Lily, to her twin sister, Cherry. I asked Frank before the show if his daughters know he plays their song, and he assured me that they know and love that people all around the world sing along every night.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents closed their set with a song called “Great Party” featuring Kayleigh Goldsworthy on the keyboard. They followed this with an encore of two songs from their 2016 album, Parachutes, ending the show with a crowd favorite, “Oceans.” Overall, the energy of the show remained high, and it was easy to see the passion on these musicians faces as they played a killer set. It was the type of show you never want to see end because the music was phenomenal, the whole venue was riding on positive vibes, and everyone in the room was having a great time. If you’d like to share in that type of experience, you can check out Frank Iero and the Future Violents when they come to Riot Fest in September, and check out their new album, Barriers, now. I also had a chance to talk with Frank Iero, which you can listen to below.

– Bender –