Probably the most amazing thing about living in Chicago is the constant staple of the omnipresent Fareed Haque. In time, especially the last year, it seems like Fareed has sat in with every group that has graced the "Windy City" whether it be The Slip, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, MOFRO, Dr. Didg, etc.
On Saturday, Chicago music fans were excited for the arrival of Garaj Mahal, that includes Chicago Natives Fareed Haque and Eric Levy (who deserves just as much merit). The super group which contains the California connection of Alan Hertz and Kai Eckhardt was to perform at the Green Mill from 8 P.M. until 12:00 then jump over to the Boulevard Café from 12:30 - ? A.M. A minor setback was instigated at the Green Mill as the airplane carrying the California duo was delayed until a 7:30 arrival time. However just as thing could have been worse, they became even better as the remaining members of the Fareed Haque Group sat in for a quick hour set before the rest of Garaj Mahal arrived. After being treated to an impromptu opener, the Green Mill was ready to ignite. Before the music began Fareed made an announcement to make some room to dance and although the room was packed we did just that. An explosive two sets followed that left the crowd wanting more, which would be served up as soon as we reached the Boulevard Café.
At around 1:30am, the band went on as a good crowd had come from the Green Mill. Later than expected the band didn’t want to stop around the 3:00 closing time, neither did the fans or the owners. The band would continue to play with the no alcohol stipulation that didn’t seem to phase a single soul. I think a sole fan at the end of the show put it best when he said "Best Venue Ever."
Each show had amazing energy. The music of Garaj Mahal is best described as this: Think back on your life on the time that you have felt really good about doing something for someone, really proud for accomplishing something, or just plain happy to be witnessing something. Roll all those feelings into one if you can imagine so and that is the feeling you get when watching these four masters. As the band continues to grow, so will the amount of shows and so will the smiling faces across the country. I command you to go see Garaj Mahal; it’s good for you.
Eric Creighton - Accepted GarajMahalic
JamBase Chicago Correspondent
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