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Many would agree Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year for obvious reasons; it’s filled with costumes, candy, haunted houses, and live music. Chicago went hard this Halloween week by bringing acts to town such as, Justice, Wolfgang Gartner, Bloody Beetroots, Baauer, Kill The Noise, Tommy Trash, and Knife Party. After almost a full week of celebrating Halloween, I was ready to bring this holiday to a close with the only and only, Beats Antique.
After seeing Beats Antique several times this past year, I had a pretty good idea what I would be getting myself into this Halloween night. Walking into Park West with my face painted as a sugar skull, accompanied by Jesus, a nun, and a harlequin, I had a good feeling this night could get weird. It was awesome to see that every character, creature and celebrity imaginable decided to attend this sold out show. Everyone ranging from Sonic The Hedgehog to Jimi Hendrix to a Unicorn made an appearance. Chicago natives, The Coop, were first take the stage to start off the Halloween celebration. This jam band was dressed as Johnny Depp characters and played a heavily influenced electronic set. We quickly grabbed a drink and found a spot to enjoy the show. Having never been to Park west, I was pretty impressed by this venue. Designed for perfect acoustics in a modern style, I was ready to enjoy the music of Lynx. Lynx is a one woman show from the Bay area, and might I add, I could not have been more impressed. She started the night off in a mellow tone, seducing the audience with her enchanting voice. She sang many original songs off of her album On The Horizon and even covered a personal favorite of mine, “No Diggity” by Blackstreet. This got the whole crowd singing and swaying. She enticed the crowd with her mix of electronic beats, soulful voice, and bluesy guitar, proving to the audience why she deserved to open up for Beats Antique. At the end of the set, she picked up the microphone and did something I would have never expected; beat box. This shocking surprise was nothing but great. She beatboxed for over 5 minutes, changing tempos and switching beats perfectly. You would have never believed that these computerized sounds were coming from a person. It was a perfect way to end her set, leaving the crowd blown away.
The lights dimmed and the members of Beats Antique, David Satori and Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel finally took the stage. They wore costumes from the Colonial period, which of course including white powdered wigs. This experimental world fusion and electronic music group began to play as Zoe Jakes slowly danced her way on the stage. If you are not familiar with Beats Antique, Zoe is the third member and belly dancer of the group. She wore a beautifully detailed outfit as she began to mesmerize the audience with her unconventional, graceful moves. They played music with a bass line driven by a baritone sax and accompanied heavily by percussion, making you feel as if you were in the Middle East. Some of my favorite original songs played included, “Beauty Beats,” “Dope Crunk,” and “Egyptic”. As they played, Zoe wore different outfits, masks, and head pieces. They were exquisitely designed and worn so appropriately, leaving me and the rest of the audience in awe. Towards the end of their set, one of the members walked on stage wearing a flat brim hat dressed as Pretty Lights. “Finally Moving” filled the air as he pretended to perform just as Pretty Lights would in his live show. The crowd was confused, thinking that Beats Antique was actually covering this song, but it was just a Halloween hoax. To our surprise, Zoe was now back on stage dressed as Bassnectar. Her long jet black hair made the part convincing as she head banged to a remix of “Bass Head”. It was now a battle on stage: Pretty Lights vs. Bassnectar. Just when you thought they were done, the final member of the band trumps both of them by bombarding the stage dressed as Skrillex. This had the crowd laughing and wondering what they could possibly do next. It was by far one of those most hilarious performances I’ve seen at a Beats Antique show or at any show for that matter. To bring the night to a close, “Catskills” was played, while several people adorning a variety of animal heads danced wildly to the music. Next thing we knew, a giant inflatable squid joined the celebration. With confetti flying everywhere, wild animals, and a giant squid together on stage, it was complete chaos, a stimulation overload, but somehow in that moment, it all made sense. After the elaborate spectacle I had just witnessed, I was sure that this was the last song. Because honestly, what could top that? Sure enough Beats Antique found a way by finishing the night with a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. The crowd joined together singing along to this classic rock anthem creating a surreal moment only seen in the movies. Beats Antique definitely pulled out all the stops visually and musically with this show and I could not have asked for a better way to spend my Halloween.