A Great Saturday

Yesterday, under a gray sky and a rainstorm, the 15th Annual Hideout Block Party was held. The brainchild of Tim and Katie Tuten, the owners of the Hideout, the coolest venue in America, it is a 10 hour party for 10,000 of their closest friends. Every year they hold a giant party to celebrate their venue’s anniversary, and bring back acts that have played their in the past- and some new ones. AND… they also give all the proceeds to education charities!!

So, magically, the rain stopped right at the opening of the event, and a beautiful sunny day appeared. The show kicked off with about 40 people playing guitar in the center of the field (you bring a guitar and an amp and you get in free.) The first act on stage were the brother-sister team White Mystery.

Francis and Alex White’s video had just debuted on MTV the day before, and they played a rollicking ½ hour set of great garage rock.

They were followed by a group of high school kids called Kids These Days and a punk reggae band called the Eternals. At this point there was a slight glitch in my day as the over zealous security guy in the pit kicked the photographers out of the pit, citing the fact that “That’s what everyone does.” A five minute discussion with Tim cleared that up and we were all good to go to shoot the whole show from that point on. Following the Eternals was the great Booker T. Jones, who was so well received that Tim kept pushing him out to do more encores (4) screwing up the schedule for the rest of the day! Isn’t that what music is supposed to be about??

Following Booker T was Jon Langford, who was seen wandering around in the crowd watching Booker T and drinking something that was not soda pop. Appropriately fueled for the event, Jon (singer of the Mekons and Waco Brothers and  about 10 other bands around Chicago) kicked off a 45 minute set, backed by a great band included fellow Mekon Sally Timms, resplendent in a horned Viking hat, and a 30 piece Welsh choir (who were mostly from Canada). Combining Welsh political and mining songs with Tom Jones covers, they rocked the house.

Following Jon was the incomparable Mavis Staples. Tim and Katie had manufactured her a giant golden throne, which stood majestically at stage right. Mavis kicked butt for an hour, combining some great gospel stuff with her classics and some of her newer material from her 2008 CD, appropriately called “Live at the Hideout.”

Andrew Bird closed the show with an hour of  violin playing and whistling, and some rocking! This was what music is supposed to be about- no contracts- no treating people like crap- just great music and a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.

Several people have emailed me asking me to write about the Foo Fighters contract, but I say F-CK the Foo Fighters. Go out and photograph someone who actually wants to be photographed!!

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